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HomeEntertainment'Animal spread awareness about toxic partners'

‘Animal spread awareness about toxic partners’

Animal‘ roared onto the

OTT screens

after a thunderous success at the box office. Whether it is

Ranbir Kapoor

‘s stellar performance, the infectious songs, or the staggering box office figures… ‘Animal’ has secured its place in entertainment history as one of the most buzzworthy films of all time.
Months after its OTT release, ETimes spoke to

Siddhant Karnick

, who played the role of Ranbir’s brother-in-law in the movie, and one of the first victims of his rage in the narrative.

Recalling his first day of shoot, Siddhant shared, “The confrontation scene between Ranbir and me was the first scene that I had to shoot. I was very nervous that Sandeep sir was making me do such an intense scene on my first day. And while we were all talking, Anil sir suggested that maybe we should shoot the family photograph scene first and then go into the heavy dialogue later in the day. That was a big relief for me. I couldn’t say anything, you know, to tell a director to change scenes, I have no authority for that. But when Anil sir suggested that, Sandeep sir went with it. The family photograph scene made us understand the dynamics between all the actors. Although I knew it was a father son story, the placement of how Ranbir was standing away from the family gave me a great understanding of what the dynamics are within that family.”
Interestingly, the confrontational spat sequence was chopped down by 10 minutes for the final cut! “It was actually a 20 page scene with 13 minutes of roll time, which was interspersed with Ranbir and me talking, Saloni coming in, then Shakti sir coming in, then Anil sir coming in. We shot a 13 minute scene, which was very intense, but to stick to the length of three and a half hours, Sandeep sir had to cut it to only three and a half minutes,” revealed Siddhant.
Shooting in the heat of Haryana with no AC, Siddhant described this as a challenging experience, “We couldn’t even turn on the ACs because it was all sync sound. So the sound of the AC, although it was a small little anaconda which was being put inside, it was not effective. So we were sweating, the dialogues were heated, and you have to look cool while doing it. It was a very challenging scene, but hats off to Ranbir! He would be up early, working out. And even in between shots, he would not rest. When my close-ups were being shot, he was right behind the camera, giving me the cues, in all intensity. Which is a very rare thing I’ve noticed among stars and this gesture reflects his professionalism. The fact that he chose to give cues, and made sure that we all were contributing as much into the scene, rather than taking away from the scene for himself, was respectful.”

Not just ‘Animal’, but Siddhant also earned much praise for his performance in ‘Made in Heaven’ season 2, wherein he co-starred alongside Mrunal Thakur. Ask him how things have changed after the recent successes and Siddhant quips, “I would love to say I’ve been flooded by offers, but that’s not true. Some have trickled in, but nothing has worked out. No big film offer has come to me, no good work has come. One anticipates that after the biggest hit of the year, there would be offers coming in, but that’s not the case. I waited, thinking maybe after ‘Animal’ releases on OTT, the film’s fraternity will watch. But there’s been nobody who’s reached out and said, ‘Oh, we’d like to sign you up for this’. I’m aware also that this is the nature of our work, but I’d like to put this across to those who are waiting to get into the industry, who are in this illusion that once you get a hit picture, your life is set. That’s not the case, it is a long journey. I’m certain this will have good repercussions, but I have to give it time and patience. Last year was great for me, Adipurush, Made in Heaven season 2 and Animal. But yet at the beginning of 2024, I find myself not having signed any film.”

In conclusion, Siddhant shares an interesting perspective on the conversations around toxic masculinity, which ignited after the release of ‘Animal’. He shared, “Recently, my cousin was over from the US and she said, ‘I haven’t watched the film yet, people are saying very good things about it, but they say it’s a very misogynistic film’. My first reaction to this is, don’t listen to what people are saying. Watch it for yourself and then decide. Is it misogynistic or not? Is the message going out correct or not? Make a judgment for yourself after watching it yourself. Don’t believe what others are saying because others are burdened by their own baggage, their own perceptions.”
Defending the narrative around Ranbir’s character in the movie, Siddhant added, “This entire toxic masculinity character or the anti-hero that Ranbir is playing in the character of Ranvijay, at no point has Sandeep sir said that that is the way that people should be. In fact, he’s shown the counter to it that if you have a toxic masculinity personality, you stand to lose a lot. Ranvijay lost his wife, who he loved so much, he lost his child. In the end, he couldn’t even get retribution from his father. So, is that the life you want to live? But it’s getting taken out of context. You’re not seeing the larger picture. You’re just taking an incident of him asking Zoya’s character to lick his shoe. Only that in isolation. Observe his entire character graph. Is that the kind of person you want to be or idolize? I think ‘Animal’ also spread awareness about what is wrong, or that a relationship is toxic, be it self-realization or a better realization for the partners to understand that they are in a toxic relationship and they need to be careful about it. So, it is educational in the end, if not taken out of context but seen as a whole.”

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