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Defense of ‘Animal’: Dialogue Writer on Bobby’s Muslim Villain and Ranbir’s Hindu Hero

Defense of 'Animal': Dialogue Writer on Bobby's Muslim Villain and Ranbir's Hindu Hero

Screenwriter Gazal Dhaliwal, known for her feminist narrative in Lipstick Under My Burkha, recently engaged in a spirited debate with Saurabh Gupta, the dialogue writer of the film Animal, in a video shared by Brut India from FICCI Frames. They delved into the implications of specific scenes within the Sandeep Reddy Vanga directorial, which stars Ranbir Kapoor in the lead role.

Gazal expressed concerns over the film’s depiction of menstruation, citing a dialogue where the hero dismisses the significance of sanitary pads. She argued that such portrayals could perpetuate harmful stereotypes about women’s experiences during menstruation, influencing societal attitudes towards the issue.

Saurabh countered Gazal’s argument by defending cinema’s role as entertainment rather than a medium for didactic messaging. He suggested that cinema should prioritize enjoyment and engagement over educational agendas.

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The conversation also touched on the film’s portrayal of religious identity, with Gazal raising concerns about potential Islamophobic undertones in the character arc of Bobby Deol’s character, Abrar Haque. She questioned the narrative decision to associate negative traits with a Muslim character, urging filmmakers to reflect on the stereotypes they perpetuate.

In response, Saurabh defended the creative choices behind the character development, arguing that the narrative progression logically warranted the depicted transformation. He rejected the notion of attributing broader societal biases to individual cinematic portrayals, emphasizing the complexity of character arcs.

The discourse extended to the film’s treatment of female characters, with Gazal lamenting the fate of Rashmika’s character and highlighting disparities in the characters’ outcomes based on gender. She criticized the unequal portrayal of male and female characters, pointing out the limitations placed on Rashmika’s character compared to her male counterpart.

Saurabh countered Gazal’s critique by highlighting the agency exhibited by the female characters within the storyline. He argued that the film did not intend to establish women as lesser beings, citing instances where female characters exercised their autonomy.

In conclusion, Gazal commended the craftsmanship of Animal while cautioning against its potentially problematic messaging. Saurabh defended the film’s artistic choices and urged viewers to appreciate it as a work of fiction rather than a reflection of societal norms. He encouraged a more relaxed approach to viewing the film, emphasizing its entertainment value over its social implications.