Animal: Breaking the Chains of Conventional Filmmaking with Unapologetic Dark Characters

Animal: Breaking the Chains of Conventional Filmmaking with Unapologetic Dark Characters

Issac Thomas 03/12/2023
Animal: Breaking the Chains of Conventional Filmmaking with Unapologetic Dark Characters

Hello, if you are looking for a quick review, and are not much of a reader, here you go.

I loved the movie and I will call it a must-watch.  

What did I like? 

  • Ranbir Kapoor’s acting

  • The violence, especially the before interval fight scene. Damn, that was lit. Manjot, maza nai aa raha, kulhadi de. 

  • A simple story but an incredible presentation.

  • The last conversation between father and son, I got a lump in my throat.

  • The non-linear narration

  • And of course, no one felt offbeat here, every person in this movie was so perfectly cast.  

What I didn’t like?

  • The menace called Bobby Deol was underutilized. Why, why, why? he was just terrific even in his limited screen time.

Now if you want to read more, let me put some FAQs I found on Twitter and let me address them.

1. Is the movie Animal misogynistic?

Yes, it is. On certain occasions, the way a woman is treated on screen fills you with disdain. Anil Kapoor doesn’t let his wife speak too much. Ranbir Kapoor asks a woman to lick his boots, tells his sister she will marry the guy he chooses for her and tells his peers, you need to have a strong hold on marriage.

And then some characters marry thrice, so and so. But then it’s not a movie on saints, there is a reason why the movie is titled, Animal. 

2. Does the movie Animal promote toxic masculinity?

On a certain level yes, but again, it’s a story of a toxic male called Ranvijay Balbir Singh, not Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother?

3. Is there too much violence in the movie Animal?

Oh! Yes, a lot. More like some scenes are plain brutal like the anger of the characters is spilled on the screen through a lot of bloodshed. Take it like that!

4. Can we watch Animal with our parents?

Depends on how naked you are before your parents. 

If you have read till here and want to read further, fine, let’s talk about the director Sandeep Reddy Vanga.

His first film, Kabir Singh felt like a documentary to me, I almost liked the movie, Until it was ruined by some mundane acting by Kiara Advani in the end.

Still a fine movie, from a fine director. 

But damn Animal is a beast and as a director, Sandeep Reddy Vanga knows how to evoke an emotion from the audience. You can hate him or love him but definitely cannot ignore him. There is a certain honesty in his filmmaking and yes, honesty in telling a story makes it impactful by leaps and bounds.

The plus point, he has great taste in music, every song, and every BGM was a pleasure to the hearing sense. 

And the way, he made the movie, a non-linear path but hammering the story into the hearts of the viewer, kudos!  

I may not align with a lot of things he says or does but the art he made deserves applause. 

If you have reached here, I think you are here for a full-fledged review. Just a warning, spoilers ahead.

The first half of the movie is terrific, but the second half is slow, dramatic, and has more layers to it till it catches pace, spills some bloodshed and when you think it reaches a poetic end, the director leaves you with the possibility of some more bloodshed.  

Yes, a friend of mine said that some scenes don’t add anything to the story but merely exist in the movie to shock the viewers. But for me more than shock, there was a certain freshness in those scenes. Take, for example, the scene where comes back healthy and with a transplanted heart, all naked walking through the lawn as his peers indulge in celebratory gunfire. 

If you look at it as just a scene, yes, it does not add anything to the story but for me, it felt like the character comes alive rejuvenated with energy and life. He has shed his excess weight and he is all ready to get back on the path of bloodshed. 

The film does feel slow after the 1st half, but it is scenes like this that keep you hooked and in the end, when you stand up from your seats, it doesn’t feel like, aaah three hours down the toilet. Rather the film stays with you and makes you think, oh! Ya, that was an engaging watch, I want to watch it again.

I don’t know how much repeat value it will have years down the line but I do feel it will stand the test of time.

In the pre-interval fight scene in the hotel, Ranbir says, you guys stay here, I will fight them alone. I am like, holy, crap. Same old, heroism bullshit again, dude if you got security, use it. But then when he says, maza nai aa raha Manjot, Kulhadi de. I am like, yeah I am loving it. And icing on the cake, you are witnessing a fight sequence in sync with a testosterone-filled song- Arjan Vailly. Dope!

Yes, a song and fight sequence, again fresh and unique. 

Now that I think of the movie Animal over and over again, I realize the 1st-half of the movie pumps up the viewer elevating them to ecstasy. If you are aware of the concept of Why, the 1st half paces you with what the protagonist did and how he does it, introducing the kind of Animal he is. The second half breaks it down into layers on why he did what he did and gives a lot more context on the relationships he has and the ideologies that drive him.

The way Bobby Deol is introduced is one beautiful sequence, a bunch of ladies singing the song called, Jamal Jamaloo while the veil lifts from Ranbir Kapoor and uncovers the face of Bobby Deol, a transition like two sides of the same coin, two animals at opposing sides. As the song goes on, Bobby Deol urf Abrar Haque is getting ready for his 3rd marriage.

Within moments, his sexual appetite is revealed, he brutally kills a man and with fresh blood still on his hands and face has sex with the bride on the couch moments later. The beautifully written poem switches to violent tragic prose pretty soon. 

And then a damsel enters, and you get the vibe, aah she is a pawn going to be sacrificed on the altar worshiping the demi-god our hero has become. 

Eventually, it happens, the hero asks to lick his boots and you do feel sorry for the damsel. But alas, what can be done, everyone has to carry the burden of their mistakes. 

Rashmika Mandhana was just superb in her role, the way she confronts Ranbir Kapoor, living, loving, and breathing with someone so toxic requires a lot of effort and you see that on her face and expressions. She is as naked as the hero in this movie, just that she didn’t pull her bra off and go completely naked but yes in that moment, both the characters are naked and vulnerable seeking comfort in each other.

Talking about nakedness, it’s an emotionally naked film. Raw, wild, and honest to the core. That’s why it stays with you.  

Yes, the hero is a toxic and misogynistic man obsessed with his dad but I did feel a lump in my throat during the last conversation between father and son. I remembered my dad and it took a lot of mental courage to not shed a tear. But our hero, the toxic male chauvinist, finally breaks down and cries like a baby in the arms of his uncle while his peers share his pain with teary eyes.  

So, he isn’t toxic just for the sake of being toxic. It is rooted in trauma, a guy with daddy issues, meet a woman with daddy issues and you will know. Some people are just difficult to live with, and it is the story of such a person. 

And to add weight, he has got all the wealth and health in the world which helps him manifest his bloodlust. After all, money amplifies who you are. 

By the way, talking about rich brats, you definitely must have met a few, observe the way they behave and you know what I am talking about.

And, it’s not like people calling this movie toxic are saints. We all need people to adjust to our flaws, stay with us, and love us, and women in this movie choose to be with their toxic lovers for reasons like love, money, and of course sexual compatibility. A pretty fair trade there… 

As I said, the movie is naked to the core and devoid of any diplomacy. And I am tired of watching movies like Tiger 3, Pathan, and Jawan. I love mass but not the same template repeated over and over again. 

Animal came like a breath of fresh air and I had a nice time jogging in Animal Park.  

View the movie through the eyes of the character, and you will be at peace.

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Issac Thomas

Content Marketing Expert

Issac is the author of Something Between Him And Her- His First Kiss and co-author of The Growth Hacking book series. He loves dissecting SaaS tools and writing about SaaS. In his free time, he loves binge-watching Netflix and gorging on books. His BBN Times column will be about content marketing, SaaS, movies, writing, and life. If you want to know more about him, Follow him on TwitterInstagram and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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