Javed Akhtar calls Animal's success 'dangerous' for shoe-licking scene, makers react: Let love be free from the politics of gender

Sandeep Reddy Vanga-directed Animal conquered the box office despite receiving a mixed response from critics and audience. Starring Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Rashmika Mandanna, Bobby Deol and Triptii Dimri, it was a crime drama revolving around a father and son's relationship. Recently, at the Ajanta Ellora International Film Festival in Aurangabad, Javed Akhtar shared his opinion on Animal and called its success 'dangerous'.

The veteran lyricist said, "I believe it’s a testing time for the young filmmakers today as to what kind of characters they want to create that the society will applaud. For instance, if there’s a film in which a man asks a woman to lick his shoe or if a man says it’s okay to slap a woman, and if the film is a super duper hit, then that’s very dangerous."

After Javed's statement went viral, the makers of Animal issued a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter. Their message read, "Writer of your calibre cannot understand the betrayal of a lover (Between Zoya & Ranvijay) then all your art form is big false (upside-down face emoji) & If a woman (betrayed and fooled by a man in the name of love) would have said "lick my shoe" then you guys would have celebrated it by calling it feminism. Let love be free from the politics of gender. Let's just call them lovers. Lover cheated and lied. Lover said lick my shoe. Period."

Ranbir played the role of Ranvijay whereas Triptii was Zoya. The boot-licking scene was severely bashed by several netizens, however, the makers came out in the film's defence. 

Animal released in theatres on December 1, 2023.