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Animal – An Unpardonable Offence by Simpy Sharma

  by Simpy Sharma 



The very recent release Animal starring Bobby Deol and Ranbir Kapoor has tremendously sparked a wave of controversy having mixed emotions among audiences divided into various groups such as feminists, egalitarians
and those who belonged somewhere in the middle. The gritty portrayal of characters, the deep storyline and a touching plot having a twisted relationship between father and son, husband and wife has left many viewers including myself questioning the choices made by filmmakers these days. The narrative was no doubt compelling but the excessive use of arms, having psychotic characters in the middle of the plot and the problematic treatment of women certainly raised serious concerns about the kind of impact these movies are putting on young minds. 

The Never-Ending Violence

For a single moment, I was not able to ignore the overwhelming presence of violence in this movie. From the beginning till the end, there has been a portrayal of relentless aggression which the characters exercise using guns and excessive anger to reach the resolutions. The fact cannot be denied that interesting and tenacious storytelling can take help from violence but only when used judiciously, on the contrary, this movie appears to have used violence more than it was required. The constant use of action sequences can easily impact the audiences raising behavioural issues and it certainly raises a question of responsibility of the filmmakers and the people involved in the movie for portraying such violence in a country like India where cinema plays an important role in shaping the mindset of youngsters.

The tussle between the Insane Characters and Childhood Ordeal

It has always been the most straightforward approach to captivate spectators by immersing their emotions in a narrative or with the characters to the point where they are unable to escape or leave the film in the midst. This is easily accomplished by depicting certain insane characters enduring childhood trauma, as only sympathy can be elicited. The principal protagonists, portrayed by Kapoor and Deol, suffer from severe insanity, which is shown in exaggerated terms. Their mental health should have been addressed with care and respect, but they never got the chance, and curiously, the people around them never noticed. Movies are frequently described as a reflection of society, but I disagree. I acknowledge that there are instances in society when people suffer from childhood traumas and subsequently reciprocate the agony in multiple manners in their adult years if not treated appropriately, but it is the role of film to demonstrate how such problems may be addressed rather than just fuelling them. Violence and unpredictable conduct are never justified by a terrible past. I would like to express my concern about the potential misinterpretation of mental health, challenges of individuals, and negative misconceptions regarding the relationship between early trauma and violent conduct.

The Legendary Gender Thoughtlessness

Why do we constantly have to treat female characters improperly to depict the conflict going on in the brains of the films' crazy main leads?  Women characters are frequently assigned subordinate roles to support the main character. The storylines of these plots frequently include instances of objectification, insulting speech, misbehaviour, and devoting the majority of the narration to the male lead. Indira Gandhi, Kiran Bedi, Kalpana Chawla, Mother Teresa, Sarojini Naidu, and Mary Kom have all been prominent and strong women of our nation. They certainly wouldn't have expected such a lack of compassion towards girls in the movies. Not just them, but any regular girl in the twenty-first century will undoubtedly reject the garbage that is proudly displayed in the movies. What do young girls learn when they see such oppression? Not only movie makers but also performers must recognise the influence such depictions are having on society, particularly on young men and women. Men, when they see their favourite actors carrying out such violence and portraying psychotic behaviour, find it classy and stylish, as evidenced by people making videos and uploading them with pride on TikTok and other social media platforms conducting themselves the same way the actors they admire did in the film in question.

The old debate between the masses and the classes

It is understood that the type of storyline, brutality, and strong speech with an abusive attitude employed in this film have something to do with attracting a larger audience. They are purposefully developing material to attract the public with high-octane action and a star-studded cast for the sake of business, but the question here is, is there any justification for sacrificing ethics only to appeal to the crowds and gain profits? We've always heard people saying that giving back to society is important, but with this type of entertainment, are these filmmakers positively contributing or generating Xerox copies of such psychologically troubled psychotic individuals?

Sensationalism Over Cinematic Brilliance

It is completely undeniable that some directors always use violence and sex to captivate their audiences instead of recognizing the true cinematic brilliance and avoiding cheap sensationalism. Very recently we have seen a brilliant example of true cinematic genius in The Railway Men which not only had an amazing cast but the storyline was so good that it kept the audiences completely engrossed. The most gifted movie makers trust their creativity with finesse and craft narratives that are going to stay in the minds of the audiences forever not just for a certain period. Based on the intricate human experiences, the directors of The Railway Men constructed a compelling story that has the capability of lingering in the hearts and the minds of viewers for a long time. Having such narratives can certainly avoid the need to allure the audiences with violence and sex. 

The Violent Cinema versus Justice in Real Life

It is arguable how much impact violence in film has on the brains of young people in real life. Occasionally, when showing violence, the protagonists take the law into their own hands to pursue personal justice, which is applauded by the audience. This can give an erroneous perception to viewers who lack legal knowledge, causing them to lose trust in the country's court system. It is critical to recognise that children who have a lot on their plates may struggle to discern between fantasy and reality. They tend to build their own beliefs on pursuing justice in the manner they desire after being influenced by such film encounters. Furthermore, they not only disregard the principles instilled in them by their parents, instructors, and schools but also begin idealising whatever is depicted in a three-hour film in which a lifetime may be displayed in a very short period, which is distant from reality.

A dire need for Serious Filmmaking

As viewers, we have an important role not just in defining societal standards, but also in moulding the story of cinema. It is critical to request material that not only entertains us ethically but also avoids portraying aggressive psychotic conduct and the gender gap. It is pointless to have the film be a mirror of society; instead, the movie should reflect the values that society should accept and learn from. Filmmakers should be encouraged to develop stories that have the potential to influence beneficial societal attitudes. We must be vocal about the kind of stories and plots we would like to see through social media platforms and reviews. With such reviews and debates we can certainly create a dialogue between the creators and the audiences. The filmmakers, in turn, may also find inspiration from such reviews to create their future work which is not only positive but also addresses societal issues.

 Verdict

This film may have grabbed spectators with its star-studded cast and action sequences, but it will never be able to escape the reckless dynamics and insensitivity in presenting extreme violence via outrageous individuals. As moviegoers, we must speak out about the need to uphold ethical standards in the film industry. This type of knowledge can only serve as a ray of hope for rescuing the film from the grips of folly and ignorance. We may surely hope to witness a good shift in the cinema's approach to producing such themes that will appeal to the audience while being ethical and accountable.



Comments

  1. This is not a great movie though the actors performed well in their roles but promoting to drugs, guns, violence and spoiling the youth should not be the agenda, the role a psycho was performed well but showing the mental health issues over the big screen was so weird and making fun of the same, should not be shown like this. Bollywood should understand that if such a person is going through this how would he feel about it.

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  2. Enjoyed reading.Such graphics are harmful for the society especially for the youth.

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