Movie Review for “Animal”: The pinnacle of violence and a spotlight on gore define this film. It’s a relentless bloodbath, characterized by its wild and wicked nature. Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s highly anticipated “Animal” has been released, featuring Ranbir Kapoor in a devilish, menacing, and unhinged role. Do we adore him? Undoubtedly. Do we resent him? Absolutely. The problematic premise of “Animal” has been a topic of discussion since the release of its teaser and trailer. However, the full film presents a series of events, emotions, and sequences that lead to a somewhat underwhelming climax. The rushed conclusion leaves viewers anticipating whether there’s more to come after the end credits.
Animal movie Review – Exudes a wild and wicked essence
Animal takes you on a journey filled with blood, noise, gore, and violence, and for the most part, there are no complaints. It immerses you in its gripping narrative and grand scale, but often leaves you bewildered each time the protagonist is in action. Glorified as an anti-hero, Ranvijay Singh (Ranbir Kapoor) idolizes and worships his father Balbir Singh (Anil Kapoor) and spends most of his childhood seeking his love and attention, but all in vain. Daddy issues start at a young age in his life, and their obvious repercussions have a significant impact on most of his formative years.
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The foundation and central characters
Transitioning to high school through a flashback sequence, he infiltrates his sister’s college armed with a gun to confront those who had harassed her. In response, his father not only subjects him to a series of tight slaps but promptly sends him off to a boarding school in the US as punishment. Returning for his father’s 60th birthday, he finds himself in a confrontation with his brother-in-law Varun (Siddharth Karnick). Subsequently, a romantic subplot unfolds, leading him to flee to the US with his love interest Geetanjali (Rashmika Mandanna) due to their families’ disapproval of their inter-caste marriage.
Returning after an eight-year hiatus due to a shooting attack on his father, Ranvijay is no longer the same. With his hair grown out (thankfully, no oddities with the wig), a dashing bearded appearance, and a newfound ferocity, he has transformed into a more deadly and ruthless individual. Determined to wage war against Abrar Haque (Bobby Deol), who poses a threat to his father’s life, Ranvijay is on a mission that nothing and no one can deter him from accomplishing.
Ranbir Kapoor portrayed as an embodiment of misogyny
If filmmaker Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Arjun Reddy and Kabir Singh left you uneasy, brace yourself for Animal, where Ranbir Kapoor is portrayed as the epitome of misogyny, and he doesn’t shy away from it. Whether it’s instructing his younger sister to drink wine instead of whiskey or mocking his elder sister, a Harvard graduate, for merely saying, ‘Chup raho, bas karo (Keep quiet),’ in her marriage; he manages to be both loved and hated, often misunderstood. As the entitled and affluent spoiled brat, Ranvijay sees himself as the man in charge after his father. So, if the women in the house (his sisters) are in any trouble, he doesn’t hesitate to take matters into his own hands to deliver what he deems as justice.
Having said that, Ranbir is at the peak of his performance, embodying Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s vision in Animal to the fullest. He presents a seamless blend of vulnerability and villainous traits. Instantly drawing you in, even in moments where he’s being shot or punched in the face, he evokes sympathy rather than a desire for his demise.
In a scene where Ranbir operates a sophisticated, high-tech shooting machine, eliminating over 300 heavily armed men, Sandeep Reddy Vanga strategically incorporates a Kabir doha (‘bura jo dekhan main chala’), enhancing Ranbir’s entry with a heroic touch. Such nuanced details elevate Animal at several points.
What is not Good?
Running at a lengthy 3 hours and 22 minutes, Animal is one of the longest films in quite a while. It strives to be impactful, but the piercing high-pitched dialogues are likely to cause discomfort. Moreover, there are moments where a more restrained approach, both visually and verbally, would have been preferable.
For instance, the repeated mentions of male pubic hair as a symbol of manhood are rather unpleasant. Similarly, when Ranbir delves into a discussion about his sex life with a psychologist following his accident, it ventures into uncomfortable territory. The screenplay, crafted by Sandeep in collaboration with Pranay Reddy Vanga and Saurabh Gupta, skillfully weaves gripping elements, ensuring each frame delivers a visually cinematic experience. However, in the midst of all this, logical consistency takes a backseat, and the narrative feels consistently prolonged, especially in the second half.
What is Good?
The on-screen chemistry between Ranbir and Rashmika is undeniably intense, but soon, Sandeep enters his element, portraying his hero’s transformation into a chauvinist and misogynist with unsettling ease. He then places the notion of a toxic marriage on a pedestal. Whether it’s him repeatedly pulling her bra string, leaving bruises only to later soothe her, or him betraying her with another woman, yet she returns to kiss and caress him – this narrative echoes and amplifies the legacy of Kabir Singh. A notable moment is when Rashmika slaps him back in one scene, eliciting cheers from some in the audience who deemed it ‘well deserved.’ Perhaps, this reflects a shift in audience preferences, indicating a reluctance to accept such characters as heroes.
Anil Kapoor delivers a sincere performance, evidently feeding off Ranbir’s energy on screen. Their scenes together, whether violent or emotional, are relatable. Charu Shankar as Ranvijay’s mother, along with Anshul Chauhan and Saloni Batra as his sisters, play their roles well. Prem Chopra and Shakti Kapoor make their cameos felt, while Tripti Dimri in a special appearance is a treat to watch. However, I felt somewhat cheated by Bobby Deol’s screen time. He enters the film only after 2.5 hours, with barely two full-fledged scenes and no lines to speak. It seems like a missed opportunity to capitalize on his potential. Nevertheless, even in the brief moments we see Bobby, he manages to leave a lasting impression.
What was particularly enjoyable throughout the film was the background music (BGM) and the songs playing in the backdrop, particularly during the action sequences. Keep an eye out for the 10-minute long fight between Ranbir and Bobby during the climax, and the track ‘Saari Duniya Jalaa Denge’ in B Praak’s voice adds significant value. ‘Papa Meri Jaan’ is another track that captures your heart instantly, delivering a heartfelt experience.
Animal is an unabashedly massy, entertaining, and exceptionally violent thriller that defies conventional norms. The level of bloodshed portrayed is not suitable for the faint-hearted, so exercise caution if you decide to watch it, as the intensity might be overwhelming.