Raj Kumar Hirani unveils the much awaited biopic Sanju and holds it magnificently as ever with ‘tears and cheers’.
Rajkumar Hirani does the only thing he can. By making Sanjay Dutt, “Sanju”. By choosing to show us a child-man, full of insecurities and flaws. Make no mistake, this film is about proving that bad boys are not intrinsically bad ; the poor things are led down the path of evil by others. While Sanju doesn’t shy away from touching upon Sanjay Dutt’s involvement with the Bombay blasts, and doesn’t draw back from showing him consorting with assorted dodgy characters with their links to the underworld, it does these things lightly, forgivingly, with a laugh and a wink.
Sanju is a dialed-down, tamer version of the real-life hell raiser that used to be Sanjay Dutt, who at one point was so over-taken by drugs that he begged his father, the respected thespian and parliamentarian Sunil Dutt to save him.
Once you’ve made your peace with the Sanjay we get, and there was no way of getting any other in a Hirani movie, you can sit down and enjoy the film. I had a blast all the way till the half-way mark. Ranbir Kapoor is wholly believable as Sanjay-Sanju, channeling not just his (Dutt’s) distinctive body language, but his internal confusion. Paresh Rawal, playing Sunil Dutt with exemplary restraint, matches Kapoor step for step, even striding ahead in places. Manisha Koirala, as Nargis, makes you wish there was more of her. Jim Sarbh, as the guy-with-the-bad-influence, is very fine and dandy, and Vicky Kaushal as Sanju’s faithful New York-based Gujju friend who teaches him life lessons, is absolutely terrific.
And Hirani is in top form, getting all his reel characters to riff off the real characters, in the pursuit of a solid, entertaining tale.
Why are the romantic entanglements of a self-confessed Casanova executed with such coyness is a question you would want to ask Mr. Hirani? Except for Sonam Kapoor’s spirited Ruby, an early Sanju love whom he seems to truly pine for, the female characters get short shrift; Anushka Sharma’s first-reluctant-then-admiring biographer is one of the weakest links in the film. Dia Mirza as his wife Manyata gets a little more screen space to share more than the others though.
Still, what we get, and how we get it, in Sanju, is mostly engaging, and some of it good enough to make you laugh out loud in pleasure, especially when Hirani is killing it. But you wonder too what the film chose to leave out, and you wonder if this would have been more of a film if those things had been in here. Its not a bad watch at all. Worth the effort for Jr.RK who’s looking to get back in form.
He does pack a real punch and a worthy one!!