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'Animal' writer Saurabh Gupta defends the film, says 'hero is as much of a demon as the villain'

Updated on: 12 March,2024 05:41 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

'Animal' writer Saurabh Gupta has addressed the chatter around the dialogues of the film that has offended many. He said that there is burden of messaging in cinema today

'Animal' writer Saurabh Gupta defends the film, says 'hero is as much of a demon as the villain'

Ranbir Kapoor in a still from Animal

The conversation around Ranbir Kapoor's latest release 'Animal' directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga keeps coming up every now and then. After much chatter and discussion around the film Sandeep Reddy Vanga, the writer of the film has now spoken about the controversy surrounding the dialogues of the film. The dialogue writer of Animal, Saurabh Gupta, was in conversation with Ghazal Dhaliwal, at FICCI Frames.

At the event, the writer also addressed the dialogues where Ranbir Kapoor talks about pad-change and the portrayal of Bobby Deol's Abrar Haque as a ‘stereotypical’ Muslim character. He said, “Cinema ke saath mardon ko sanitary napkin ki importance samjhana, cigarette peena, sharab peena kharab hai woh samjhana, itna bojh padh gaya hai, cinema jhuk gaya hai sir. Hum thoda maza karte hai na. (In Cinema, to make men understand the importance of sanitary napkins, that smoking and drinking is bad, all of this has become a huge burden. Let's also have some fun).”

In the film led by Ranbir Kapoor,  the actor essays the role of Ranvijay who is out to seek revenge on the people who have threatened to harm his father. The film received an A rating from the censor board and had a runtime of over 3 hours. 

Reacting to the alleged Islamophobia in the film, Saurabh said, “We felt it fit logically into the script… Now we are realising that there is this view as well. But the hero (Ranbir) is as much of a demon as the villain (Bobby). And he's a Hindu, but no one said that he was portrayed badly.”

'Animal' was also criticised for its alleged depiction of misogyny. The filmmaker Sandeep Reddy Vanga in different interviews had also addressed the criticism towards the film. One of the many scenes that had come under the scanner was the male lead complimenting the female lead for having 'big pelvis' that can accommodate healthy children. Addressing the scene, he had said, "In the scene, "He’s trying a different route to explain to her because it’s her engagement day and they were not in touch. Coming with that force and saying, 'Listen, Gitanjali, I really love your pelvis.’ He is trying to explain a theory that is related to the character, the title, and for the audience when they are watching the film, it doesn’t seem like the theory he is talking about.”

The director said, "I thought ‘big pelvis’ scene was a compliment." Talking about the scene, “I thought of shooting (that) he would just be playing with the petals of the flowers and he’d just put his hand on her feet. I wanted to shoot that but I thought I would not show it. I thought on the shoot day ‘Let’s not do that and again give a shock,” revealed Vanga. “I felt like she is walking away, he knew that if he let her go without saying one more line, he knew that she was gone. So how should I say that I am seeing my future with you? I want to marry you. I thought in these situations boys behave very differently sometimes. Your intention is something else but you end up saying something else. So, he didn’t know what to say. This was the brief given to Ranbir also. Suddenly he doesn’t know what to say and he says Gitanjali got a big pelvis. He is giving a reason that I’m seeing a future with you that we’ll get married and have babies. I thought that was a compliment. I never thought…how you found it ugly.”

The film starred Ranbir Kapoor, Rashmika Mandanna, Anil Kapoor, and Bobby Deol in the lead roles.  

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