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The story of wealthy industrialist Balbir Singh and his son Ranvijay is packed with gore, heavy-handed machismo and overt misogyny. Even with stellar performances by Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol and Rashmika Mandanna as characters from different generations (Ranbir Kapoor himself appears alongside Anil Kapoor), Bobby Deol and Rashmika Mandanna — director Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s struggle against toxic masculinity becomes unintentionally repetitive over time.
Men use swords and axes, while baring their bodies to demonstrate they are true men in this film of chest-thumping machismo.
Animal promises audiences a blood-soaked journey that will revolutionize Bollywood action cinema. Boasting an intriguing plot and exciting action sequences, featuring Ranbir Kapoor as its leader, Animal fails to live up to expectations due to its jarring scenes and over-the-top violence, along with predictable storytelling lacking depth or impactful story lines.
Ranbir stands out in an unforgettable first half. His charismatic performance exudes vulnerability, intensity, and mad passion that truly distinguish him as an actor. The initial chemistry between him and Rashmika was exciting but their romance quickly disintegrates over time.
After intermission, the movie becomes tedious and repetitive; many scenes linger unnecessarily long or drag too slowly along. Furthermore, its climax fails to generate as much emotional impact as had been felt prior.
This film is also extremely offensive when depicting gender roles and is deliberately misogynistic. The director’s attempt at pushing buttons was evident from its opening scene – its sexist dialogue and sexual scenes will likely turn off many women viewers while its use of right-wing symbolography, like an inverted Nazi swastika flag will no doubt annoy many men viewers too.
Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s previous films, Arjun Reddy and Kabir Singh, have been heavily criticized for celebrating toxic masculinity; but Animal goes even deeper into this realm. Packed with gore, chest-thumping machismo and bold talk of sexual acts; this three-and-a-half hour movie provides fertile ground for cultural critics who can discuss its content while getting at the root cause of male violence.
Ranbir Kapoor excels as Vijay, an emotionally damaged hero prone to unleashing violence upon those he crosses paths with. Ranbir inhabits this character so fully that it’s impossible not to look away during scenes when his blood-filled eyes seethe with anger – an unparalleled performance in Ranbir’s career thus far.
Bobby Deol and Rashmika Mandanna do not get much screentime as the focus remains on Ranbir. There are some impressive fight sequences, including an Oldboy-esque corridor ax-fighting scene that leaves audiences speechless.
Ranbir Kapoor’s performance alone is what saves this movie from failing, his charismatic presence mesmerising audiences like Joaquin Phoenix’s acting prowess – his mesmerising charisma and raw intensity make for captivating viewing; but unfortunately there wasn’t more substance behind his storyline.
Animal is an epic revenge tale. Starring Ranbir Kapoor from Bollywood royalty and playing Vijay Singh Balbir from America who returns home from America seeking to avenge his father’s death and eliminate all those considered enemies to his family, director Sandeep Reddy Vanga who previously made Kabir Singh and Arjun Reddy, has gone into overdrive with violence and gore in this film.
This film starts off strong with an engaging first half that keeps audiences riveted, but after intermission its momentum begins to dissipate and numerous sequences drag on for too long. Furthermore, director Robert Rodat tries too hard to be clever with his narrative by inserting scenes of medical counseling and sexual relations discussions which feel forced and don’t add much substance.
The biggest flaw with the film lies in its lack of an engaging reason to justify all of the bloodshed, with no clear-cut plot or character conflict to anchor it all. Furthermore, there’s no discernible tension in its narrative and no depth to any of its characters to make them relatable or memorable. Furthermore, the depiction of misogyny by Ranbir as an embodiment of male privilege who strikes out at women can be too contentious while its flirtation with right-wing iconography by including one character with an image bearing an emblematic Swastika as its logo further leaves an unpleasant aftertaste in its wake.
This film is an epic, violent tale about an industrialist’s son and his desire for revenge, told through flashbacks and nonlinear narrative. Ranbir Kapoor shines brightest, supported by Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Rashmika Mandanna and Anil Kapoor himself – becoming one of Ranbir Kapoor’s signature movies in terms of commercial success and one of Ranbir Kapoor’s finest performances to date. It was an overwhelming commercial success.
Sandeep Reddy Vanga, Pranay Reddy Vanga and Saurabh Gupta’s screenplay is both humorous and unnervingly intimate in its depiction of male violence. While it might be easy to dismiss this film as another cliched exercise in toxic father-son relationships, its true purpose lies within an exploration of male primal desires that can cause lasting harm to those close to its protagonists.
Ranbir Kapoor shines as the protagonist, carrying the film with charisma and support from an excellent soundtrack and supporting cast. With bold talk of sexual acts and gore as well as some unexpected scenes to shock audiences, this movie was an enormous hit among viewers and received positive reviews from critics alike.