Every woman in Sandeep Vanga Reddy’s beast of a film gets abused. Ranbir’s character Ranvijay’s mother gets shouted at and perhaps physically hit (can’t remember since there is so much physical violence in the film, most of its irrelevant and indigestible).
Ranvijay’s wife Geetanjali (Rashmika Mandanna, plucky but wasted) gets pushed around, and so does Zoya (Tipti Dimri) who comes into Ranvijay’s life late in the protracted storytelling. Ranvijay orders a Mercedes the colour of her hickey. He is prone to be eccentric. At one point he discusses public hairs with an arms dealer named Freddy (Upendra Limaye) who like anything but ‘Freddy’.
Then there Ranvijay’s sister who is regularly assaulted by her husband (at one point he throws a lit cigarette on her, a very Vanga thing to do). My apologies if I’ve left out any of the ladies. Director Sandeep Vanga spares nobody, man or woman. His characters are bloodthirsty billionaires. We are told the Singhs are the richest family in India (the Ambanis won’t like this). Yet, the patriarch Balbir Singh (Anil Kapoor) gets murderous attacks every two reels….or is it three, the body count is so high the film gradually begins to look like a spacious morgue.
Like Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s previous two outings into politically incorrect machismo, Animal, for all its hype and frenzy, is grossly problematic. A hero who thinks he is not a criminal in spite of mowing down hundreds, and who repeatedly threatens to punch his wife and in one sequence repeatedly uses her bra strap as a sling to hurt her back.
The machine gun plays a prominent part in this ultra-violent film. There is an entire lengthy episode where a fully-indigenous machine gun, which looks like one of those fun rides in a carnival , becomes the hero of the show while Ranbir takes a back seat.
The lengthy film is edited to spotlight verbal and physical violence. Acts of horrific aggression are insouciantly normalized only because…well,the director thinks it is fine for characters to slap, maim, bully, humiliate, torture and slay one another.
Sandeep Vanga seems to be a very disturbed filmmaker. It’s not just his characters who need help.