Why Watch A Toxic Animal When There Are Better Contemporary Movies With Better Men?!

Sickening misogyny and gut wrenching violence - why watch Animal? 2023 had many better movies to offer, which should have got the award.

In the run time of 3 hours 21 minutes, which is actually too long, misogyny and rampant bloodshed has been the only statement that the director has tried to portray in ‘Animal’. I refrained from watching it for a long time after hearing its reviews, but still gave it a try recently and the amount of anxiety it gave me is unimaginable. Basically, to prove his love for his father, Ranvijay (Ranbir Kapoor) goes far to seek revenge which turns out to be extremely violent and even traumatic for the audience, at some points.

Toxic masculinity in full glory

Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s portrayal of toxic masculinity in the character comes to be visible in the entire movie. Ranvijay compliments Geetanjali’s (Rashmika Mandana) broad pelvis by saying she has a good child bearing ability, as a form of marriage proposal. Geetanjali surrenders to his alpha male personality, not once, but repeatedly. Post an injury, he deliberately compares his pain to that of menstrual cramps complaining how high pain tolerance level he possesses compared to women, which is definitely a useless comparison. He asks his lover to lick his shoes as a proof of love towards him and even goes a little far in justifying his infidelity as just a diplomatic strategy and expects his wife to forgive him just the way she forgives his other crimes.

Even the plot of the movie was very unconvincing. Sandeep Reddy Vanga portrayed some pointless scenes that posed nothing but negative impacts.

Some better movies to watch

It’s a hardcore commercial movie and the director believes in violence and misogyny as a form of entertainment. Yet, it overshadowed its contemporary films like Karan Johar’s ‘Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani’ that casts a liberal outlook. Ranveer Singh did a good job as Rocky Randhawa and his character was highly appreciated. The movie problematises misogyny, racism, body shaming and normalizes imperfections. The pitch of ‘Soch nayi par swad Wahi’ for their company’s advertisement was a slap to the gender division of labour. Even after belonging from an orthodox family, Rocky learns Kathak from Rani’s father which proves dance has no gender. Yet, after all these, Filmfare award for the best actor (male) was received by Kapoor for ‘Animal’. Karan Johar’s postmodern thoughts couldn’t withstand Vanga’s misogyny.

Not that there were no other alternatives. Vickey Kaushal once again proved himself by playing the role of India’s first Field Marshal, Sam Manekshaw in ‘Sam Bahadur’. His gentleman attitude was far very convincing and soothing to the mind than that of Kapoor’s character, the traits of some of which were very unnecessary. Shahrukh Khan gave some of the best movies in 2023 for which he could have been a consideration. It’s high time to realise which way our society is heading towards. If movies are a reflection of our society and in turn also influence us, then such patriarchal traits shouldn’t be portrayed or encouraged in a society that talks about progressiveness and equality.

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About the Author

Lahari Bandyopadhyay

I'm a post graduating student who aspires to be a research scholar. My areas of interest are gender studies, human rights and social justice. read more...

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