Animal review: A typical Sandeep Reddy Vanga film full of violent and bloody vengeance

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Sakshi Sharma
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Animal review

Animal review

Animal review: It’s a gory bloodbath led by a madman as crazy as Rockstar’s ‘Janardan Jakhar’ with music being the only difference, that and the burning love for a girl being replaced by violence and a son growing up without the love of a father! 

Animal review: If you have been seeing the promotions for Animal, you must have heard about the film not being for the faint hearted and after watching Animal, I know this to be true. It is gory, bloody, violent, and filled with all chest thumping, testosterone filled masculinity. It's man vs man in a man's world where a son devoid of his father's love and attention goes on a killing spree to take revenge for him. It is an exploration of a tale as old as time - complicated father and son relationships where one generation of toxicity spills on another and the cycle continues. After a long time, you witness an old school Bollywood film filled with family, brothers fighting, betrayals, and revenge, like a hero's rise only to become a villian!

What is surprising is that you think you know the film but it's not the theme, rather the structure that throws you off. Because for one, the film doesn't become a justification for a man's behaviour which is surprising as this is a Sandeep Reddy Vanga film. Every character other than Ranbir Kapoor and his inner circle of army questions his actions and presents their dissapointment. But it does have Reddy written all over it because the one thing he can't do away with is exploring romantic relationships while keeping the gender dynamics in mind; the remarks, no proper breathing space for any female character, and a man asking women to stand up for themselves while simultaneously speaking for them and commanding them. This has always been the problem with Reddy's films; it's not that what he is showing doesn't happen or that such men don't exist, it's just that the way he represents and defends their actions, seems problematic. An emotionally heavy scene about a strained relationship between a husband and a wife had so much potential but it gets sidelined because it's being presented as a defense. The second thing he can't do away with is reference to male anatomy, demeaning sexual anecdotes and the insensitive treatment of sex. 

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But you also can't ignore the genius of this filmmaker who knows what he is doing most times and what he wants to make. The bloodbath action pieces choreographed to the T where every shot fired or step taken had a synchronised thumping background score to match and made the cinema halls rise in uproar. The one thing this film knows and understands is the fascination boys have with their toys. My god! The way Ranbir Kapoor as Ranvijay Singh walks with his army every time, it makes you just jump out of your seat and whistle. 

This credit goes to Kapoor as well, who has always been a director's actor. He understands his assignment so well that you are left in awe of his talent. He truly is a chameleon as he portrays this 'rather complicated man who is devoid of love and his soft side lurks as a shadow behind the animal he has become' rather well. And with him, the cast of the entire army does justice. I wish we could have witnessed more of Bobby Deol's madness, the complicated father played by Anil Kapoor, and Rashmika Mandanna's dilemma of being in love with a madman. They work so well with what they have yet something seems missing. 

The tight first half of the movie completely has you in its rapture but it's the second half that falters with unnecessary and forced narrative inputs. Animal has officially left me conflicted because as much as I want to appreciate it for all its tremendous Hollywood level action sequences and its exploration of dark complicated themes of man's innate animalness, I can't fully give in because of its many faults.

Animal is currently running in theatres near you! 

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