Take a life as eventful as Sanjay Dutt’s, carefully handpick some select events that would intrigue the audience, give it the Rajkumar Hirani treatment and what you get is a colourful, sugarcoated account of Dutt’s life from his perspective.
Now, don’t get me wrong…Sanju does justice to what it sets out to achieve. The objective is clear. Sanjay Dutt wants the world to know his side of the events that unfurled in his life. But he doesn’t want people to hate him. What the world has known till now, about him, is what the news media has fed it over the years. And in that it’s an honest account. From his drug addiction at an early age, to his womanizing ways, to his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, this movie address it all, but what’s evident is the director and Sanjay Dutt’s need for the audience to empathise with him and his story. And that, the audience does. All thanks to Ranbir Kapoor.
Ranbir disappears into the character and plays Dutt with such conviction that you could almost see Sanjay Dutt playing himself on screen.
Ranbir disappears into the character and plays Dutt with such conviction that you could almost see Sanjay Dutt playing himself on screen. He breathes life into the character and you, as an audience can literally feel what he is going through at each stage of his life in the movie. From his comic timing, to his emotionally charged scenes to the ones in which he is stoned, Ranbir hits the nail on the head each time. With Sanju, Ranbir proves yet again that he is one of the most talented mainstream actors in bollywood. A special shout out to the makeup team who have done a fabulous job in making Ranbir look the part.
As for the rest of the cast, Vicky Kaushal stood out as Sanju’s best friend Kamlesh. Some of the best scenes in the movie are about the bond these two shared as friends, as brothers. Paresh Rawal as Dutt’s father, Sunil Dutt did well, though he seemed a tad miscast in comparison. He didn’t look the part and neither was his Punjabi convincing. Jim Sarbh as Sanju’s drug supplier friend was yet again, a treat to watch. Manisha Koirala, Sonam Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Anushka Sharma and Karishma Tanna played their parts well and are important in their own way in the narrative. Which then brings me to Rajkumar Hirani, the director.
The Rajkumar Hirani brand of films is synonymous with colourful sets and backdrops, humor, song and dance routines, a message in the end and a light hearted approach. And this is probably the only let down. Sanju the movie, deserved a more darker treatment. With the light hearted approach of Hirani, it’s always either black or white. Greyer areas aren’t explored. It’s not gripping enough to emotionally drain you for a story that has the potential to be hard hitting. In the end, as all Raju Hirani movies, you leave with a happy feeling, But it could easily have been some other emotion.
Sanju is about Ranbir Kapoor and how well he played Sanjay Dutt. It’s a good movie that could have been better if it was a bit darker and treated differently.
Rating – 3/5 (Of that 1 is exclusively for Ranbir)