Aamir Khan, his ex-wife Kiran Rao, and Animal director Sandeep Reddy Vanga are currently engaged in a complex exchange of critical remarks. Khan remains a silent figure amid this controversy, yet he serves as a central figure around whom the debate revolves. The series of events began with Sandeep Reddy Vanga targeting Kiran Rao in a recent interview.
Notably, Vanga's previous films, Animal and Kabir Singh, received significant commercial success but also faced heavy criticism for promoting misogyny and toxic masculinity. Since the release of Animal, Vanga has been actively defending his filmmaking choices against critics who caution against the depiction of violence and mistreatment of women.
Here's a summary of the recent controversy
Sandeep Reddy Vanga's Critique of Kiran Rao
In a recent interview with Dainik Bhaskar, Sandeep Reddy Vanga took aim at Kiran Rao, referring to her comments on certain films blurring the line between stalking and wooing. Vanga defended his filmmaking against Rao's critique, sparking a heated debate.
Kiran Rao's Original Statement
Kiran Rao's remarks from November 2023, wherein she highlighted gender sensitisation and criticised the portrayal of women in Bollywood, particularly citing films like Kabir Singh and Baahubali, resurfaced amidst the controversy.
According to TOI, she said, "Another very big film, which I find fascinating, was Baahubali 1(Baahubali: The Beginning). It started off with this exciting fight sequence, where this woman is leaping from tree to tree, and she is a warrior. But the hero delicately strips her of her agency and makes her just a fantastic romantic interest. I find it fascinating. It is (one of) the biggest films of Indian cinema."
Rao clarified that she intended to address broader issues in cinematic representation rather than targeting specific films.
Sandeep Reddy Vanga's Calls Out Aamir Khan’s Film
In an unexpected turn, Vanga invoked Aamir Khan's past film Dil to deflect criticism, drawing parallels between Khan's work and the allegations of misogyny in his own films.
Here’s what he said, "Main kehna chahunga uss aurat ko ki jaake Aamir Khan ko pucho 'Khambe jaisi khadi hai, Ladki hai ya fuljari hai' woh kya tha? Then come back to me. That is, matlab, if you remember Dil, almost rape attempt tak leke jaake usko ehsaas jatata hai ki isne galat kiya. Aur usko pyar ho jata hai. Yeh sab kya hai?"
This move prompted scrutiny of Khan's past remarks and actions regarding the portrayal of women in Bollywood.
Aamir Khan's Apology Resurfaces
An old video of Aamir Khan apologising for his film Dil and its controversial portrayal of women resurfaced on social media, reigniting discussions about accountability and responsibility in filmmaking.
Look @imvangasandeep #AamirKhan apologized in front of everyone for using "khambe jaisi khadi"song in Dil...will you ever do the same for showing women as objects in your movies https://t.co/22ypuOCTgb pic.twitter.com/bBBp7FjPJu— RAJ (@AamirsDevotee) February 3, 2024
Kiran Rao's Rebuttal
Kiran Rao responded to Vanga's comments, commending Aamir Khan for his willingness to reflect on past mistakes and apologise. She emphasised the need for direct communication between Vanga and Khan regarding any grievances, distancing herself from the controversy.
Kiran Rao also said that she had not seen Sandeep Reddy Vanga's films. "I have never commented on Mr Sandeep's films because I have never seen them. I have often spoken on misogyny and the representation of women on screen. I have talked about it on various platforms at various times. But I have never taken the name of any film because it is not about the specific film. Why Mr Vanga has assumed that I was talking about his film you'll have to ask him. I have never seen his film," she said.
The controversy escalated as both sides continued to defend their positions. Sandeep Reddy Vanga's team maintained that their critique was based on factual reporting, while Kiran Rao reiterated her stance on broader issues of misogyny in Bollywood.
We neither our Director Mr @imvangasandeep are making any assumptions Miss @ikiranrao !— Animal The Film (@AnimalTheFilm) February 5, 2024
It’s a fact reported by a very big media channel.
Article Link 👇🏼https://t.co/dLKVn5pPO4 pic.twitter.com/lJcLHmHwGJ