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Verified Member MouthShut Verified Member
Mumbai India
Like Father, (Un)like Son !
Dec 04, 2023 07:53 AM 656 Views





A major chunk of our society has been patriarchal as part of its lineage, irrespective of class(elite, middle or others). In such kind of setups, the male is expected to be the bread winner, the dominating partner, and the protector of the family. The trend is subsequently continued with the son being typically raised to follow his father, take over the mantle at the right time and make the family proud. Now, irrespective of the interpersonal equations, both father and son end up expecting idealistic morals from each other as part of societal norms. This brings a complexity in relationship, posing unusual challenges at different stages of life. Secondly, this also affects inter-gender connections and a person’s overall approach towards life.

Animal(directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga) begins with a similar storyline. Balbir Singh(Anil Kapoor) a business tycoon runs Swastik Steels, in Delhi. His family comprises of his wife Jyoti(Charu Shankar), son Ranvijay(Ranbir Kapoor) and daughters Reet(Saloni Batra) and Roop( Anshul Chauhan). Balbir Singh is busy man immersed into work 365x24x7 and hardly has time for family. Ranvijay is academically brilliant and adores his father to the hilt, tries hard to impress him with every possible action of his. But Balbir is never seen reciprocating the same. As time passes, Ranvijay now considered as problematic by his family, decides to move to another country till things sort out. He gets married to his school crush Geethanjali(Rashmika Mandana), becomes a father to two kids, and settles down in the U.S. One fine day, news comes in that Balbir is shot at by unknown assailants. Ranvijay without thinking much, rushes to his Delhi home(with his wife & kids) and re-unites with his family. Though Balbir escapes death, Ranvijay is convinced that the threat to their lives has not subsided and he as the next in line needed to take charge of the situation. Deep down inside him there also lies hope of his father acknowledging his love someday. Hereon, Ranvijay’s transition from a restless rebellious teenager to an intelligent yet ruthless gang leader is how the film progresses here on.

The first half sprints like a marathon full of high-octane drama and ends on a very high note. Post interval, things move at slow pace, and there is quite a bit of cinematic liberty here. But, towards the last 30 minutes we have interesting twists and surprises. The film draws heavy inspiration from The Godfather as well. From an entertainment perspective, the viewer is engaged throughout but editing wise, perhaps a 10-15 min reduction may have helped in reducing the overall length.

The cinematography by Santhana Krishnan and Amit Roy is top notch no doubt. The special effects, Prosthetics & Set Design are all up to the mark. The soundtrack & background music align well with different moods covered in the film. All composers JAM8, Vishal Mishra, Jaani, Manan Bhardwaj, Shreyas Puranik, Ashim Kemson and Harshwardhan Rameshwar including the lyric writers Manoj Muntashir, Raj Shekhar, Siddharth-Garima, Jaani, Manan Bhardwaj, Ashim Kemson and Bhupinder Babbal have done a fabulous job. The action sequences are Hollywood level, both from an execution standpoint & the extent of gore.

The dialogue writing(Saurabh Gupta) is bound to draw diverse reactions. While casually sexist conversations were conveniently ignored in the 90s, contemporary youth is a little more sensitive and tactful on this aspect. Having said that, the film does have its share of adrenalin rush & goose bump moments which keep the entertainment quotient high.

The film highlights a few essential positives on nurturing healthy relationships & transparency within family members, and among extended families. But the repeated hammering of ‘alpha-male’ qualities, a man’s world and ‘protective masculinity’ supposedly meant to induce humor, appear like subtle glorification.

Performance wise, Anil Kapoor does complete justice to his role. The assertiveness as a businessman and vulnerability as a father is depicted perfectly. Shakti Kapoor(as Mishra), Balbir’s right hand man provides adequate support. Veterans Suresh Oberoi & Prem Chopra are wasted. Upendra Limaye & Babloo Prithviraj excel in cameo appearance. Saurabh Sachdeva is superb. Bobby Deol makes a terrific comeback and is ‘bloody’ brilliant but deserved more screen space. Anshul, Saloni, Charu Shankar play their respective parts well. Tripti Dhimri leaves a strong mark in a shorter role. Rashmika Mandana does well in parts but her character deserved better writing. The crusader of the film is none other than Ranbir Kapoor as it was obvious from the trailers. RK is just phenomenal, right from his experimental looks, body language, intensity and voice modulations. Time and again he has proved his mettle & edge over peers and continues to do so with Animal.

On-the-whole, keeping aside our moral compass, Animal is a decent film worth a one-time watch, purely for its entertainment value and ‘paisa vasool’ moments.

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