Animal: Do All Audiences Realise It Is JUST A Movie? No, They Copy This Behaviour!

Is this what we wish to show the audiences? That it is Ok to act on every need and thought in any way possible, no matter who we hurt in the process?

Trigger Warning: This has graphic descriptions of violence and may be triggering for survivors.

Welcome to the world of Indian Cinema! While we’ve had a couple of hits and misses, some that provide entertainment and purely that, some provided food for thought and then we had this mega blockbuster Animal that released providing both of the above in heaps. Or did it?

To begin with, the end is far. Well it is a 3 hour 21 minute movie so it went on longer than my attention span lasted. But I braved it to the end. And glad I did. I was really hoping for an ending that showed consequence to action but alas it does not deliver. So then I was just glad it ended.

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Does childhood trauma need to mean senseless violence, misogyny, brutality?

It baffles me that even today, circa 2023, we as a nation glorify a male protagonist’s attitude towards women and the world, depicted through violence, disrespect, misogyny – all apparently acceptable due to his own childhood trauma and relationship with his father. Psychological treatment and counselling is visible for all of 2 minutes in the movie as an approach – also ridiculed and mocked via inappropriate dialogue usage to prove said point.

But then again through the movie and later through several videos seen on social media of audience reactions during the movie, I wasn’t so baffled. After all in a country with a population over a billion, the percentage of aware individuals willing to think between right and wrong is limited. It is not about the fact that educated people know different, well not really as even people from urban educated strata’s of society hold the same archaic ideas as shown in the movie. Invariably the people who understand right from wrong – are few.

Stomach churning violence

It was stomach churning to view scenes where women were treated as lesser beings and hear audiences laugh and applaud. Scenes such as asking a woman to lick his (Ranbir Kapoor aka Vijay’s) shoes, pulling his wife’s bra strap constantly while she repeatedly said he was hurting her, grabbing her by the throat, commenting on her appearance as a baby making machine – to Bobby Deol (Abrar) sexually assaulting his wives and even slapping one. Through all of this of course we see immense amounts of violence among the hero and villain, again considered super heroic and as said in the movie “It’s a man’s world”.

The few minutes in the movie where we see Vijay protect his sister from eve teasing at her college is ruined by how he takes a gun into the classroom and shoots at random to scare students to admitting what had happened. So basically the message is – yes while “eve teasing” is wrong and we must protect women – how we do it as men is picking up guns, shooting in classrooms and intimidating others through violence.

Do audiences realise it is just a movie? No!

This animal like behavior, or instant gratification of one’s needs through any means possible is despicable when viewed through the lens of an adult man who no doubt may have had difficult experiences as a child, but resorted to the worst way of dealing with them. So is this what we wish to show the audiences? To act on every need and thought in any way possible, that we can justify, no matter who we hurt in the process?

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Yes we know it’s a movie but are the audiences across the country able to grasp that it is JUST A MOVIE?

Hell no – because people look to the movies for what is celebrated and accepted. And repeat. “Well he made it look cool and fun and had the upper hand – bring it on”. Zero thought to consequence – both for self and others.

Hence the crores it made.

What rakes in the big bucks? Knowing what the largest section of society wants and so they deliver. Kudos to the filmmakers for understanding the audience well enough to make this over the top, testosterone dripping, Kabir Singh on acid movie. Entertainment indeed but was easily less enjoyment, more tainted. I shall be back to books now to recover from this movie!

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About the Author

Sonali D.

Soul centric and free spirited all the while living life through travel and adrenaline junkie activities. Counselling Psychologist and Educator by vocation. And a life and laughter enthusiast by heart. Usually found daydreaming about her read more...

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