Akhtar, who along with former writing partner Salim Khan, is known for penning films such as “Zanjeer”, “Deewar”, and “Mr India”, recently said the commercial success of films with problematic scenes was a “dangerous” trend.
While he didn’t mention the name of “Animal”, the screenwriter cited the example of the film’s controversial bootlicking scene featuring Ranbir and Triptii Dimri, who play Ranvijay and Zoya.
In response, the “Animal” team on X tagged Akhtar and wrote: “Writer of your calibre cannot understand the betrayal of a lover (Between Zoya & Ranvijay) then all your art form is big FALSE… Let love be free from the politics of gender… (sic).”
Directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, “Animal” emerged as the most divisive film of 2023 which received criticism for its graphic content, extreme violence, and treatment of female characters. It’s also noteworthy that the movie is one of the top earning Hindi films of the year with ₹900 crore at box office globally.
In the post shared by the film’s official X page, the “Animal” team further said had a woman asked a man to lick her shoe, the moment would have been celebrated in the name of “feminism”.
“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’s just call them lovers. LOVER cheated and lied. LOVER said lick my shoe. Period @Javedakhtarjadu,” the post read.
At the Ajanta Ellora International Film Festival in Aurangabad last week, Akhtar had expressed his concerns about the current state of cinema.
“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.
The noted writer had also said that the onus to decide which films to accept and reject lies with the audience.