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Controversy Surrounding 'Animal' Continues Despite Box Office Slowdown

Filmmaker Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s latest movie, 'Animal,' faced mixed reactions upon its release on December 1.

By:  Tupaki Desk   |   7 Jan 2024 11:30 AM GMT
Controversy Surrounding Animal Continues Despite Box Office Slowdown

Filmmaker Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s latest movie, 'Animal,' faced mixed reactions upon its release on December 1. While some praised its intensive nature, others criticized it for promoting toxic masculinity and problematic themes.

Bollywood Popular writer Javed Akhtar indirectly criticized the film, expressing concerns about a scene where a man asks a woman to lick his shoe and condones slapping a woman. This drew a response from the official 'Animal' social media account, which accused Akhtar of missing the scene's context, stating that his artistic understanding was flawed and marked that love should not be dictated by gender politics.

Reacting to his comments, the official account of Animal on X (formerly Twitter) tagged Javed Akhtar and said if the veteran missed the context of the said scene, they all his art form is “false”. The account also wrote that love should be “free from the politics of gender.”

“Writer of your calibre cannot understand the betrayal of a lover (Between Zoya & Ranvijay) then all your art form is big FALSE 🙃 & If a woman (betrayed and fooled by a man in the name of love) would have said “lick my shoe” then you guys would have celebrated it by calling it feminism. Let love be free from the politics of gender. Let’s just call them lovers. LOVER cheated and lied. LOVER said lick my shoe. Period @Javedakhtarjadu,” the post read.

This isn't the first time the 'Animal' team has vehemently defended the movie against criticism. They have previously clashed with writer-actor Swanand Kirkire, film critic Anupama Chopra, and journalists who have raised concerns about the film's content.

Despite the controversy, 'Animal' enjoyed massive box office success, becoming the second highest-grossing Bollywood film in 2023, trailing behind Shah Rukh Khan’s 'Jawan.' The discussions around the movie propelled it to be one of the most talked-about films, echoing the attention received by Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s previous film, 'Kabir Singh.’

-by Vishnupriya