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Too much attention is going to kill Sandeep Vanga's future


Sandeep Reddy Vanga has been speaking non-stop ever since the publicity campaign of 'Animal' was launched in November last year. After the film's roaring success at the BO, he has only upped the ante, trying to sound like he is an anti-intellectual rebel on steroids.

In a recent interview, the 'Arjun Reddy' director characterized those men who have described 'Animal' as misogynistic in a glib fashion: 'Men who are like women'. He was quick to add a rejoinder: 'I am not saying they are gay'.

Regardless of your political, social and cultural ideology, you should find such language both disrespectful and vacuous. Many men indeed try to please women by labelling certain films as misogynistic. But not every male critic of 'Animal' can be said to be doing such a thing.

Vanga is getting away by uttering nonsense (occasionally, not every time) mainly because he refuses to be interviewed by his critics. Recently, he said that he won't give interviews to certain journalists. He even named two of them: Sucharita Tyagi and Anupama Chopra. He also named a former critic: Rajeev Masand. If Vanga is such a wise man, why does he shy away from facing questions from his critics?

In the latest instance, journalist Prema nods in agreement with him no matter what. In Vanga's films, the men are shown to be alpha and right-thinking despite their flaws. They are portrayed as strong, protective males who know what precisely needs to be done. In real life, though, the creator of those men doesn't even want to face critical interviewers.

For the past 45 days, social media and a section of the Telugu media have given Vanga disproportionate attention. The popularity of his self-styled answers in interviews mimics that of Ram Gopal Varma. RGV started taking himself too seriously after young Netizens started uncritically lapping up his provocative interviews. As his popularity on YouTube grew, the quality of his films started diminishing.

Vanga will reach that stage in a decade if he doesn't shut out video interviewers for good. It is impossible for any mortal not to become excessively self-admiring if 10,000 people on social media lap up whatever you utter. The other day, when Vanga picked Chiranjeevi and Ramya Krishna as his favourite actors, some social media handles with thousands of followers plugged his choice as if he had come up with some rare choice. Where is the need to do so when most Telugu filmmakers in their 30s, 40s and 50s are fans of Chiru? Did he pick VK Naresh or Mohan Babu? No, right?

Stop giving Vanga unreal attention. Things will go to his head and his creativity will die slowly if you give him too much attention.