Animal, the latest directorial venture by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, released today, has been met with a mixed response from audiences and critics alike. The film, starring Ranbir Kapoor in the lead role, explores the intense and often violent relationship between a father and son.
Ranvijay Singh (Kapoor), the son of a wealthy businessman, harbours a deep-seated resentment towards his father (Anil Kapoor) for his neglect.
This resentment festers and transforms him into a violent, possessive individual who controls every aspect of his father’s life. Kapoor delivers a committed performance, capturing the character’s rage and vulnerability effectively. However, the film’s glorification of his toxic behaviour and justification of his violence are deeply disturbing.
The female characters in Animal are mere props serving the male narrative. Rashmika Mandanna’s Geetanjali, despite being presented as a strong woman initially, ultimately succumbs to the charms of Ranvijay’s toxic masculinity. This reinforces harmful stereotypes and negates the agency of female characters.
Adding to the film’s shortcomings are its excessive length and melodramatic plot twists. The second half, in particular, feels like a collection of random scenes inspired by TikTok trends rather than a coherent narrative. The film’s excessive focus on violence and brutality becomes gratuitous and numbing.
While the technical aspects of Animal are commendable, they cannot salvage the film’s flawed narrative. The film’s potential for exploring complex themes of father-son relationships and the impact of childhood trauma is overshadowed by its glorification of toxic masculinity and misogyny.
Animal is a disappointing film that squanders the talent of its cast and crew. It is a missed opportunity to explore important themes in a nuanced and meaningful way. Instead, it delivers a film that is ultimately harmful and offensive.
Anil Kapoor and Bobby Deol: Wasted Potential in Animal
Anil Kapoor plays Balbir Singh, the wealthy and neglectful father of Ranvijay. Unfortunately, Anil’s character is one-dimensional, solely focused on being a “busy papa” even as his son spirals into criminality. His performance ultimately leaves viewers wishing Balbir had suffered a different fate.
Bobby Deol’s role is equally disappointing. He appears only briefly, echoing his minimal presence in the film’s trailer. Deol’s character adds nothing substantial to the narrative, making his inclusion feel like a repeat of his forgettable performance in Race 3.
- Ranbir Kapoor’s Stellar Performance: Kapoor delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Ranvijay Singh, capturing his rage, vulnerability, and unwavering loyalty to his father. Critics have praised his ability to portray the character’s complex emotions, with many calling it one of his best performances to date.
- Visually Stunning: The film boasts impressive cinematography and production design. Director Vanga creates a gritty and immersive world that reflects the characters’ inner turmoil.
- High Production Value: The film’s high-octane action sequences and elaborate sets are undeniably impressive, showcasing the talent of the crew and the significant budget allocated to the project.
- Problematic Narrative: While the film explores the theme of father-son relationships in a raw and unflinching manner, it also romanticizes violence and glorifies toxic masculinity. The protagonist’s unchecked rage and aggression are rarely questioned, leaving a potentially harmful message for viewers.
- Weak Female Characters: The female characters in the film are largely underdeveloped and serve primarily as plot devices. They lack agency and depth, failing to contribute meaningfully to the narrative.
- Excessive Length: At over three hours long, the film feels unnecessarily stretched and suffers from pacing issues. The story could have been told more effectively in a shorter format.
Animal is a technically accomplished film with a powerful central performance by Ranbir Kapoor. However, its problematic narrative, weak female characters, and excessive length ultimately hold it back from reaching its full potential. It’s a film that will spark debate and discussion, but it may not be for everyone.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Audience response to Animal has also been mixed. Some viewers have praised the film’s raw portrayal of emotions and action sequences, while others have found it too violent and disturbing. The film’s long runtime has also been a point of contention for some viewers.
Animal is a complex and flawed film that is sure to spark debate. While it has its flaws, it also boasts some strong performances and impressive visuals. Whether or not you enjoy the film will likely depend on your individual preferences and tolerance for violence and problematic narratives.