Director Sandeep Reddy Vanga has become synonymous with controversy, notably for his films ‘Arjun Reddy’ and ‘Kabir Singh,’ which received criticism for their portrayal of violence and misogyny in romantic relationships. Recently, Vanga took a defensive stance, accusing a significant portion of the audience of letting their personal views overshadow their ability to appreciate his work.
In a recent interview with Dainik Bhaskar, Vanga argued that the negative reception of his films stems from audiences harbouring a ‘personal agenda.’ He went on to claim that this approach could render even universally acclaimed films like James Cameron's ‘Avatar’ uninteresting.
Vanga defended his characters' flawed nature, using Shahid Kapoor's Kabir Singh as an example. He suggested that if Kabir Singh had acknowledged his toxic behaviour and undergone a transformation, the character would have faced isolation, emphasizing the importance of portraying consequences in storytelling.
Vanga drew parallels to his latest film, ‘Animal,’ featuring a star-studded cast including Anil Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Rashmika Mandanna, and Triptii Dimri. Despite grossing over INR 900 crores worldwide on an INR 100 crores budget after its December 1, 2023, theatrical release, ‘Animal’ faced immense controversy due to its explicit violence and portrayal of misogynistic characters.
Vanga, said “The father is going to die, his wife will be leaving him, his health is gone for a toss. Aur kya chahiye, maar dun hero ko climax mein?” asked Vanga regarding Ranbir Kapoor’s Ranvijay Singh (which roughly translates to ‘what more do you want, to kill the hero in the climax?’).
The filmmaker argued that certain viewers reject films if they don't adhere to a conventional resolution where protagonists face repercussions for their actions.
According to Vanga, if "personal agenda comes in between watching a film, then Avatar will be boring, Animal kya hai?"
Despite the polarizing nature of Vanga's films, the box office success of ‘Animal’ suggests a divide between critical reception and commercial viability. The director's bold approach continues to spark debates about the boundaries of storytelling in Indian cinema. ‘Animal’ is currently streaming on Netflix.