Animal Movie Review
Sandeep Reddy Vanga who shook the entire nation with ‘Arjun Reddy’/’Kabir Singh’ is arriving with ‘Animal’ now. With Ranbir Kapoor as the hero, he readied a movie that is based on father and son love story carved in blood. The trailer raised the expectations on the film massively and hype is on a whole new level. With the runtime of 201 minutes, the movie released today and let us see how the movie turned out.
Ranvijay (Ranbir Kapoor) is the son of Balbir Singh (Anil Kapoor) who is the owner of Swasthik Enterprises. He is a millionaire busy with his businesses and doesn’t give time for his family. Vijay wants his father’s love which he never manages to get since his childhood. Vijay is sent to boarding school due to his behavior. He meets Geethanjali (Rashmika) who is his friend’s sister and they both get married and have kids. They live abroad for 8 years before finally returning to India as Balbir gets shot. Vijay takes control from there and decides to kill the people responsible for it. What happens after that? Who attacked Balbir? Why did they attack him? Will Ranvijay finally earn his father’s love? Answers to these questions form the rest of the movie.
Sandeep Reddy Vanga once said that he would show critics what a violent film is after he received a lot of backlash for ‘Kabir Singh’. Looking at ‘Animal’, we will be shocked by the level of violence in the movie. It is not limited to bloodshed in action sequences. The protagonist is violent in every emotion whether it is romancing the heroine or speaking to his father or defending his sister or arguing with his brother-in-law. Some scenes are scary not because of the violence or brutality. While many thought that ‘Arjun Reddy’ was extreme but ‘Animal’ shows a different dimension to ‘extreme’. Sandeep created a havoc on the screen. For some it may be more enjoyable than ‘Arjun Reddy’. For some others, it may be unbearable due to the overdose of boldness. This is an out-and-out Sandeep Vanga film which will be a feast to people who match his wavelength. The regular story, slow screenplay, excessive runtime and extreme scenes as well as dialogues may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Hero is the son of the biggest businessman in this country. Does that mean that he can do anything? But the things he does in the movie defies all kinds of logic. He walks into his sister’s college with an AK47 and fires it to find out who ragged her sister. He hurts the people who teased her with his car. After deciding to take revenge on those who tried to kill his father, he kills hundreds of people who came to kill him with a customized machine gun. They are not logical and one expects such scenes in regular commercial movies. But Sandeep Reddy Vanga is a new-age director who made a cult film like ‘Arjun Reddy’. Him taking this ‘don’t care’ approach is a bit shocking but he himself revealed that he is a big fan of 90’s commercial movies so it is understandable. But these scenes are going to be cheered in theatres and it makes the masses go wild. Where Sandeep Reddy shows his mark is in the hero’s characterisation. It is a character-driven film where the hero is madly in love with his father. Each and every action of his is somehow connected to his father. But the main focus is always on the hero and what he goes through since childhood and Sandeep failed to show the intensity of father and son bond in a more convincing fashion. Right from the start, it is promoted as a father-son love story carved in blood but it becomes all about the hero after a certain point. If we connect with the protagonist, the 201-minute runtime goes by easily. What he does in various situations drives the movie forward.
There are a lot of high moments in this movie despite being a regular revenge drama. There are not many twists and turns as we know what’s happening and what’s going to happen. But it is the hero’s character and the treatment given by Sandeep Reddy Vanga which stands out. He established how the kid who doesn’t get father’s love turns into a violent man very well. The way the hero showcases his love towards his father is through violence. This is why he chooses violence and bloodshed all the time. At one point in time, we get more scared looking at the hero than the villains. Hero himself is so scary that the brutal villain introduction scene also pales in comparison. This is the USP of the movie and the first half gives you an adrenaline rush. But it is the second half where drama takes the driving seat and the film slows down drastically. We will have to wait for that adrenaline rush for a long time in the second half. It only arrives when the hero decide to go after the villain. The antagonist’s role should have been longer but the fight scene is quite intense and emotional. The first scene in the trailer is used in the climax and it works well. One expects the movie to end with rolling credits but Sandeep Reddy shows his mark with the post-credit scene. The audience leave with a certain high after the scene. ‘Animal’ is not a perfect film but it gives you a mad ride. It will be a feast for some and a nightmare for a few. But it definitely stands out for its madness and uniqueness.
It is safe to say that there is no other choice for this film except Ranbir Kapoor. He did not play such an aggressive and impulsive character before but he fits like a glove from the word go. There is a reason why people like Mahesh and Rajamouli laud him as the best actor. He delivers his best and the way he transforms from endearing to angry and raging to vulnerable is something to marvel at. Right from the start to end, this film is a Ranbir show and the phenomenal actor hits it out of the park in this role. His hard work is evident and he will truly go to the next level with this film.
Rashmika Mandanna did well. She gets a chance to showcase her acting skills and she was convincing in her role. She looked beautiful on the screen. Anil Kapoor did a very good job. The anger and worry in his eyes are showcased brilliantly. His subtle change of expressions are great to watch. Bobby Deol did not get much screentime but he excels as a mute guy. He is terrific to say the least and does wonderfully in the runway action episode. Actors like Shakti Kapoor, Babloo Prithiveeraj, Tripti Dimri, Upendra Limaye and others did justice to their roles. The rest of the cast are okay.
‘Animal’ is a film that is backed by great technical quality. The visuals are very sharp and the action episodes are picturised in a very brutal yet stylish manner. There are a lot of closeup shots in the movie which brought out the brilliance of the actors. Amit Roy’s frames are beautiful and suited the tone of the movie. The songs are already very popular and they were placed perfectly. Every song takes the story forward and the background music by Harshwardhan Rameshwar haunts you. There are some scores that will play in your mind for a long time. The emotion of many scenes were elevated by the music. The whistle and ‘Papa Meri Jaan’ were used very well. The production values are top-notch. The editing is nearly perfect though the pace slows down a bit in the second half. Despite the lengthy duration, the movie never bores you.
Writer-director Sandeep Reddy Vanga delivers once again. He is an expert in writing emotions and picturising them well on the screen. He is successful in making the audience feel the rage, love, anger and sadness of the protagonist. His screenplay is quite good and establishes all the characters and their backstories wonderfully. His trademark hero characterisation is the biggest highlight and he masterfully shows the flaws of the hero as well. The first half is action-packed with a lot of high moments but Sandeep Reddy slows down the narration in the second part as it mainly focuses on drama. Some people may feel that it was a letdown. Sandeep Reddy Vanga never compromises and went with his own creative instinct once again. This may not go down well with everyone but it is what he delivered.
Verdict: ‘Animal’ – Wild, Intense & Dramatic