Home Entertainment “Writer Defends Choice: Bobby Deol’s ‘Muslim Villain’ Equal to Ranbir Kapoor’s ‘Hindu Hero'”

“Writer Defends Choice: Bobby Deol’s ‘Muslim Villain’ Equal to Ranbir Kapoor’s ‘Hindu Hero'”

“Writer Defends Choice: Bobby Deol’s ‘Muslim Villain’ Equal to Ranbir Kapoor’s ‘Hindu Hero'”

Writer Saurabh Dwivedi compares hero Ranbir Kapoor to villain Bobby Deol, stating both characters are equally flawed. He wonders why no one criticizes when a Hindu character is shown in a negative light.

What happened when screenwriter Gazal Dhaliwal, known for her feminist outing Lipstick Under My Burkha, sat on a table with Saurabh Gupta, the dialogue writer of one of the most polarising films of recent times, Animal? They had a debate. The two writers spoke about the Sandeep Reddy Vanga directorial, defending specific scenes in the film and the possible impact of the Ranbir Kapoor starrer on the viewers.

Animal, which came out last December, sparked disagreement online and within the film industry. Some praised its intense drama and thrills, while others criticized it as harmful to women.


In a video posted by Brut India from FICCI Frames, Gazal and Saurabh were seen discussing Animal on stage. The movie also featured Rashmika Mandanna, Triptii Dimri, Anil Kapoor, and Bobby Deol.

“Ranbir Kapoor, the hero, can behave like this, can say that, ‘You change four pads a month and do so much drama.’ If the hero can say stuff like that, the man who is watching can very well think it, even if he won’t go ahead and say it. He can say in his jobs, ‘She is doing so much drama, she wants a leave today because she is on her periods,’” Gazal noted.

Saurabh disagreed, saying that cinema shouldn’t be used to preach about the importance of sanitary napkins or to lecture about the dangers of smoking and alcohol. He feels that cinema is under too much pressure to convey such messages and suggests focusing on entertainment instead.

Gazal highlighted the perceived Islamophobic elements in the film, suggesting that Animal legitimizes such views, especially through Bobby Deol’s character arc. Saurabh explained that the team believed it was logical for Bobby’s character to undergo such a transformation, citing an old division in his relationship and his grandfather’s decision to change his religion.

“For us these things moved logically, from one to two. Now we are realising, ‘Ok so there is a view that…’ But the hero is also just as big of a demon as the villain. And he’s Hindu, but no one said, ‘You have portrayed a Hindu in such a way.’”

Gazal emphasized that while it’s easy to say, “This is just a story, the character did that,” it’s important to consider that the character was created by someone. She pointed out that the writers chose the character’s actions, so it’s essential to reflect on what influenced those choices.

“You are saying that his brother went abroad and changed his religion. You have decided that the character is going to change their religion and become a Muslim– a very stereotypical Muslim who is going to have three wives, be aggressive, beat up the wives, pounce on her in front of 100 people.”

Saurabh acknowledged that there’s a broader issue with how certain communities are depicted in recent films. Gazal added that the film is harsh towards women, highlighting how Rashmika’s character loses everything while her husband retains his family and successful business. She feels the character’s ending isn’t particularly sad.


To which Saurabh countered, “We didn’t make this films to establish that women are lesser. I, in fact, felt that the hero’s wife in the film, had a lot of rights. Ultimately, she leaves him and goes… He loses everything. This used to be enough, but it is no longer enough.”

In her closing statement, Gazal acknowledged that Animal is a well-made film, expressing no surprise that audiences have embraced it. She praised its craftsmanship, performances, music, and writing, noting that its shock value resonates with viewers. However, she also highlighted that a well-made but problematic film can be more concerning than its quality.

In his closing statement, Saurabh explained that they made the film because they had a story to tell and wanted to depict the character in a particular manner. He compared it to acclaimed Hollywood movies like Tony Montana and The Godfather, suggesting that perhaps viewers could simply enjoy Animal as a movie without overanalyzing it. He emphasized the importance of relaxing and enjoying the film.

Despite the intense social media debate, Animal emerged as one of the biggest hits of Hindi cinema grossing over Rs 900 cr globally.