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Animal Review: Ranbir Kapoor gives his career's best in Sandeep Reddy Vanga's film, but beware

Sandeep Reddy Vanga answers Kabir Singh's critics with a blockbuster, heavy on violence, and usual 'vanga-isms.'

Shruti Kaushal Shruti Kaushal Updated on: December 01, 2023 17:06 IST
Actor Ranbir Kapoor
Actor Ranbir KapoorPhoto:SCREENGRAB FROM TRAILER
  • Movie Name:Animal
  • Critics Rating: 3 / 5
  • Release Date: December 1
  • Director: Sandeep Reddy Vanga
  • Genre: Crime/Drama

Before watching Animal, I watched Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s viral interview with a popular film critic when Kabir Singh was being bashed for myriad reasons. He compared Sanju, Sanjay Dutt’s biopic, to Kabir and somehow he made sense. So, dear readers, I am not getting into Vanga’s idea of love relationships and am turning off my ‘woke mode’ for the review because Animal is unstoppable. Trust me, I feel the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer is Vanga’s reply to the lot who heavily criticised Kabir Singh in 2019. But a little reminder! It is a ‘Man’s world’. The film is gory and definitely not for the faint-hearted. 

As Animal opens, we see ‘buddha’ Ranvijay aka Vijay Blabir Singh, played by Ranbir Kapoor, narrating a chucklesome story of a monkey and his ‘toy’. The switch from ‘buddha’ Vijay to the school-going Ranvijay needs a mention. The film traces the story of Vijay who longs for his papa Balbir Singh, played by Anil Kapoor, and his affection. Always ignored and neglected, Vijay can still go beyond limits to impress him. However, Balbir Singh, who agrees that he is not the best father in the world,  carries on with his inherited family business, Swastik. Papa, papa, papa, papa, didi, didi, didi, didi! Within half an hour of the film, I wrote a song, in my head, on Papa-didi as I waited for the story to move forward. 

It would be odd if Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s central character in a film is not maniacal taking outrageous steps leading to self-destruction. Vijay’s one decision to protect her didi takes him away from his papa. But, he returns full grown-up and doubles the swag, which might be questioned by a few cinema aficionados. He woos Geethanjali, played by Rashmika Mandanna, with his centuries-old ‘alpha-male’ story. However, his unapologetic personality makes it difficult to bridge his relationship with his papa, who ousts him to the US.  

Vijay, along with his wife and kids, returns to India after his papa gets shot, and solemnly takes an oath to slit the throat of the person behind it. The story progresses as his hunt for the ‘man’ begins and drives him mad, affecting his love life. 

The runtime of Animal is 3 hours 21 minutes and it will leave you yearning for more. I would be lying if I told you that this is not the only longest film that I have watched of late. But, the screenwriting and background score is such that I didn’t want to leave my seat, during the teeny tiny interval, to get popcorn.

Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s hero in Animal is dicey and mad, which I’m sure will spark a debate on social media. However, after watching Ranbir Kapoor in his recent releases, Shamshera and Tu Jhooti Main Makkar, I can confidently tag him as one of the finest actors in Hindi cinema. His transition from young Vijay to ‘Animal’ Vijay can be ‘morally wrong’, however, Kapoor owns the film. Anil Kapoor’s performance need not be discussed. I mean, come on! The man is 66. I know it’s hard to digest given his fitness and performances. The ‘not-so-veteran’ actor has already proved his mettle and can never NOT do justice to any of his roles. 

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Speaking of Rashmika Mandanna, often tagged as ‘overrated’, somehow seemed a total misfit for Geethanjali’s role. The fact that Vanga has only a few dialogues for his female leads saves the boat as Mandanna’s dialogue delivery was all over the place and was hard to decipher. 

Bobby Deol, who played Abrar, deserves a special mention. I could hear a series of cheers upon his entry and the audience raising ‘Lord Bobby’ slogans. Tripti Dimri’s guest appearance cannot be ignored either. Her onscreen chemistry with Kapoor is the show stealer. From Laila Majnu to Qala to Animal, the actor has come a long way.

Animal is Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s third film. A few bits of the film don’t make any sense and are lengthy for no reason. The never-ending action sequences are taxing. However, it is entertaining and leaves you intrigued for Animal Park.

Also Read: Sam Bahadur Movie Review: Vicky Kaushal brings Sam Manekshaw to life again with same gait, roaring voice, attitude

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