Sandeep Reddy Vanga

Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Careful Approach with Sikh Actors in “Animal”

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Sandeep Reddy Vanga, the renowned filmmaker behind the latest blockbuster “Animal,” showcased his careful approach and sensitivity towards the Sikh community during the shooting of the film. Sikh actors Manjot Singh and Amanjot Singh, who played integral roles in the movie, recently revealed their experiences working with Vanga. They highlighted how he meticulously ensured that their characters were portrayed respectfully and avoided any offense to the Sikh community. Each scene was thoughtfully crafted and the director consulting actors so that he portrays the Sikhs in the proper way showcases not only his humility but conviction towards his craft.

Amanjot Singh’s Revelation: Sikhs Are “Not Meant” for Comedy

In a conversation with Siddharth Kannan, Amanjot Singh shared an interesting insight into Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s perspective on Sikh actors. According to Amanjot, Vanga firmly believes that Sikhs are “not meant” for comic roles. The filmmaker conveyed to Amanjot, “I feel Sardars are not made for comedy. Their attitude, nature, their history, it is not made for comedy. I don’t look at Sardars for comedy.” Amanjot added that Vanga’s understanding of Sikh culture and his knowledge about the Sikh community came from spending a significant amount of time with his Sikh and Punjabi friends during his college days.

Breaking Stereotypes: The Serious Sikh Character in “Animal”

Actor Vikram Bakshi, who also had a pivotal role in “Animal,” commended Sandeep Reddy Vanga for breaking stereotypes prevalent in the Indian film industry. He praised Vanga’s decision to depict a Sikh fictional character with seriousness. Bakshi highlighted the rarity of such portrayals and stated, “When did you last see a Sikh fictional character so serious? Even we had comedy, but it was situational. Aise bina baat ki comedy nahi hai (It is not nonsense comedy).” Vanga’s commitment to portraying Sikh characters authentically and with depth is commendable.

Respecting Sikh Traditions: Manjot Singh’s Testimony

Manjot Singh, who delivered a remarkable performance in “Animal,” shared an incident that signified Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s commitment to honoring Sikh traditions. During the film’s look test, Vanga explicitly directed the hairstylist and makeup artist to refrain from touching Manjot’s beard. Manjot recalled, “Sandeep sir’s vision for Sardars was, ‘You are meant for heroic deeds.’ At several places in the film, he used to ask us, ‘Can we do this?’ Like, I am not cutting my beard.” This incident demonstrates Vanga’s respect for the Sikh identity and his refusal to compromise on it in any way.

Unintended Controversy: Addressing Concerns of Sikh Audience

Despite Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s conscientiousness, a scene in “Animal” drew criticism from a section of the audience. In the scene, Ranbir Kapoor‘s character, Ranvijay, is smoking, and the smoke inadvertently appears to affect a Sikh character’s face. Responding to the backlash, Amanjot elucidated, “It was not intentional. It was just a scene where Ranbir was smoking, and he turned around to look at the Sardar, so it appeared as if the smoke came on the sardar’s face. It was not planned like that.” Amanjot emphasized that Vanga always prioritized sensitivity and granted the actors the freedom to voice their concerns.

Conclusion: The Success of “Animal” and Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Approach

“Animal,” featuring stellar performances from Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Tripti Dimri, Rashmika Mandanna, and the talented Sikh actors Manjot Singh and Amanjot Singh, stood among the highest-grossing films of 2023. While some viewers critiqued the movie for its portrayal of violence and misogyny, Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s careful approach and respect for the Sikh community in the film were commendable. By consulting with Sikh actors, understanding their culture, and breaking stereotypes, Vanga demonstrated his commitment to authenticity and paved the way for more inclusive storytelling in the Indian film industry.

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