Animal: Yet another instance of Bollywood’s misogyny and sexism

| Updated: 05 December, 2023 6:29 pm IST
Screenshots from the movie 'Animal'

NEW DELHI: India boasts a vibrant film industry; however, the depiction of women in Indian cinema has raised longstanding concerns. Women in these films have consistently been objectified and sexualised, with such portrayals becoming the norm rather than the exception. Despite the nation’s swift social and economic advancements, the film industry persists in perpetuating gender inequality, misogyny, and patriarchal attitudes.

Misogyny can simply be described as the intense dislike, contempt, or prejudice directed towards women or girls. This form of sexism has the potential to perpetuate a lower social status for women compared to men, thereby upholding the established social roles of patriarchy.

Ranbir Kapoor’s recent movie ‘Animal’ has made major headlines for the surreal amount of violence, misogyny and toxic masculinity. This movie is yet another addition to the collection of toxic masculinity portrayed in Bollywood. Movies such as ‘Kabir Singh’, ‘Dabang’, ‘Gunday’, etc, all have the same mould of the male protagonist of being extremely possessive, abusive, violent, etc.

Ranbir Kapoor has made a significant impact at the box office with his performance in the film ‘Animal’. Directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, the movie also features Rashmika Mandanna, Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol, and Tripti Dimri in crucial roles. While accolades are pouring in for the entire cast’s acting prowess, the ‘Qala’ actress has particularly been trolled for her scene with the leading man. For those yet to see the film, it’s worth noting that Dimri shares intimate moments with RK, and their on-screen chemistry is receiving well-deserved acclaim.

After the theatrical release of ‘Animal’ on December 1, scenes featuring Tripti Dimri’s intimate moments with Ranbir Kapoor were leaked and circulated on the internet. Recently, a social media user posted Dimri’s explicit scenes from the film. The clip begins with RK and her engaging in a kiss and concludes with them lying naked on a bed. The scene depicts them lying unclothed, while she covers her modesty with her hands.

Sharing the video, a user stated, “Ranbir is the one who is having sex with her, Sandeep Vanga who has casted her for this scene, but at the end, Tripti is the one at fault here. Basically, it’s a day for misogyny cinematic universe enjoyers. #Animal #TriptiDimri #RanbirKapoor. #AnimalTheMovie #Portal.”

View the tweets below:

Tweets such as these are not uncommon when it comes to discussing the actress’s performance in the movie. Her role in the movie is overshadowed by the misogynistic views of the intimate scenes. Not only has her performance in the movie been overshadowed, but many people are claiming that it is through ‘Animal’ that the actress has gained fame and notoriety in the film industry. Conversations such as these dilute the amazing performances that the actress has given in critically acclaimed movies such as ‘Bullbul’ and ‘Qala’.

People are also giving credit to Ranbir’s involvement in the actress’s career for making the actress famous for her work. These misogynistic comments are very reminiscent of when Kanye West was given credit for making the American singer ‘Taylor Swift’ famous. In a song, the American rapper goes as far as to say:

‘Famous,’ he says,

“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex

Why? I made that bitch famous (Goddamn)”

Bollywood lyricist and poet Swanand Kirkire provided a critique of Ranbir Kapoor’s film. In a series of tweets, Kirkire slammed the film and bashed RK’s misogynistic character for disrespecting women. He began by naming films like Mehboob Khan’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 others and said that many Indian films have always taught him to respect a woman, her rights and her autonomy

He further revealed that he returned home desperate, dejected, and weak after watching ‘Animal’. “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 idaea of equality. I have come home desperate, dejected, and weak,” Kirkire said.

View the tweet here:

The normalisation of objectifying and sexualising women in Indian films has reached a point where it is challenging to envision a movie without the obligatory item number or a scene featuring the female lead in provocative attire. In the majority of films, women are depicted primarily as objects of desire, with their characters are frequently reduced to their physical appearance and sexuality.

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