After the success of Kabir Singh in Bollywood, Sandeep Reddy Vanga has now arrived with his second directorial in Hindi with Animal. Starring Ranbir Kapoor in the lead, Animal also stars Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Rashmika Mandanna, Tripti Dimri, Shakti Kapoor, Prem Chopra, Suresh Oberoi, among others. If you were shocked and appalled by Kabir Singh and/or its Telugu original Arjun Reddy, then be prepared to have your jaws dropped with the over-amplified display of numbing violence and shocking misogyny as Vanga creates one of the most despicable protagonists in Bollywood history ever. Except that he also seeks out empathy for this man-child. Animal Movie Review: Ranbir Kapoor's Provocative Performance Can't Rescue Sandeep Reddy Vanga's Exhausting and Disturbing Ode to Toxic Masculinity.
Basically, the plot of Animal is about Ranvijay Singh Balbir, the attention-seeking son of tycoon Balbir Singh, who decides to go after the people who attempted to kill his father. As he destroys his enemies, Ranvijay also strips off shreds of the remaining humanity within him, much to the dismay of his wife Geetanjali. Bobby Deol plays Abrar Haque, the main antagonist, who later turns out to be a cousin of Ranvijay settled in the UK and seeking to kill Balbir so that he and his brothers can covet his property, which they believe belongs to their father. Ranvijay kills one of Abrar's brothers before the interval, though he didn't know their family connection then. But when he faces Abrar in a bloodied shirtless climax fight, relationships are already bared out, and it is a fight to finish. Even though Abrar seems to have the upper hand in physicality, it is clear who would win the fight. But the real story doesn't end there. After all, Animal is supposed to be a father-son relationship drama, right? Right?
The Father Apologises...
After killing Abrar by brutally slitting his throat, Ranvijay returns bloodied but delirious with the victory of finally having saved his father. His family members, be it his wife or the father, are not that happy with what he has turned out to be, though. As the house celebrates Diwali, Ranvijay (who has shaved off his beard) goes to invite his father into his room to join the celebration when Balbir drops another shocking news - he has fourth-stage cancer (duh!). He doesn't relent when Ranvijay insists on his father accompanying him to the USA where he claims there are better facilities to treat him.
Watch the Trailer of Animal:
Ranvijay makes his father confront his own uncaring attitude towards him as a child - the film wants us to believe that's why he is the way he is - through an enactment of one of Ranvijay's childhood interactions with Balbir (the opening scene of the trailer). Balbir later apologises to Ranvijay by reciting the wish he had read in young Ranvijay's letter about being born as Balbir's father in the next birth. Now, who would remind them that Ranvijay was an ass to his own kids, trying to scare their mother with a gun and never even shown spending time with any of them while on his obsessive mission to protect his father!
The Wife Walks Away...
While Ranvijay may have found peace with his father, things have gone beyond repair with his wife, who walks out on him with their kids with her brother coming to their home to pick them up. And yet the movie still leaves hope for reconciliation for Ranvijay when his young son runs out of the car to go and embrace him. Because mere papa the great!
The End-Credit Scene
As the makers fairly warned the fans on the eve of the film's release, there is an important end-credit scene in case you are too numb with the three-hour-twenty-one-minute long runtime and walk out as the credits roll. Remember Zoya? The girl is still alive, and she has returned to her original employers or what is left of them. Abrar's interpreter brother Abid is revealed to have been spared in the climax fight, but it is the reveal of Aziz, Abrar's other brother - whom Zoya earlier revealed to Ranvijay as the 'butcher' - that will shock the audience. Animal: Tripti Dimri's Nude Scene From Ranbir Kapoor-Sandeep Reddy Vanga's Film Leaks on Social Media!
It turns out that he has the same face as Ranvijay. If you are shocked as to what's going on, well, remember how Ranvijay used a doppelganger to protect his father? The villains used the same idea, as Aziz has now undergone surgery to look like his enemy.
Why, you ask? Zoya had also revealed this part of the plan to Ranvijay earlier in her confession where she told him that this doppelganger would then kill Balbir, making him wonder why his own son would murder him. Zoya was actually sent to Ranvijay to observe all his physical features so that Aziz could look exactly like him. If you think this whole plan is convoluted, then I wonder how Aziz would react when they learn Balbir's days are anyway numbered, since he is dying of cancer.
Also, Zoya, who also happens to be Aziz's concubine, is revealed to be pregnant, and Aziz is curious to know if the child is his or Ranvijay's. He also tells Abrar's third wife that he would marry her and adopt her kids. In case you are wondering why he is called the 'butcher', the film goes on to show that when Aziz brutally butchers two of Ranvijay's captured men. The scene ends with Aziz facing the camera while the title 'Animal Park' is splashed across the scene, confirming this would be the title if and when a sequel for Animal is made. Ranbir Kapoor-Sandeep Reddy Vanga To Return With Animal 2? Leaked Ending Hints at Possibilities of Sequel.
Breaking The Fourth Wall
But the movie doesn't end here. Remember Animal actually began with an older-looking Ranvijay in the year 2056 when their company completed its centenary. Well, we return to that geriatric Ranbir who now walks into the frame, looks at the camera and repeats the obscene gesture of pointing at his manhood, that was the punchline of the joke he made in the opening scene.
There are two things we can say about this scene. One is that this is Sandeep Reddy Vanga's advance response to the critics of this film - including yours truly - of what he cares about our opinion. Fair enough.
Secondly, it also leaves us intrigued about which Ranbir is this - Ranvijay or the altered Aziz. Since both are blatantly vulgar and offensive, it is hard to determine who this character is, and we may have to wait for Animal Park to arrive to get the answer. I am shuddering merely at the thought of that!
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 01, 2023 11:04 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).