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Amid controversy over portrayal of women in Animal, netizens call Kannada star Upendra the OG of alpha males

Upendra’s portrayal of women in his directorials has often raised eyebrows and has audiences divided about whether it was peak misogyny on display or filmmaking brilliance

Amid controversy over portrayal of women in Animal, netizens call Kannada star Upendra the OG of alpha males
If Ranbir in Animal is an alpha male, Upendra was the OG, say Kannada audiences

Last Updated: 03.06 PM, Dec 06, 2023


In the last several days, social media has been flooded with posts about how disturbing director Sandeep Vanga Reddy’s latest, Animal, is. The filmmaker has presented yet another film with an alpha male (after Arjun Reddy), and the women in it do not fare well, amid the misogyny unleashed onscreen. The film has divided audiences, with few singing its praises, but is, nevertheless, continuing to take the box office by storm. The makers of Animal are laughing their way to the bank amid the debate about how poorly Vanga presents women in his films.

Kannada audiences, meanwhile, are wondering why audiences have such strong reactions to the film. And that is because more than two decades ago, actor-filmmaker Upendra’s brand of cinema (the films he directed), not only portrayed him as an alpha male, but were steeped in misogyny and sexism that left some audiences dismayed, while others hailed the philosophy behind it. Clips from Upendra’s films A and Upendra have been circulating on social media in the last couple of days, in which the actor-filmmaker is seen kicking and punching his way around women.

Meanwhile, Animal, which is well over 3 hours in length continues to be bashed by critics and audiences too, yet the film is steadily inching closer to the Rs 500 crore mark, having clocked Rs 350 crore in only three days. Marketed as a film about a father-son relationship, Animal has, however, only been talked about for its violence and misogyny. The film is led by Ranbir Kapoor, who is paired with Rashmika Mandanna. Incidentally, Rashmika’s last Kannada film, Pogaru had also been called out for its misogyny, especially in the hit song Karabu, which has over 200 million views. Hero Dhruva Sarja is seen pulling Rashmika by her hair, forcing his ‘affections’ on her and more.

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