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The long awaited ranbir kapoor starer promised a strong story detailing the struggles of an ignored son, battling angst that replaced the fatherly love. It claimed to be an emotional, violence filled blockbuster, but one part really overshadowed the other.


The movie offered a strong first half with the audiences feeling the emotional disconnect between the father son duo, the undying love of the latter and the strong sense of wanting to prove himself. The action sequences were skillfully crafted with Arjan Vally exemplifying the grit, beat matching punches and a brand new form of Ranbir Kapoor. Vanga gave new life to the erstwhile emotional actor, truly showcasing his range. The performances by the cast are commendable, although under utilized, with Bobby Deol and Rashmika Mandanna really standing out. The screenplay showed a lot of promise, the interval block was exhilarating, not to forget the cliffhanger presented in the post credits. So what went wrong with this recipe of obvious success?


Well, there was a pretty strong disconnect with the story promised and what was really delivered. The film alluded to family drama and the absentee father premise but seemed to have lost the plot half way in. the focus suddenly shifts to just one angry remorseless man, excessive violence and half hearted plot points. The run time is annoyingly long with uncomfortable humor and an unnecessary sequence with Tripti Dimri. Bobby Deol’s character is cheated out of screen time, not allowing the audience to feel the intensity of his actions. 


The second half is long, tiresome with little to offer. Most story and resolution finds its way in the last 30 minutes of the movie with motives being revealed, emotions being felt and the final fight sequence being played out with an unfitting background score by B Praak. Sandeep Reddy Vanga seems to have fumbled the bag with the final edit and pacing of the screenplay, leaving it rather haphazard. 


While Ranbir plays his role as Ranvijay Singh quite flawlessly, Anil Kapoor’s Balraj Singh seemed to have a lesser impact. The father – son disconnect could have been much better explored and Balraj had the potential of being a much stronger screen presence. The talented Tripti Dimri as the mistress felt like an odd addition with a weak pay-off. Rashmika’s Geetanjali was beautifully played with rightful anger and conviction, marred by an underdeveloped arc. Bobby Deol as the antagonist made the most of his short time on the screen, really showing his merit as an actor. 


Vanga is no stranger to controversy with his previous blockbusters Arjun Reddy and its subsequent hindi remake Kabir Singh. Having been accused of misogynistic leads and complacent love interests, Animal is really no different. Vanga claims to present toxic relationships and intense passion-filled love marred with violence. The concept is interesting but his execution often falls short. The female characters in Animal are place holders and props for the male character’s satisfaction. The agency is limited with Rashmika being the most fleshed out female lead. Vanga manages to show the real intensity of violence faced by women in real life, but it’s all unintentional which makes it all the more terrifying. It’s uncomfortable and triggering.


While watching this, I kept thinking back to Al Pacino’s Scarface, the story of an underdog who quickly becomes the antagonist of his own story. I believe Animal had the potential to present something similar. The last 5 minutes of the film show Ranvijay’s remorse, some halfhearted consequences of his bloodlust and the emotional imbalance inside him as he watches his wife drive away, but it isn’t enough. The concept of the film is capable but the execution is flawed and scattered. The last 10 minutes, including the post credit, were strong and promising, having been packed with most of the trailer fodder. Here’s to hoping the sequel delivers on its promise.

Rating - 2/5 stars

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