The trailer of Ranbir Kapoor’s much-awaited film, Animal, was released today. Directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, it stars Anil Kapoor, Rashmika Mandanna, Bobby Deol, Tripti Dimri, and Shakti Kapoor in lead roles. By the looks of it, the movie is fueled by nothing but testosterone and that is where my problem arises.
On social media, a lot of people have said a lot of good things about the trailer. People talked about how promising and scary it looks.
This is exactly why it is making me feel scared. While I was watching the trailer of Animal, I didn’t notice myself smiling or anticipating anything good. I was filled with dread. The movie shows well-dressed men marching around with guns. Every scene has glorified violence.
There’s a scene where you can see a man struggling to breathe. Thankfully, they did not show the actual visual rather they just showed the foot of the man; but that suggestive shot was more than enough. You can understand that he is being strangled to death.
Frankly speaking now that I think of it, this was the only time the director did an iota of a sensible thing.
Almost every frame of the movie has blood all over it. It is glorified and portrayed as something that was done for good. I mean, how are we going ahead with being okay with mindless bloodshed? No matter what the reason is, it is not justified. Sandeep Reddy Vanga has made Arjun Reddy and Kabir Singh. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes ahead to justify this.
Coming to the most problematic scene. Ranbir’s character holds Rashmika by her throat and that is concerning. In the teaser, we saw him shushing her in the most disgusting of ways. That constitutes emotional abuse. However, this scene is straight-up physical abuse. It makes me uncomfortable to see that we are still portraying such scenes in Bollywood.
What’s worse is that none of the women in the trailer speak for more than 10-20 seconds at max.
Commercial and mainstream films can be progressive and can steer discourse in a positive way. A good example of that is Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani. With films like this, we are just undoing all the progress we have made. Maybe Animal wants us to be scared of Ranbir Kapoor. But there’s always a way to go about it without making a sizeable portion of your audience worry about the ramifications this will have. We have Kabir Singh apologists, we will see people supporting this character as well. It won’t be an understatement to say that with this film we might just take a step back into the past.
One step forward, two steps back.
(All images have been taken from the trailer unless specified otherwise)