Every time someone has something not-so-good to say about Animal, people ask why they’re still doing it. I have a simple response: because the makers and the people who like the film are still doing it too. Opinions should have equal space, no? It is not like the film was bashed out of spite; so if people keep protecting it, we can keep talking about why it needs to be criticized. This is not about Animal, though, trust me. This is about how a film so extreme with its actions, can help us realize what people really stand for.


Trust me, it serves like a reality check – you get to know people by their taste in art. Or this is what I realized when Anurag Kashyap shared a lengthy post discussing the film and well, Sandeep Reddy Vanga. Kashyap wrote, “The most misunderstood, judged and reviled filmmaker at the moment. To me he is the most honest, vulnerable and a lovely person.” Many who didn’t ‘enjoy’ the film as much, were conflicted and low-key shocked by the director’s reaction. This is not even about the two of them, I wish to see the brighter said, as well.


So, there are two things that we can do: A) Analyse what he said, which is not going to be easy. B) Acknowledge other reactions, that see the film for what it is. I prefer to do the latter. A number of people reacted to the post, explaining that the film was objectively wrong with its treatment. Neeraj Ghaywan and Varun Grover also went on to say it like it is, without actually saying much, by the way. Their comments – “Cringe” and “No” were clearly what people wanted.

Something so small and simple matters because the least we can do to make sure that such films don’t get made, or at least celebrated is, SAY IT. Now, more than ever, we need to be vocal about what deserves to be orchestrated and what not – and really, it’s clear judgement. So when a director and a writer like Neeraj Ghaywan and Varun Grover take a stand, it matters. In reality, it can easily matter more than the audiences’ reaction, because they’re part of the ‘system’. And we live in times where taking a stand against something that is wrong is so scary, that it almost becomes important to acknowledge when people do it.

Bollywood’s lack of ability to call out a film, can be disappointing, so this one small instance brings some hope. If anything, we know who to trust with making cinema a less regressive place. That said, it is also irresponsible when filmmakers and artists who have all this power don’t understand feedback. It’s like they’re creating art for their vanity, which deceives it purpose.

Clearly, audiences sense the voice of reason:


But hey, let’s only stop talking about Animal, when everyone else does.