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Anurag Kashyap Defends ‘Animal’ Foresees Film’s Impact on Future Cinema

In the face of widespread controversy, renowned filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has reasserted his support for Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s film ‘Animal’, which caused a stir upon its theatrical release in December. Despite breaking box office records, the film received polarized opinions from audiences and critics for its bold content and portrayal of characters.

Anurag Kashyap, a notable figure in Indian cinema, is no stranger to public discourse concerning his artistic choices. Speaking in a recent episode of his daughter Aaliyah Kashyap’s podcast ‘Young, Dumb and Anxious’, the filmmaker addressed questions about his support for Vanga’s work. Aaliyah was vocal in expressing her disappointment regarding ‘Animal’, describing it as “horrible and misogynistic.” Her candid disapproval shed light on the divergent perspectives even within the filmmaker’s household.

Responding to his daughter’s concerns, Kashyap shared insights from his interaction with Sandeep Reddy Vanga. “I met him and I liked him. I like the guy. I’ve had questions of my own and I wanted to talk to him about his film and I invited him for a long five-hour conversation,” he said. This personal meeting sparked Kashyap’s appreciation for Vanga, reinforcing his belief that open dialogue can build understanding, a principle he values deeply given his experiences of being ostracized by some for his own work, particularly after his 2009 film ‘Dev D’.

In January, Kashyap had taken to his Instagram, posting photos of his meeting with Vanga. He captioned it with high praise for Vanga, calling him the “most misunderstood, judged and reviled filmmaker at the moment.” Kashyap expressed his admiration for Vanga’s forthrightness and amiability, appealing to the public to engage with Vanga in discussion about the film’s contentious aspects.

Expressing his views on the impact of ‘Animal’, he stated, “Animal is a major tectonic shift in the way films will be made. People will realize its impact in 5-10 years from now.” He went on to compare it to other action films, suggesting that ‘Animal’ has changed perceptions of authenticity and production value in the genre. “Post Animal, every action movie looks fake,” he opined, emphasizing how the use of action and music in ‘Animal’ significantly influenced audience expectations.

Kashyap’s proclamation that the film is a game-changer in Hindi cinema which cannot be ignored, whether for better or worse, conveys his conviction that Vanga’s work will have a lasting imprint on the industry. The filmmaker’s solidarity with Vanga seemed to extend beyond professional courtesies, stemming from mutual respect and shared experiences as creators who have encountered adversity due to their creative expressions.

Reflecting on his own journey and responding to the heated debates surrounding ‘Animal’, Kashyap highlighted the importance of open dialogue with filmmakers. He appears to take public opinion and critique seriously but suggests that candid and direct conversations are more productive than societal exclusion or vilification.

The division in audience reactions to ‘Animal’ underscores the subjective nature of cinema as an artform, capable of invoking intense debate. As Kashyap suggests, it could take years for the true influence of ‘Animal’ to become apparent in the evolving landscape of Indian filmmaking. Meanwhile, conversations like those sparked by Anurag Kashyap and his daughter Aaliyah serve as important discussions about art, representation, and the dynamics of the film industry. Whether ‘Animal’ will indeed mark a pivotal turn in Hindi cinema remains to be seen, but it has undeniably ignited a firestorm of critical conversation – a characteristic of transformative art, as the filmmaker might argue.