Despite receiving mixed reviews and criticism for its portrayal of sensitive themes like domestic abuse and toxic masculinity, Ranbir Kapoor’s movie Animal is still making money at the box office. Lyricist and writer Swanand Kirkire recently shared his discomfort on X (formerly Twitter), expressing concerns about the film’s treatment of women and its potential impact on the future of Indian cinema.
Swanand expressed his disappointment with the film in a series of tweets. He started by mentioning old movies that focused on women’s issues and had helped him gain a better understanding of the opposite gender. He wrote in Hindi, “Mehboob Khan’s – Aurat, Gurudutt’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, Behl’s Queen, Sujit Sarkar Ki Piku etc, There are many such films in Hindustani cinema which taught me how to respect a woman, her rights and her autonomy and how, after understanding everything, there are still many shortcomings in this age-old thinking. I don’t know whether I succeeded in understanding woman or not, but even today I am constantly trying to improve myself.”
He continued, “All thanks to cinema. But today after watching the movie Animal, I really felt pity for the women of today’s generation. Today again a new man has been prepared for you, who is more scary, who does not respect at all and who aims to subdue you and suppress you, and he feels that it is his objective as a man to feel proud of doing these things.”
He added that the young women of today were seated in the movie theater, cheering when Rashmika was being mistreated. He wrote, “The girls of today’s generation were sitting in that cinema hall and applauding when Rashmika was being beaten. I, in my mind, paid homage to every idea of equality. I have come home. Desperate, dejected and weak. Ranbir’s dialogue in which he defines alpha male and says that men who are not able to become alpha, they become poets to attract women and start making promises of bringing the moon and stars to them. I am a poet. I do poetry for living. Do I have a place? This film is making a lot of money and the glorious history of Indian cinema is being embarrassed.”
Animal has collected Rs 201.53 crore in the first weekend in India alone.