Celebrities who criticised Ranbir Kapoor's Animal: Javed Akhtar to Kangana | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

Celebrities who criticised Ranbir Kapoor's Animal: Javed Akhtar to Kangana Ranaut

Jan 20, 2024 09:54 PM IST

Sandeep Reddy Vanga's Animal revolves around a troubled father-son relationship. The film raked in over ₹900 crore at the worldwide box office.

Director Sandeep Reddy Vanga's Animal released in theatres in December last year. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Rashmika Mandanna, Triptii Dimri, Prem Chopra, and Suresh Oberoi among others. Animal became one of the top-grossing Hindi films of 2023. (Also Read | Celebs ‘cringe’ as Anurag Kashyap praises Animal and Sandeep Reddy Vanga)

Many celebrities criticised Ranbir Kapoor's Animal.
Many celebrities criticised Ranbir Kapoor's Animal.

It has, however, been criticised by a section of viewers and critics for its poor portrayal of women, misogyny, and graphic violence. Many celebrities, including Javed Akhtar, Konkona Sensharma, Kangana Ranaut, Taapsee Pannu, and RJ Balaji among others slammed the film.

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1) Javed Akhtar

While talking at the Ajanta Ellora International Film Festival in Aurangabad, Javed Akhtar talked about the kind of films that gain success today. Without naming Animal, the veteran lyricist and screenwriter said, "I believe it’s a testing time for the young filmmakers today as to what kind of characters they want to create that the society will applaud. For instance, if there’s a film in which a man asks a woman to lick his shoe or if a man says it’s okay to slap a woman, and if the film is a super duper hit, then that’s very dangerous.”

Javed was referring to a key scene in Animal, where the film's lead character Rannvijay (Ranbir Kapoor) asked his girlfriend Zoya (Triptii Dimri) to lick his shoes to prove her love for him. The slapping was seemingly in reference to Sandeep’s 2019 film Kabir Singh, which starred Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani.

2) Kangana Ranaut

Kangana Ranaut, responding to a fan, wrote on X, “Paid negativity for my films is overwhelming, I have been fighting hard so far but even audiences are encouraging women beating films where they are treated like sex objects and asked to lick shoes, this is deeply discouraging for someone who has been dedicating her life for woman empowerment films, might shift career in coming years, want to give best years of my life to something worthwhile.”

She had also said, “The latest trend of films where women are reduced to mere flower on the wall, violently and disgracefully stripped of their dignity and clothes is beyond appalling. Reminds me of the time when I entered films, vulgar item numbers, quick in and out sleazy and dumb roles against older men were prevalent."

3) Konkona Sensharma

During ANI Podcast with Smita Prakash, Konkona Sensharma said, “I don't want to see violence just for the sake of it. There has to be a reason why it's there in the film, because it connects to the character, it connects to the plot or whatever, it has to justify itself. That is one thing. Why is it there? What is the intent of the director? But from what I understand, I may be mistaken, I have not watched Animal because I don't feel it's my kind of film."

"I haven't really been drawn to it even from the reviews an things. Also, I am aware of his previous work and he stands by that work, the director, where stalking has been glorified, certain violence has been made acceptable in relationships, and that's not what I stand for. If it's done very well, I don't mind watching it. But that's not what I have heard," she had said.

4) Taapsee Pannu

In an interview with Raj Shamani on his YouTube channel, Taapsee Pannu said that she didn't watch the film. She had added, “Lot of people told me too much about it (Animal). Look, I am not an extremist, so I agree to disagree to a lot of people... don't compare it to Hollywood and say 'If you liked Gone Girl, how can you not like Animal'? You are catering to a different audience."

The actor added, "In Hollywood, people don't start copying actors' hairstyles from movies or using a film's line in real life. They also don't start stalking women after seeing it in a movie. But all this happens in our country. This is our reality. You cannot compare our film industries with Hollywood and say 'Why are these pseudos talking like this about Animal, when they can enjoy Gone Girl as an art'? Understand the difference...I wouldn't do it (Animal) is what I am saying."

5) RJ Balaji

Actor RJ Balaji spoke with Indiaglitz about Animal. He had said, “I know everyone likes to say ‘watch the movie like a movie and treat it as a craft’ but it stuck with me that a set of people locked in a theatre were enjoying a guy mistreat women and hurl abuses at them. I feel bad that the audience are enjoying such films. I don’t think it’s normal to react to such scenes with enjoyment."

He added, "I don’t want to watch and get influenced to keep similar scenes. I heard there is a scene where he asks another actor to lick his shoe. I believe youngsters who watch the film will think it’s okay to treat women in this manner. I don’t want my films to add to that."

6) Shah Rukh Khan

The actor didn't talk about the film directly or name it categorically. At a News18 event, Shah Rukh Khan had said, “I am a guy who is hopeful and tells happy stories. The heroes I play do good things, they give hope and happiness. If I play a bad guy, I make sure he suffers a lot, he dies a dog’s death, because I believe goodness begets goodness. And I believe badness deserves a kick in the back side.”

He also said, "I should play honest roles that give people courage to dream. I should keep working hard quietly with the hope that life doesn’t topple my apple cart anytime soon."

7) Swanand Kirkire

He took to X and wrote about his opinion on Animal in Hindi. He wrote, “After watching the movie Animal, I really felt pity for the women of today's generation. Now, a new man has been prepared for you, who is more scary, who does not respect you that much and who aims to subdue you, suppress you and feels proud of himself. When you, the girls of today's generation, were sitting in that cinema hall and applauding Rashmika getting beaten, I in my mind paid homage to every idea of ​​equality. I have come home desperate, dejected and weak!”

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