It is no secret that Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Animal has taken the box office by storm. Thanks to powerful performances, hit songs and gripping dialogues, the Ranbir Kapoor film ended 2023 on a blockbuster note. Now, filmmaker Karan Johar has showered praises on the action-drama. During his appearance on the Galatta Plus Pan-India Roundtable 2023, Karan admitted that while he might get “dirty looks” for saying it, for him Animal is “the best film of the year”. KJo said, “People have come up to me after I spoke about how much I loved Animal, and said, ‘You have made Rocky Aur Rani,’ That’s the vaccination for a film like Animal. It’s the opposite extreme. I said that I could not disagree with you more, because Animal to me is the best film of the year. It took me a while to reach this statement and a lot of courage because when you are around people, you fear judgment. Like during the time of Kabir Singh, which I also loved… I was like I am going to say this and I am going to get dirty looks from certain people but I don’t care anymore.”
Explaining what he liked about the movie, Karan Johar continued, “I loved Animal for its front-footed, absolutely conviction-based narrative storytelling, breaking grammar, breaking myths, breaking everything that you think conforms to mainstream cinema. Suddenly you have an interval block where the hero is getting bashed up and everyone’s singing a song… I am like, ‘Where have you seen a sequence like this?’ It’s genius.”
During his conversation, the filmmaker also confessed that he turned teary-eyed during the climax of the movie. Karan Johar said, “The end, where the two men are going for each other and they play that song… I had tears in my eyes, but there was only blood. So I was like something is wrong with me or something is wrong with him, but something put together is very right about this film.”
Lauding Animal director Sandeep Reddy Vanga, KJo revealed that he saw Ranbir Kapoor’s movie twice. Karan Johar said, “This is not an average thinking mind. This is the mind of someone so distinct, so individualistic that I was blown away. I saw the film twice, first to see it as an audience member and second to study it. I think the success, and acceptance of Animal is game-changing. It’s going to bring in a tone and syntax which doesn’t exist. The construct of a scene…Like what I love about Sandeep, even in Kabir Singh and Arjun Reddy. I love that he has a popular song, he plays it then he stops it whenever he wants to. Before the refrain comes out, he stops it, he starts it when he wants to, and he cuts the scene how he has to. It is like he is telling a story with such conviction and that’s the conviction is something that I want to have.”
Karan Johar concluded by saying, “You can debate about it, you can debate the politics, the scenes, but I am aroused and engaged by the cinema of this film. You get into the nitty-gritty of every film, and you can find flaws and red flags, but for me, the biggest green flag is the talent of this man who has conceptualised this film. I have seen so many good films this year, but the only film which taught me something was this film.”
Animal hit the theatres on December 1. Apart from Ranbir Kapoor, the film features Rashmika Mandanna, Bobby Deol, Triptii Dimri, Anil Kapoor and Shakti Kapoor.