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'Animal': We have an alternative plot. Read on...


In 'Animal', Balbir Singh (Anil Kapoor) is a steel and oil magnate who is the richest man in India. This superlative identity is interesting. The starting point of director Sandeep Reddy Vanga's thinking, perhaps, was flawed.

The audience are complaining about the length, excessive over-indulgence of the Ranbir Kapoor-Rashmika Mandanna scenes, the second half syndrome and all of that. But not many have a problem with the film's lack of logic and believability.

Nevertheless, there is no harm in thinking of an alternative plot that might have made the film's emotional graph look better.

Had Balbir Singh been shown as a semi-bankrupt yet fairly wealthy businessman (someone like Anil Ambani, whose glory fell drastically in the last 15 years), the plotting might have assumed an emotional arc of a different proportion. Consider these:

1. Anil Kapoor's character Balbir once was a businessman on non-stop ascension. Due to a series of wrong business decisions, some of his companies went bankrupt.

2. In the present, he is a wealthy businessman who has resigned to being at No. 30 while he aspired to be at No. 1 a decade ago.

3. In the joint family, tensions have come to the fore. They argue all the time. Ranbir Kapoor's character, despite his neglected childhood, sees his father as a hero as a 36-year-old man.

4. The family faces an existential threat from Bobby Deol's character.

5. Since Anil Kapoor is a fallen businessman, he is powerless and gets no attention from the present-day government.

6. This is when Ranbir Kapoor decides to build a private militia from scratch against all odds to protect his beloved father. He sees himself as an alpha male who may not be the son of the richest man but believes he is the strongest man in Mumbai.

The above plot might have led to more emotionally satisfying scenes and drama. But let's assume Sandeep Vanga did consider the above plot. What might be his arguments against it?

1. "Why would Bobby Deol want to assassinate an enemy who is already fallen and has lost his glory?"

Counter argument: But why not? Bobby is a pathological personality. And it is not like Anil Kapoor is a pauper. He enjoys a very good net worth and lives in a mansion. Just that he is not the richest man.

2. "If I show the business family as having a history of downfall, I would have to write a few other things. The audience will ask what exactly precipitated his downfall. I will have to put a 10-minute flashback. All this would make it complicated. The masses don't think much. So, let me just call Anil Kapoor the richest man. Ninety-five out of 100 audience members like it to be simple. I don't want to make films for the five guys who overthink."

Counter argument: Fair enough. But underestimating the intelligence of the audience when you are Sandeep Vanga is not done!