Javed Akhtar Says Commercial Success Of Films Like Animal Is "Dangerous"

Javed Akhtar said, "The audiences have to decide what kind of movies should be made."

Javed Akhtar Says Commercial Success Of Films Like Animal Is 'Dangerous'

Ranbir Kapoor in Animal. (courtesy: YouTube)


In an apparent swipe at Sandeep Reddy Vanga's Animal, veteran lyricist and writer Javed Akhtar has said that commercial success of films with problematic scenes is a "dangerous" trend.

The 78-year-old screenwriter expressed his concerns about the current state of cinema at the Ajanta Ellora International Film Festival in Aurangabad early this week. He, however, did not mention the name of Animal.

"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," Akhtar said.

He was apparently referring to a key scene in Animal, where the film's lead character Rannvijay (Ranbir Kapoor) asks his mistress Zoya (Triptii Dimri) to lick his shoes to prove her love for him.

While it has set the cash registers ringing, grossing close to Rs 900 crore globally, Animal has been labelled misogynistic and brutally violent by a section of viewers and critics.

The veteran screenwriter believes the onus is on the audiences today to decide which films to accept and reject.

"Nowadays, I feel that a bigger responsibility is on the audiences than filmmakers. The audiences have to decide what kind of movies should be made, and what kind of films should not be made. Also, what kind of values and moralities should be shown in our films, what should we reject, that decision is in your hands. The ball is currently in the audience's court," he added.

Akhtar also said writers face a big challenge about the representation of a hero on celluloid.

"Today, the writers face a big challenge about what kind of a hero should be presented on screen. This confusion is there because there's a confusion in society itself. When society is clear about what is right and wrong, then you get great characters in a story. But when society is unable to understand what is right and what is wrong, then you can't create great characters," he said.

"There was a time when life was simple, rich people were considered bad, and the poor people were considered good. But today, we all have that thought in our head, 'Kaun Banega Crorepati?' Hence we can't make the rich people look bad since we ourselves want to be rich. So, who should we say bad? And we don't want to go jail either, we have a lot of constraints on us," he added.

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