Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Animal Is Proof Women Bear The Brunt Of Toxic Masculinity. These Men Need Therapy, Not Guns!

These men need to calm down!
Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Animal Is Proof Women Bear The Brunt Of Toxic Masculinity. These Men Need Therapy, Not Guns!

Toxic masculinity is like a plague that our society has been dealing with for generations. Stemmed through patriarchy and its years long impact on families, masculinity of this kind is often known to ruin relationships, and especially harness the outburst of violence and intense emotions. And it is through films, that we learn more about the root cause of broken hearts, and homes. Catching the 7 am show of Ranbir Kapoor starrer Animal today, I sat back to uncover the trauma that his character Ranvijay goes through as a growing adult.

A child, deprived of fatherly love, grows old to become a destructive man, who refuses to stop shooting guns, and firing rooms, for the sake of his father’s life. Using his full potential to emotionalise his deeds, Kapoor’s promising presentation of Ranvijay Balbir Singh tries hard to put sense, in this flawed character written by director Sandeep Reddy Vanga. The premise introduces you to the troubled bond between father Balbir and his son Ranvijay, which leads to manufacture a turbulent adult man, destroying the world and dealing with his daddy issues.

 

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As Ranvijay, Kapoor mouths lines, tries to choke his wife and uses his sexuality to get things his way. Mostly slapped, often tutored, but rarely loved, Ranvijay, builds strong walls around his broken bond with his dad, and puts his rigid perspective to life. Protecting women in his family, passing lewd comments about their body and having a bag full of audacity in this world, Ranvijay’s toxic masculinity, stumbles upon unnecessary comparisons between his health and a woman menstruating, suggesting his sister to replace whisky with wine, and question her choices in men. All in the name of validation from his father.

Through Animal, we watch women standing on the plot’s periphery, contributing to the story as mere props. As wives of these hyper-violent, toxic and Gen-Z known red flag men, women bear the brunt of emotional trauma, that exhausts the life out of them. Serving the emotional needs of these men, characters Jyoti (Balbir Singh’s wife), Geetanjali (played by Rashmika Mandanna) and the three begums of Bobby Deol’s character in the film, are oppressed by their partners.

 

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But what are the signs of Toxic Masculinity And How Does It Affect Women?

Exercised by alpha males, who wish to take the power positions, toxic masculinity has been a term, known and observed in society for ages. Normalised by the patriarchal family setups, toxic masculinity can be visible through signs of abuse, and violence, with men believing the concept that “big boys don’t cry.” This manufactured approach to differentiating between genders also puts men above women. Men exercising toxic masculinity are more prone to pocket their emotions in their fists, and pack a punch on your face, break the side tables or slap you, instead of emoting their thoughts through tears. As Animal‘s protagonist, Ranbir Kapoor’s character treats his lady love like god, but tries to justify cheating, as an “act to save papa.” Here’s how you can spot toxic masculinity.

  • Power Play– Toxic masculinity often encourages men to take power positions and control their surroundings, and the people residing in them.
  • Supporting Polyamory– It supports the idea of men having multiple sexual partners, but look down upon women who do the same. This also helps them gain power over the opposite gender and objectify them as a means to having sex. This also generates a sense of sexual aggression, which is another way of gaining power over someone.
  • Gender-Based Ideas– Toxic masculinity often urges you to take society-informed roles, divided on the basis of gender seriously. Such men, feel contributing to household chores, and doing the dishes is more to do with women, and less with them. They also compartmentalise emotions, in the name of gender, calling crying a feminine emotion, and often a sign of weakness.
  • Violence– Both emotional and physical violence or abuse is a common sign of this category. Violence helps such men exhibit their power, and is often a medium to gain respect.

Turning victim to these ideologies, women are used as a machine to produce babies, satisfy their sexual needs or be the receivers of their trauma, and negative emotions. Throughout the film, we watched men take centre stage, showcasing disrespectful behaviour towards women in their immediate environment. When confronted, and put on the spot for their bad behaviour, these men would pan guns or use the medium of violence to hide their vulnerabilities. As much as Ranvijay (Ranbir Kapoor) tried to be the greatest son to his absent father, he failed to become a great partner. He used the positions of the women in his life, to boost his male ego and provide an example of their masculinity.

 

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Also Read: Animal Twitter Review: Fans Hail Ranbir Kapoor As GOAT, Thank Sandeep Reddy Vanga For Delivering What He Promised!

In this Sandeep Reddy Vanga film, we witness the polarising lives of women, who at one point are seen smoking on their husband’s third marriage, but soon are thrown on the bed by the same man, as a means to have sex. The disrespect stems from these behavioural aspects, where men blatantly normalise being toxic. The refreshing change is brought through Rashmika Mandanna’s character Geetanjali, who unlike Reddy Vanga’s other popular female character Preeti (played by Kiara Advani in Kabir Singh), refuses to turn the victim or allow violence on herself. She enters the room with all the right questions, confronts her husband at all costs, and holds him accountable for his deeds.

But through the characters of Jyoti (Balbir’s wife), and her daughters we see a fractured relationship between them and their male counterparts, as evidently as presented through the bond between Geetanjali and Ranvijay. The film tries very hard to justify the anger and agony represented by these men, through a backstory that tells the tale of their trauma, but not once mentions the need to fix it through help, instead of hiring gunmen and goons. Like Kabir Singh’s excessing physical abuse of Preeti, Ranvijay played by Ranbir is at ease in conversations around slapping his wife or choking her to death when questioned. 

Animal: Ranbir Kapoor-starrer 'Animal' track 'Satranga Re' by Arijit..

We wish these men invested on therapy and not guns. Imagine Ranvijay signing up for therapy, and we wouldn’t have had a three hours, twenty one minute long–Animal. 

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Jasveen Kaur Sawhney

Jasveen Kaur is a fashion writer, and pyjama hoarder, who loves watching interviews of all kinds, and checking her Pinterest mood board every hour!

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