'Animal' Roars Loud: Sandeep Reddy Vanga Delivers a Cinematic Knockout!

In an interview to certain "elite" critic after Kabir Singh's (2019) success, director Sandeep Reddy Vanga had condescendingly requested to not hurry to review his movies. He also warned the critic that he would show "what violence is" in his next movie. Well with Animal, Vanga has definitely delivered his promise of violence and made a seemingly critic proof movie as those one or two star reviews don't matter anymore. The film was housefull in a generally empty Sunday morning show at Citylight Cinema, Matunga!!

Indeed, Animal is a masterpiece (with its share of flaws) conceived and executed in a bloody abattoir. It is as impactful as that axe crashing the head of Ranbir's opponent. You may like it, hate it but you just can't ignore this movie. Surely!!

The basic theme of a neglected son (Ranbir Kapoor) going to any length for his father (Anil Kapoor) bears resemblance to the Sanjay Dutt- Kabir Bedi track in Feroz Khan's not-so-successful Yalgaar (1992). But Vanga chooses to take a different route of highly sadistic violence and blatant male chauvinism. In one scene, Ranbir's character praises his girlfriend (Rashmika Mandanna) pelvis and states she will bear him good children. Ouch!!

Expectedly, Vanga extracts outstanding performances from his prime cast. Ranbir Kapoor is extraordinary and his life trajectory, from a school kiddo firing bullets in his sister's classroom to an oldie telling a monkey joke over a glass of whiskey, is simply superb. The actor is truly a delight to watch in every scene!!

Anil Kapoor is reliably first rate as the father who finds a criminal in his doting son. Having said that, the reason why he neglects his son right since childhood remains unexplored. Tripti Dimri leaves an impact even in a small role. She has also exposed a lot in that sex scene with Ranbir. Bobby Deol gets just three pivotal scenes and nails it. His mute villain speaks volumes through his fiery eyes. Take a bow, Lord Bobby!! Rashmika Mandanna isn't as bad as the trolling she got after the trailer release. Her role though a main heroine, isn't developed optimally!!

On the flipside, the three hours thirty minutes runtime (with interval) gets a bit overbearing as the film's tempo dips at several places in the second half. Vanga's self indulgence leads to certain long drawn scenes particularly the Ranbir-Rashmika verbal duel during Karva Chauth and that entire village sequence where Ranbir goes to recruit his fighter team.

Finally, Animal relies heavily on its violence. The blood splurting action sequences are never seen before in Bollywood. You will need nerves of steel to stomach it. The pre-interval carnage in a hotel will leave you flabbergasted. Ditto for the bloodied climax in an airfield!! And in case you feel you have seen it all, please wait for the end credits sequence. The bloodbath ain't over yet in Vanga's world. Theres an Animal Park coming!!

Ratings on some key aspects* :
1. Acting : 5/5 (Ranbir Kapoor)
2. Direction : 4/5
3. Music : 3.5/5
4. Story, Screenplay and Dialogue : 3.5/5
5. Cinematography : 4/5
6. Editing : 3/5
7. Costume Design : 4/5
8. Special Effects and VFX : 4/5
9. Action : 5/5
10. Production Quality : 4/5

#SNRating for #Animal : 4 stars out of 5.

- Sumeet Nadkarni

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* - The overall film rating is not a simple average of all ratings on key aspects but a weighted average of the ratings where some crucial aspects (like direction, acting, story and screenplay etc) are assigned more weightage than others.

#Animal #ActionDrama #HindiMovie #BollywoodFilm #RanbirKapoor #AnilKapoor #RashmikaMandanna #TriptiDimri #SandeepReddyVanga #BollywoodReview #Filmreview  #TheatricalRelease #OTTRelease #Netflix  #SNRatings

#SNRatings barometer:
1 star = Poor
1 & 1/2 star = Below average/ Avoidable
2 stars = Average
2 & 1/2 stars = Above average/ Risk it
3 stars = Good enough/ Endurable
3 & 1/2 stars = Definitely worth a watch
4 stars = Very good
5 stars = Masterpiece/ Outstanding.

2023 SNRatings. 

About Sumeet Nadkarni:

Sumeet Nadkarni is a Chartered Accountant by profession and a self-styled film critic by passion. He reviews Bollywood movies and OTT releases on his popular personal blog #SNRatings. His film-related articles have appeared in leading publications in India. With a keen eye for cinematic detail and a knack for insightful critiques, Sumeet brings a unique perspective to the world of Indian cinema. Follow him for the latest Bollywood insights and unbiased film reviews. #FilmCritique #BollywoodReviewer


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