Animal: Flashy action movie light on content and heavy on shock value

Actor Ranbir Kapoor

Actor Ranbir Kapoor

Published Dec 8, 2023


Movie Review: Animal

Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Rashmika Mandanna, Bobby Deol and Anil Kapoor

Director: Sandeep Reddy Vanga

Rating: 4.5/10

If the films of director Sandeep Reddy Vanga, Arjun Reddy and Kabir Singh troubled you, wait until you see Animal, starring Ranbir Kapoor.

In Vanga’s third feature film, revered anti-hero, Ranvijay Singh (Ranbir), worships and idolises his father Balbir Singh (Anil Kapoor). He spends every day chasing after him in futile attempts to win his love. Consequently, his relationship issues with his father manifest early and impacts most of his formative years.

Together with his brother Pranay Reddy Vanga and Saurabh Gupta, Vanga co-wrote the screenplay, which handles all the suspenseful segments and makes sure that every frame is a retina-tingling treat. However, in the midst of all of this, logic falls by the wayside and the narrative is continually drawn out, particularly in the second half.

This flashy action movie that is light on content and heavy on shock value, shows how Ranvijay's need for love and approval result in a cycle of violence by slicing between several timelines that cover his early years to the mature ones.

Ranbir gives a powerful performance, showing flexibility where the plot permits but it deserved better writing to match his talent. Although it's a performance that will probably stick out in his career, it might not be the pivotal moment that completely changes it.

Bobby Deol looks ominous and Anil Kapoor shows depth in the confrontational scenes, but they both don’t receive adequate screen time. Rashmika Mandanna has good on-screen presence amid a strong male lead cast.

At 3 hours and 22 minutes, Animal is long, loud and unapologetic with blaring misogyny. There was easily room to trim the film by 15 or 20 minutes. Vanga, who’s perception of masculinity is somewhat narrow and limited, seems to find pleasure in presenting high testosterone dramas with apathetic protagonists.

Many scenes make it seem like the director is pushing discussions about sex and other daring topics for the sake of boldness, even though it does not fit, making some attempts to humour distasteful.

I would have much rather seen Ranbir’s character to go therapy and I might just need some therapy myself after watching this film.

Keshav Dass is a radio presenter on Hindvani for the Chart Show (Sunday 12pm-3pm) and the Saturday Shake Up (Saturday 11pm-2pm).


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