Animal Review: Dark, Deadly and Drenched in Blood – Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Beast heralds a new genre of glamour-violence, guns and galore.

Animal Review: Dark, Deadly and Drenched in Blood – Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Beast heralds a new genre of glamour-violence, guns and galore.

Animal Review: Dark, Deadly and Drenched in Blood – Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Beast heralds a new genre of glamour-violence, guns and galore.

What: Animal - I remember an interview of writer-director Sandeep Reddy Vanga during 2019 where the disgruntled filmmaker wanted to show the real violence in his next, when his Kabir Singh was slammed as a violent film by some section of people. And it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that Animal is his backlash!

Animal movie synopsis

The beast here is Ranbir Kapoor (Ranvijay Singh), the grown-up enfant, whose undying love for his father, the industrial tycoon, Balbir Singh (played by the wonderful and age-defying Anil Kapoor), costs him zillions. Following his primal instincts and thinking from the heart, Ranbir descends into the abyss of unreciprocated feelings and subsequently into the dark alleys of guns and grenades, and we see a monster in the making. A monster who can go to any length to protect his family and his adored father.


Animal movie review

Right at the outset, Vanga makes his film’s positioning clear – Animal is Kabir Singh on wild dope. His protagonist is an upgrade over Kabir’s rebel, non-conformism, defiance, toxicity and most importantly, his theories. The character has its roots in his troubled childhood and strained relationship with his father. Streaks of violence adorn his persona. He is guy who treads on life’s extremities – be it wooing the woman of his life and childhood love Geetanjali (Rashmika Mandana) to smooching in front of her family, followed by making out in the private plane and then marriage on the snowclad mountains or erecting a platoon of Sardar Jis as guardians of his galaxy after a fatal attack on his father.

Ranbir’s theories and his alpha-male attract you instantly. His anecdotes of the jungle’s monkey and the analogies that he puts on the table to justify his theories are compellingly and convincingly palatable but spark off fracas with his father and sisters, one of them played by Saloni Batra. He leaves his family behind and moves to America but has to eventually return when his family is in life-threatening danger from unknown elements.

Even though the film runs for a flabby 3 hours and 22 minutes with the first half covering almost 2 hours, Vanga’s conflict-centered scenes brim with power and scorch the screen. The pre-intermission part is explosive – relying solely on the growth trajectory of the animal that resides in Vijay’s psyche (yes, RK reveals his name only during the solidly staged 18-minute action sequence). The action is massive, the set piece is staggering, and it is clear, unadulterated discharge of testosterone, propounded by a haunting background score (by Harshwardhan) – when Ranbir vanquishes an army of enemies in a hotel with his axe. Its probably Vanga’s ode to Korean style of action. And the Arjan Vally Punjabi spirit thrives in this saga of intensity and rage.

The second half sees a mild drop in momentum and a bloat of Vijay’s paunch as Vanga switches gears and navigates his emotional and mental space that’s invaded with disorienting thoughts, manic-obsessive bouts, and sparks of psychopathism. The rough marital dynamics between Vijay and Geetanjali looks raw and real, interspersed with sexual undercurrents, infidelity, adult jokes, and scatological humor. He takes jibes at her wide pelvis and remarks, ‘you will produce great babies’! something which reminded me of the inherent toxic masculinity that permeates Vanga’s brains to the paper. 

And it finally hits a crescendo with the entry of Abrar (the brute force, Bobby Deol), the nemesis of Vijay’s life. The enmity dates back to an age-old family feud when Balbir’s father (played by Suresh Oberoi) founded the Swastik Industries. Bobby, in his short screen time, emerges as a real brawny menace to Ranbir’s intense overdrive.

Animal is indubitably violence galore, and Ranbir Kapoor is its soul. The actor drenches himself in sweat and blood (pun-intended) to construct a character that’s so unique, natural, spontaneous, instinctive, intense, and compelling. It’s a highly measured performance (and the best performance of the year by any male actor) that relies on his astute prowess to portray someone who is so irreparably unhinged. Apart from the physical transformations and changing hairstyle, Ranbir dwells in the complex emotional contours, so well-articulated by Vanga to depict the human frailties and unpredictable characteristics, akin to animals.

Animal final words

Ranbir is wonderfully surrounded by a host of amazing actors – Anil Kapoor, the object of Animal’s obsession, renders authority and emotional gravitas as the patriarch of the family, Suresh Oberoi and Shakti Kapoor shown in brief patches, Saurabh Sachdeva playing Bobby’s interpreter and reprising his effeminacy from Haddi, and Telugu actor Babloo Prithivraj as Bobby’s brother.

The female, brigade led by Rashmika, are sort of cornered in this male universe. However, the actress is convincing in the emotional portions, bringing in a balance in the protagonist’s messed-up life. Tripti Dimri, as Zoya, performs well but Saloni as his sibling Reet takes the icing on the cake.

I go with 4.5 stars out of 5 for Animal – Dark, Deadly and drenched in blood, it’s a beast that heralds a new genre of stylized violence, guns and galore. 


About Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee, is an IT Techie/Business Consultant by profession and a film critic/cinephile by passion, is also associated with Radio Playback as well, loves writing and conducting movie quizzes. More By Ahwaan Padhee

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