5 Concerning Thoughts After Watching Ranbir Kapoor’s Animal
Animal, the latest release from the mind of Sandeep Vanga Reddy (previously known for Arjun Reddy), promised a rollercoaster ride of emotions, violence, and raw storytelling. But after watching the film, it’s hard to deny that it left audiences like me with a mix of reactions. Here are five thoughts that I had in my mind as the end credits rolled in:
1. Forget misogyny, what’s with the ridiculous and boring plot?
When a film boasts of 3 hours and 20 minutes of runtime, it becomes the responsibility of the makers to make sure that they have enough material to keep the audience engaged for that long.
The so-called second half of the film is just a waste of time with unnecessary scenes stuffed in it. And don’t get me started on the emotional scenes (at least that’s what the director tries to create) in the second half. Ranjvijay Singh Balbir (Ranbir Kapoor) confronts his wife Gitanjali (Rashmika Mandana) with his extramarital affair. The confrontation that follows is nothing less than funny.
“You forgave me for killing 100 men, can’t you forgive me for sleeping with another woman?”
I was honestly happy to see people around me at the theatre laugh at this ridiculous conversation. Another emotional scene involving the father and son turned out to be a spoof. And the fight scene which, I guess should have looked iconic and mass, felt like two silly kids fighting for reasons even they are not aware of.
2. A Refreshing First Half
Though the film falters in the second half, Animal does have a really interesting first half. The placement of the background score is refreshing. The way scenes transition and subplots complete showcases some unconventional filmmaking for sure. But that’s it. Everything good about the film ends there. Yes. Bobby Deol’s fun entry offers some relief but it is not enough to get through the traumatizing second half.
3. A 13-year-old’s Idea of Violence?
Sandeep Vanga Reddy billed “Animal” as his most violent film yet, but the violence in the movie falls flat in comparison to the hype. Instead of gritty, intense sequences, the violence often comes across as juvenile and over-the-top. Fake blood splattering across the room does not make a film violent. I found “Inglourious Basterds” more violent than Animal.
4. Weird Depiction of Intimacy
Animal makes sex and intimacy look weird and awkward. A cringe-worthy scene involving Bobby Deol’s character trying to engage in sexual activity with his new bride right after an eye-poking incident is baffling.
The conversations between Ranvijay and Gitanjali about intimacy and sex come across as juvenile and out of touch with reality.
They also get intimate right after the confrontation scene where Ranvijay confesses to cheating on her. If that’s not weird, I don’t know what is.
5. Not Toxic, Just Psychologically Ill
The character of Ranvijay Singh Balbir, portrayed by Ranbir Kapoor, is undoubtedly complex, but not necessarily in a good way. Throughout the film, Ranvijay’s actions and dialogues seem more like a cover-up for his psychological issues than a genuine expression of love for his father. His seemingly pointless murders and infidelity do not seem to be coming from a point of wanting to protect his father.
He uses the “toxic alpha male” as a safeguard from not being sent to jail for all the murders.
Arjun Reddy was toxic; Ranvijay Singh Balbir is just an ill man who should have been given psychiatric treatment long back.
There is a lot of discussion around the film Animal that is happening currently (free publicity for the film in a way too!). While a section argues how a film with such a demeaning representation for women can be allowed to run, there’s another section demanding that “let a film be a film” (Mind you these are the same fellows who were highly triggered by Barbie).
As an avid film lover, I have never been of the opinion to cancel films and believe in the freedom of a filmmaker’s creative expression, as much as I do in constructive criticism. But as an audience, are we mature enough to let a film be a film?
A simple Google search will take you through countless stories where men were inspired by the depiction of toxic masculinity on screen to harm women. That is the power of a mainstream art form like cinema. Thus, filmmakers do have a social obligation to create characters with justification. If he/she is dark, hold them accountable instead of glorifying them and honoring them.
If you have decided to skip watching Animal for its absurd depiction and plot, congratulations; you just saved yourself from the most disastrous three-and-a-half hours of your life.
Image Courtesy: YouTube
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