Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s ‘Animal’ starring Ranbir Kapoor, although already a hit at the box office, is facing significant backlash for the kind of violence and misogyny that it shows. And misogyny has become synonymous with Vanga’s films because even ‘Kabir Singh’ was criticized for the same. And to think that such a film, that shows women being subdued and exploited, has been released and celebrated during a time when the conversation surrounding equality and women empowerment is at its peak is downright shocking.
Swanand Kirkire, an actor and writer who has worked in films like Parineeta, Qala, Lootera, Barfi! and many more, took to X to express his disappointment at not only the film but the Indian audience as well – who seems to have gone ten steps back.
Kirkire explained that it is because of the strong female characters shown in films that he was able to address his shortcomings and regressive thinking and improve himself to move with the times and become a supporter of equality. Firstpost translated his post and here’s a look:
“Shantaram’s Aurat, Guru Dutt’s Saheb Biwi aur Ghulam, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anupama, Shyam Benegal’s Ankur and Bhumika, Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala, Sudhir Mishra’s Main Zinda Hoon, Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish, Vikas Behal’s Queen Shoojit Sarkar’s Piku, and many such films in Indian cinema that taught me how to respect a woman, her rights and her autonomy and even after understanding everything, there are still many shortcomings in this age-old thinking. I don’t know whether I succeeded or not, but even today I am constantly trying to improve myself. All thanks to cinema.”
But after he watched ‘Animal’, he felt pity for women of today’s generation who were applauding Rashmika’s character that was being subdued by that of Ranbir.
“But today 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, I in my mind paid tribute to every idea of equality. I have come home desperate, dejected and weak!”
Swanand Kirkire, with immense sadness in his heart, stated that the history of Indian cinema is being embarrassed and that this film will take things in a different and more dangerous direction.
“Ranbir’s dialogue in which he defines alpha male and says that those men who not able to become alpha, they become poets to get the pleasure of all women and start making promises of breaking the moon and stars. I am a poet! I do poetry to live! Is there a place for me? A film is making a lot of money and the glorious history of Indian cinema is being embarrassed. In my understanding, this film will determine the future of Indian cinema afresh, in a different, terrible and dangerous direction.”
His entire post on X is written in Hindi. Here’s a look:
शांतराम की – औरत , गुरुदुत्त की – साहब बीवी और ग़ुलाम , हृषीकेश मुखर्जी की – अनुपमा , श्याम बेनेगल की अंकुर और भूमिका , केतन मेहता की मिर्च मसाला , सुधीर मिश्रा की मैं ज़िंदा हूँ , गौरी शिंदे की इंगलिश विंगलिश , बहल की क्वीन सुजीत सरकार की पीकू आदि , हिंदुस्तानी सिनेमा
— Swanand Kirkire (@swanandkirkire) December 2, 2023
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