Why ‘Animal’ Director Chose a Muslim Character for Bobby Deol

Web DeskDecember 22, 20232834 min
Why 'Animal' Director Chose a Muslim Character for Bobby Deol

Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s film “Animal,” starring Ranbir Kapoor, has achieved significant success at the box office, surpassing INR 5 billion in India and approaching INR 9 billion worldwide. However, the film has faced criticism, with one question raised about the portrayal of the antagonist, Abrar (played by Bobby Deol), as a Muslim despite belonging to a Sikh family.

In a recent interview with Galatta Plus, Sandeep Reddy Vanga clarified the rationale behind crafting Abrar’s character as a Muslim. He explained that the intention wasn’t to depict the Muslim community negatively but rather to open up possibilities for potential sequels in the narrative.

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Sandeep shared that he wanted Bobby’s character to convert due to personal trauma in his backstory. The director explained that he has observed people changing their religion in times of extreme distress, seeking a new identity. He mentioned, “I’ve seen people changing their religion because so much has happened to them. At a low point, they feel like it’s a new birth, it’s a change of identity completely… We see a lot of people converting to Islam and Christianity; we never see anybody converting to Hinduism.”

The idea allowed him to portray Abrar as someone with multiple wives and the potential for multiple children. Sandeep clarified that the decision was not to show a Muslim in a negative light but to create a larger dramatic impact for the narrative.

However, “Animal” has sparked controversy, particularly in a scene depicting marital rape involving Abrar and his new wife. This scene has drawn criticism, while Bobby Deol defended it, stating that such scenes were necessary to showcase the character’s capabilities in a short span. Actress Mansi Taxak, who played Abrar’s third wife, commented on the shocking wedding night scene, attributing his actions to his ‘animal instincts’ during the specific sequence.

The film, while achieving box office success, has ignited discussions around its portrayal of sensitive subjects, sparking debates on the portrayal of characters and the treatment of such scenes in cinema.

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