Review: If you thought 'Kabir Singh' was controversial, make way for 'Animal' & just how polarising it will be

Animal isn't everyone's cup of tea in general. But it is a direction in commercial filmmaking that you never thought would be possible to reach at, and it does with aplomb.

Animal

Animal

If you thought Kabir Singh was controversial, make way for Animal. Director Sandeep Reddy Vanga's infamous quote of, "I'll show everyone what a violent film is" seemed like a warning but he made sure to deliver on that with a sealed stamp. Animal might just be the most controversial, polarising and mind-bending film of not just this year but all time, when you take into account that it's still a full-fledged commercial potboiler with a superstar as the leading man. Having had the chance to see the film, first day, first show, here's what I thought about it-

ALSO READ: Allu Arjun can’t stop gushing over ‘Animal’; pens a long note for the cast & director lauding their work

Guns, Gore & Most Unlikeable Male Protagonist Ever?

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Animal, overall seems like a 'I told you so' statement from director Sandeep Reddy Vanga in ways you couldn't have seen coming. What works best for the film is the sheer unpredictability and hope that all this madness, mayhem and anarchy will have some justification or redeeming moment as we reach the end. Whether it does or not, it is for you to judge. One cannot deny that Vanga knows how to keep you hooked. A runtime that crosses 200 minutes is such a challenge but not for a moment do you feel that here. Granted, the first hour has some unnecessary scenes with jerky editing but even then, it never loses you and instead surprises you, shocks you and appalls you more and more with a new scene coming in. 

There's just so much going on that to be able to fathom and dissect everything is virtually impossible, and you don't need to as well because if it has you invested inspite of jumps, their job is done well enough. There might not have been a more unlikeable protagonist in a leading commercial film with almost no redeeming qualities like there is with Rannvijay Singh Balbir, played with absolute conviction by superstar Ranbir Kapoor. You don't even know his character name till the interval block and there's a reason for it. 

The father-son bond carved in blood is as toxic, problematic and weird as you imagined it to be. And while you see Kapoor's character going through what he's going through, the slip comes in with Anil Kapoor's character of Balbir Singh. For it to be a father-son bond and giving method to Rannvijay's madness, we don't get much from Balbir apart from the fact that he was a busy-with-his-work man, who did not give time to his son throughout his life. But courtesy Kapoor's knockout act, you are that invested in this relationship enough to understand his actions. Only understand, never agree. An alpha male, who believes in entitlement, switches moods in a split second, is a borderline psychopath (yes) - and he is your leading man. Take a moment to fathom and appreciate the guts and unparalleled conviction Vanga has in his way of telling a story.

We Needed More Lord Bobby

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Bobby Deol aka Lord Bobby. What do I say about this man and his second innings which isn't said already. One thing I can still say though - I am disappointed not because of his performance but because just how limited Abrar (Bobby Deol) was a part of the film. He has a cameo and it couldn't be more saddening because even in his brief appearance, Deol is absolutely freaking fantastic. The women in Animal continue to be through Vanga's lens which isn't the most reliable one, as we know by now. But to some solace, there are redeeming moments for one of them if not all of them. Here violence or ill-actions against them aren't celebrated. You never applaud or like the males doing what they are doing and there's no assisting BGM glorifying it. So yeah, some marks for that. Animal loses pace with some unwanted and rather perplexing twists and turns, especially with Tripti Dimri's character of Zoya but there is a larger picture in question for which it was essential.

The soundtrack is fantastic and we have heard enough being talked about it already, so lets wrap things with the action and violence. Get ready to flinch, be annoyed, be disgusted yet amazed by what is done here. The action here is a visit to banana town and one that you cannot anticipate. Graphic violence with goriness, knife slashes, bloodshed, and the biggest guns you can imagine - make up for moments that you will remember for the right and wrong reasons.

The Verdict

The Verdict

Animal in a nutshell, isn't for the faint-hearted. It isn't everyone's cup of tea in general. But it is a direction in commercial filmmaking that you never thought would be possible to reach at, and it does with aplomb. Ranbir Kapoor has further justified and solidified the argument as to why is he termed to be one of the best actors around. Violence was promised, violence was delivered above and beyond your imagination and wondering.

Rating - ***1/2 (3.5/5)

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Bobby Deol Thumbnail

Bobby Deol

Anil Kapoor Thumbnail

Anil Kapoor

Ranbir Kapoor Thumbnail

Ranbir Kapoor

Sandeep Vanga Thumbnail

Sandeep Vanga

Tripti Dimri Thumbnail

Tripti Dimri

Rashmika Mandanna Thumbnail

Rashmika Mandanna

Animal poster

Animal

Comments (6)

The movie has many plot twist but does not have a plot

2 months ago

Regardless of how I find this movie after watching it, I’m just glad Ranbir is shifting towards the dark side now. His lover boy roles got really annoying and cringey.

3 months ago

Very nice review! If it is a Vanga movie, blood, gore, violence, problematic behaviour is expected

3 months ago

Its all about glorification. If arjun reddy or kabir singh hadn’t glorified toxicity there wouldn’t have any issue. Vanga doesn’t seem to get that. He thinks people have issue with violence and decided to increase violence in his next movie. Lol. I would like to watch Animal if they have not glorified problematic behaviours.

3 months ago

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