Beneath the Surface: Animal's Franchise Predicament
In "Animal," Sandeep Reddy Vanga's attempt to redefine Hindi action cinema becomes entangled in the pitfalls of franchise aspirations and a recurring theme of toxic masculinity. Ranvijay, played by Ranbir Kapoor, emerges as a complex character, a product of privilege and entitlement, navigating a tumultuous relationship with his distant father. While the film teases the potential for a psychology-driven narrative, it succumbs to a disjointed portrayal of relationships and a lacklustre execution of promised raw violence. Vanga's provocative approach and overt dismissal of concerns contribute to a narrative that, despite a talented cast, fails to transcend its genre, leaving "Animal" lost in the jungle of missed opportunities for genuine cinematic innovation.
In the realm of Hindi action cinema, Sandeep Reddy Vanga's latest offering, "Animal," emerges as a tantalizing opportunity to carve a fresh, psychology-driven path. However, as the narrative unfolds, it becomes increasingly evident that the director may be more enticed by the allure of franchise potential than the pursuit of a controlled, coherent storyline. With a backdrop of privilege, entitlement, and deep-seated issues, "Animal" introduces us to Ranvijay, played by Ranbir Kapoor, a character whose complexities mirror Vanga's previous forays into the world of flawed protagonists.
The Echoes of the Past:
Ranvijay's journey begins with a tumultuous relationship with his stern and emotionally distant father, industrialist Balbir Singh, portrayed by Anil Kapoor. The familial turbulence sows the seeds of Ranvijay's twisted psyche, setting the stage for a tale marked by revenge, territorialism, and unchecked violence. The film unfolds as Ranvijay's life weaves through love, marriage, and parenthood, yet Vanga's lack of finesse in portraying the nuances of these relationships leaves the audience yearning for more depth.
Toxic Masculinity Redux:
Following the controversial success of "Kabir Singh," Vanga unabashedly dives into the realm of toxic masculinity once again, presenting Ranvijay as a cheeky expansion of his previous cinematic landscape. The film, resembling a cinematic cocktail of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Kamal Haasan, thrives on provocations, baiting critics with escalating instances of toxicity. The director's self-aggrandizing approach and overt dismissal of concerns with juvenile declarations contribute to a narrative that struggles to transcend its limitations.
Exploring the Male Psyche:
While Vanga demonstrates a certain proficiency in exploring and unclasping the male psyche, particularly through Ranvijay's character, the film loses its edge when it transforms into an action-packed spectacle. Despite promises of raw, lacerating violence, the execution falls short, lacking the finesse of directors like Tarantino or Karthik Subbaraj. As the film unfolds, it becomes apparent that the pursuit of franchise potential overshadows the potential to break new ground in Hindi action cinema.
"Animal" had the opportunity to blaze a trail, introducing a fresh, psychology-driven approach to Hindi action movies. Yet, amidst the clashes of privilege, the echoes of toxic masculinity, and the pursuit of franchise potential, the film stumbles in delivering a truly innovative narrative. Sandeep Reddy Vanga's penchant for provocations and his circuitous approach to editing may appeal to some, but it leaves "Animal" caught in the jungle of missed opportunities. As the film grapples with a bloated runtime and a thin plot, it ultimately succumbs to the temptations of franchise aspirations rather than the pursuit of a controlled, coherent cinematic experience. "Animal" may roar in theaters, but it leaves audiences pondering whether the jungle of Hindi action cinema is ready for a more evolved, nuanced beast.