The Roar of Rage: Why Violent Movies Like “Animal” and “Kabir Singh” Resonate in India

Shaurya Sharma
3 min readJan 17, 2024

Movies like “Animal” and “Kabir Singh” have ignited India’s cinematic landscape with their explosive, often grotesque displays of violence. While critics decry their misogyny and toxic masculinity, audiences flock to the theaters, turning these films into box-office behemoths. Unpacking this apparent dichotomy requires delving into the complex tapestry of India’s social and economic realities.

Frustrations of a Changing Landscape:

Rapid modernization has left many Indians grappling with a shifting cultural identity. Traditional social structures are challenged by urban individualism, creating a sense of anomie and displacement. Young men, particularly from affluent backgrounds, may feel trapped between the expectations of their families and the allure of a modern, often hyper-competitive world. Films like “Animal” and “Kabir Singh” tap into this simmering frustration, offering protagonists who channel their anxieties into unrestrained aggression. Their outbursts, though morally reprehensible, become a vicarious release for audiences wrestling with similar internal demons.

Hyper-Masculinity as a Coping Mechanism:

Traditional Indian society emphasizes male dominance and emotional stoicism. Movies like “Kabir Singh” amplify these traits, portraying the protagonist’s violent possessiveness as a twisted expression of love. While undoubtedly problematic, this hyper-masculine persona resonates with some men struggling to navigate complex emotional landscapes. The film offers a distorted sense of control and power, a temporary escape from the vulnerabilities of modern life.

Escapism and Catharsis in the Dark:

The darkness of the cinema becomes a safe space for confronting uncomfortable truths. Movies like “Animal” and “Kabir Singh” don’t shy away from violence’s brutal consequences. This unfiltered portrayal can function as a stark cautionary tale, albeit through a lens of excess. Witnessing these characters’ downfall can provide a sense of catharsis, allowing audiences to grapple with their own darker emotions without confronting them in their own lives.

A Societal Blind Spot:

However, the popularity of these films also exposes a worrying blind spot in Indian society. The glorification of violence, the normalization of misogyny, and the absence of nuanced portrayals of masculinity raise legitimate concerns about their potential impact on real-world behavior. These films risk perpetuating harmful stereotypes and shaping unhealthy relationship dynamics, particularly for young and impressionable viewers.

Moving Beyond the Roar:

Engaging in critical dialogue about these films is crucial. Critics and audiences alike must challenge the narratives they present, exploring the deeper socio-economic factors that fuel their appeal. Filmmakers have a responsibility to portray violence within its real-world consequences, offering alternative narratives of masculinity and exploring healthier conflict resolution methods. Ultimately, striking a balance between artistic expression and responsible storytelling is key to ensuring that the roar of rage on screen doesn’t translate into dangerous echoes in real life.



Shaurya Sharma

Pop culture whiz. Social Media junkie. Web guru. Unapologetic Trash TV connoisseur. I write more than I read. Talk to me about all things Tech.