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Animal Review: Ranbir Kapoor, Bobby Deol Hit It Out Of The Park With This Violent Revenge Saga

Animal Movie Review: If you thought Kabir Singh was the ultimate epitome of toxic masculinity and misogyny, Ranvijay Singh will shock you. He’s way more uninhibited, unhinged, aggressive and self-destructive. In his own words, he’s the quintessential ‘alpha male’. For those who have made up their mind to watch the film, take Ranbir Kapoor’s ‘people who get easily triggered should stay away from this film’ comment as a very serious disclaimer. Once again, you won’t agree with Sandeep Reddy Vanga. And whether you should or should not is an altogether different debate.

Animal revolves around Ranvijay (referred to as Vijay by his family members) and the troubled relationship he shares with his father, Balbir Singh, a business tycoon who never paid heed to his family because of a chock-o-block professional life. That is the heart of the film and we’re reminded of it time and again. Vijay can go to any length to win his father’s affection and approval. He doesn’t think twice before picking up the gun and killing the bad guys who have done wrong to his family. Tired of his volatile nature, Balbir ousts his son and sends him to the USA.

Years later, Vijay returns to India with his wife, Geetanjali, and children after he receives news that his father has been shot. He soon takes it upon himself to cleanse the enemy who wants his family dead. This ambition drives him mad and that takes a toll on his relationship with Geetanjali and his physical and mental health. But straightening out these creases isn’t a priority for Vijay as much as protecting his father and making him proud is.

Yes, Vijay is problematic. In fact, his description of himself using Kabir’s ‘bura jo dekhan mein chala’ doha perfectly sums up his intentions and greyness. He tries to convince Geetanjali to marry him by telling her, ‘You have a big pelvis, so you can accommodate healthy babies.’ In another scene, he tells her, ‘You can forgive me for so many murders but can’t forgive me for sleeping with another woman?’ When she threatens to teach him a lesson by sleeping with another man outside of their marriage, he retaliates and demands her to promise him to never marry anyone else. At the risk of defending Sandeep and his notions of a romantic relationship and making a statement on what should and shouldn’t be the green flags in an ideal relationship, let us reiterate that this is how Vijay and Geetanjali’s love life looks like.

Their idea of romance is making love inside a private chopper several altitudes high from the sea level, recording it, making out under the open sky and seducing each other in the most non-traditional ways. Nevertheless, they share a love as passionate, intense and fervent as the one Kabir and Preeti shared. There are references to slapping one another as well and once again, Sandeep normalises it as a love language. A particular messy and chaotic confrontation scene between Vijay and Geetanjali stand out in the second half and that bears a testament to their raw chemistry.

The screenplay of Animal has bizarre written all over it. The story is all over the place but that’s not to say that it doesn’t keep you engaged. If you keep your moral grounds aside, Animal won’t disappoint you. 203 minutes might be an extremely lengthy run-time for a film but Sandeep makes sure that you don’t lose your patience and stay glued to the screen. The narrative rarely drops pace. The pre-interval scene includes an almost 30-minute long two-part action sequence and that remains the highlight of the film. The first part has Vijay wielding axes and brutally murdering the bad guys with a traditional Maharashtrian wedding song playing in the backdrop and it adds to the quirk factor perfectly well.

Having said that, the crux of the disturbed and chaotic relationship between the father-son duo isn’t properly established. Sandeep creates a world, the foundation of which is rather weak. You may find yourself questioning what leads Vijay to become a ‘criminal’ in the name of his father when all the latter did was prioritised his business deals. Sandeep tries to make up for it with conviction and a whole lot of style and idiosyncrasies that land well.

Harshavardhan Rameshwar deserves a special mention for composing a catchy background score that adds to the stylised and spiffy action sequences. The music of Animal elevates the film to a whole new level. Action director Supreme Sundar, on the other hand, choreographs some novel and never-seen-before stunts that leave you wide-eyed. The hand-to-hand combat between Vijay and Abrar at a runway is memorable and leave you hooting for both from time to time.

Ranbir Kapoor is the heart and soul of Animal. He breathes life into this undesirable character with a lot of charisma and swag. He hits the right notes in the emotionally heavy scenes with Balbir and Geetanjali. You can’t take your eyes off every time he’s on screen. Once again, he plays a man-child with a disturbed past and childhood with aplomb but his Vijay is way more sinister than Ved and Jordan. He lets his eyes do most of the talking and despite the fickleness, recklessness and impulsiveness of his character, Ranbir brings forth a charming restraint to the table that deserves applause.

Anil Kapoor impresses as the stern father, who is perpetually resentful towards his son, who is obsessed with him. His scenes with Ranbir’s Vijay are pure gold. Bobby Deol’s Abrar appears only in the second half and despite a limited screen time, leaves an indelible impression. He’s seen in a never-seen-before devilish avatar that will leave you fearful and aghast. We wish there were more scenes between Abrar and Vijay because their menacing chemistry is rather impressive.

The women might not have much to do but their presence cannot be ignored. They drive the men to the brink and silently fuel their ambitions. Truth be told, Rashmika Mandanna as Geetanjali starts off shaky and her dialogue delivery makes her lines pretty incomprehensible. But she impresses in the latter half as a helpless and hapless wife trying to mellow down her husband, who has gone berserk. The aforementioned confrontation scene bears a testament to the various emotional shades she plays around with like a seasoned artist. Triptii Dimri as Zoya has a rather meaty role and her guest appearance stands out. Her chemistry with Vijay is undeniable and it would be interesting to see what she brings to the table with Animal Park.

Animal is for brave hearts (brace yourself for a brutal throat-slitting scene). The film is dark, loud and garish but also unapologetic. It has guns blazing with the background score sometimes overpowering the dialogues. But somehow, all of that works. Amid all the grimness and goriness, you will also find yourself cracking up from time to time, thanks to Sandeep’s cheeky approach. Animal might not meet the tall claims made by the makers but it’s an amusing roller coaster ride that will keep you hooked throughout.

As a side note, you shouldn’t miss out on watching Ranbir riding a bike with oodles of swag and sass and then grooving to Chhoti Si Aasha and Roja Jaaneman looking like the OG bad boy, Sanjay Dutt.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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