New Delhi: This Friday saw the release of ‘Animal’, directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga and starring Bobby Deol, Rashmika Mandanna, Anil Kapoor, and Ranbir Kapoor. Both audiences and critics had conflicting opinions about the movie. Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma, who is renowned for creating contentious films, had a lot to say about the movie. Here are a few key points.
Ram notes that as director Adrian Lyne, who helmed both Lolita and Fatal Attraction, once stated that films ought to provoke viewers to argue strongly about what the picture represents, Sandeep succeeded in doing so with ‘Animal’. He says, “There will be massive fights over the content and the character of Ranbir in ‘Animal’ long after its box office run is over, and I truly believe it can also trigger a cultural overhaul due to the way Sandeep has ripped off the clothes of moral hypocrisy with his bare-naked honesty. That is because ‘Animal’ is not merely a film. It is a social statement.”
During a crucial sequence in the movie, Ranbir’s character Ranvijay Singh emerges from a hostile room bearing a specially designed weapon that he had made for the occasion. “One of my favourites moments is when against everyone’s expectations, including me in the audience was that he will come back with a baseball bat or something, but when he comes back with a machine gun that almost made us all fall off our chairs and that moment is a pure cinematic gem.”
Some scenes in the movie have drawn criticism from viewers for not adding anything to the plot or, worse, for existing solely to incite violence. But according to Ram, they served a purpose in addition to being included for comedic effect in the movie. “Some random comic scenes like the bra strap spanking, talking about sex with the doctors etc to name a few which seemingly have no context but what they really do is to subconsciously act as a sledgehammer to drive the protagonist’s character into the viewers’ heads,” he writes.
Ram was all praise for Ranbir’s performance, writing, “Not from the 1st film of India, Raja Harishchandra in 1913 till now in 2023 in the last 110 years was there more consistency and intensity in an actor’s portrayal of a character than what Ranbir did in ‘Animal’.” He also added, “More than him being physically naked in a particular scene, he was emotionally naked throughout the film in his performance which takes much more strength of mind than just being physically naked.”
Ram shared some negative feedback as well claiming he did not relate to the father-son relationship or the rivalry within the family. Additionally, he took issue with a specific scene in which Tripti is asked to lick Ranbir’s shoe by the character. But Ram says he would be more than happy to lick Ranbir and Sandeep’s shoes as a way of thanking them for the movie., “I didn’t like the shot of Ranbir asking the girl to lick his shoe but for just that one jump cut from Anil’s last dialogue to the end titles camera zooming out shot showing Ranbir crying like a baby in Shakti Kapoor’s lap, I want to lick both your shoes.”