It seems Animal director Sandeep Reddy Vanga has the audience exactly where he wants them — in a hyperreactive state.
The trailer for the upcoming Bollywood movie Animal has received mixed reactions. Regardless of whether one enjoyed or disliked the trailer, it left a lasting impact on every viewer. It has genuinely shocked those who watched it—whether one appreciated or disliked the trailer, a sense of shock seems inherent. Even if you admired the trailer, it wasn't without an element of surprise. Similarly, if you felt contempt for the trailer, it might be due to the fact that it exceeded your typical threshold of tolerance for movie violence.
It seems director Sandeep Reddy Vanga has the audience exactly where he wants them — in a hyperreactive state. When Animal releases in cinemas on December 1, it is set to follow a predictable trajectory, mirrored in the polarizing responses the trailer has generated. The audience is likely to split into two camps – one hailing the movie as a revolutionary epic in modern storytelling, while the other condemns it for glorifying violence. Interestingly, both these reactions and ensuing cycles of endless debates will contribute to drive up the movie's ticket sales.
Here's some insight. While Ranbir Kapoor's feral performance in Animal may come as a big surprise for fans, who grew up feeding on his romantic comedies and feel-good entertainers, for South Indian movie-buffs, however, it's just another Friday.
Ranbir's Arjan is not the first animal-hero in human clothing to be created by a filmmaker, whose idea of a good movie is shaped by the steady diet of over-the-top action movies from the South.
Arjan has all the markings of a typical mainstream Telugu hero. To be precise, Arjan seems to share his DNA with director Puri Jagannadh's protagonists.
What's a typical Puri Jagannadh hero like? No, not the Liger. That was an aberration. Let's look at the examples of the blockbuster characters that Puri created during his prime years. Whether it's the protagonists of Appu, Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi, or the beloved Pokiri, they all share a distinctive quality—arrogance.
At a time when heroes were expected to be fair, level-headed, rational and behave respectfully, Puri changed the definition of cinematic heroism.
While heroes in the past were mostly defined by their benevolent actions, Puri's protagonists stood out for their pronounced arrogance. No amount of measuring scale is enough to gauge the full extent of their hubris - it's like a bottomless pit. And you can never use your intellect and fancy words to shame them and put some sense into them as they don't operate from a place of ignorance. For Puri's heroes, arrogance isn't a flaw but rather a virtue proudly worn on their sleeves like a badge of honor.
Judging from the trailer, Ranbir's Arjan also seems to be cut from the same cloth as Puri's heroes —lacking remorse, balance, and notably, humility.