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February 4, 2024

With Animal, Ranbir Kapoor embraces everything that is wrong with civilization, humanity, and Bollywood

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Animal ☆

Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol

Direction: Sandeep Reddy Vanga

If you’re watching the latest Ranbir Kapoor film, Animal, on Netflix, or about to embark upon it, there is one rule you must keep in mind.

While Netflix did usher in a new era of content consumption, the birth of other streaming platforms and some of the best content we’ve seen in the last few years, the streaming giant is equally guilty of either producing loathsome content or adding such content to its platform that you will want to unsubscribe.

A case in point is Animal.

After becoming the biggest hit in Ranbir Kapoor’s career and attracting audiences to cinemas, it arrived on Netflix.

We all know by now that as an actor, Ranbir Kapoor has a tendency of not featuring in violent films. There are rare cases such as Bombay Velvet (2015) but he is the poster boy for new age cinema, having featured in super romantic and slice-of-life films.

That reputation has changed with Animal.

And here is how it goes.

He loves his father (Anil Kapoor) and thinks of him as his superhero. But daddy dearest is far too busy in building an empire and ignores his son from a young age. From childhood to adulthood, the father has no time for him.

Okay, let’s go with this plot, because, well, that is the starting point even though it is a bit cliched. After just 30 minutes, you can predict the outcome. But, anyway.

The son does feel ignored and there is truth to the idea that such ignorance during formative years can have an adverse effect.

In Animal, this also means that the ignored son will become the very image of much that is wrong with society: he is excessively violent, displays toxic masculinity and the alpha male syndrome.

Animal, for some godforsaken reason, allows this philosophy to flourish. Ranbir Kapoor’s character, throughout the film, spews toxic polemic as if it is the only way to be in this day and age.

Meanwhile, everyone in his life doesn’t realize that this is a problem to be dealt with. His mother, sisters and partner-in-life brand him a hothead and call it a day. They have little to no influence on him and once again, Hindi cinema finds a way to diminish the importance of women.

His love for his father borders on obsession, and the loving mother, sisters and his wife are sidelined to a role of child-bearing and satisfying every need of the men in their lives.

Then his superhero father, a leading industrialist in India, is shot. The ignored son, who had been living in the United States of America, returns, not to seek justice, but to carry out his own version of vengeance.

It is his mission to find the perpetrators and murder them in the most cold-blooded fashion possible.

If you’re thinking of something similar to Bombay Velvet (2015), don’t fall for it. This vengeance is on another level. What’s funnier is that there are no cops, police or any oversight as the blood and gore sways through the film.

The rest of the film is so predictable that you might yawn or let the film run in the background. What follows is ridiculous.

There is so much bloodshed, such grotesque violence and pathetic writing that it will make you cringe.

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As you watch the film, you realize that th philosophy peddled by the film, embedded in its dialogues, is an acceptable way of life.

Films and stars influence audiences and given how influential Ranbir Kapoor is among actors of his generation, he, too, has given in to the worst narrative possible.

Bobby Deol’s comeback is both surprising and shocking and you can only learn that if you manage to stomach the entire movie. It does show that Bobby Deol shouldn’t be written off and deserves better scripts, and therefore this abomination of a film gets one star from me.

The actor, who charmed us in films like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Wake Up Sid, Rocket Singh, Tamasha, Barfi, Rockstar, and even the Sanjay Dutt biopic, Sanju, seems to have embraced everything that is wrong with civilization, humanity and Bollywood.

And here’s another fact: Animal’s success has compelled its creators to make a sequel called Animal Park. It will be bigger and better, meaning it will be twice as vile with a blood-soaked script as the original or maybe, more.

Good luck to those who have the patience to sit through Animal and its sequel.

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