Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Sonam Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Vicky Kaushal, Manisha Koirala, Paresh Rawal
What’s astounding is how Rajkumar Hirani does it. And he does it all the time, he walks the tight rope and plays to the gallery simultaneously. You cannot take the credit away from Abhijat Joshi (writer) either but it is Hirani’s bravado in declaring he will go on ahead and make a film on Sanjay Dutt and Ranbir Kapoor’s sheer madness in taking up such a ginormous challenge that makes Sanju a must-watch.
Walking into the theatres, you will sense the anticipation, because while everyone had either loved Sanjay Dutt or hated him, no one has ever been able to ignore the man. With his insouciance and casual charm and sometimes even with his ill-mannered jibes, he has won hearts without trying.
The films starts with Sanju (Ranbir Kapoor) trying to convince a journalist Winnie (Anushka Sharma) to write his life story for him. He has already been burnt once, and this time around he wants the people to know what really happened. He is doing so, right before he is about to surrender to the authorities. It is his wife (Dia Mirza) who manages to convince Winnie. The story of Sanju’s life is not going to be easy on the heart though, the kind of ups and downs this one man alone has seen, will send any one else into tears.
We see Sanju go through the trials of being a superstar’s son, an actor and a drug addict and then commit the most grievous mistake of his life…. His tryst with those on the other side of the law. The movie spins through every aspect of his life and makes the audience one with the man who has swam through the storms. You come out of the theatres drenched; a little with tears, a little with an overwhelmed heart and mind. Sanju is a work of magicians. It could not have been simple making this impossible dream of Sanjay Dutt come true in any other way.
The dikhats Rajkumar Hirani worked around are obvious; there are no mentions of Trishala (Dutt’s daughter from his first marriage); nothing substantial about his elaborate and much-talked-about love life; and there is very little of his mother but a great deal of the honesty comes from the fact that there are no long-winded explanations given to justify the glaring mistakes Sanjay has done in his life. Nor have they over played the victim card. Yes, they have said he was wronged in many ways, but he also made some very bad choices. At the end of the day, he has suffered for the choices he made.
It must not have been easy to write about a man who still is making movies, whose name has been associated with way too many people to keep the script clean and yet, Hirani has given you histrionics without melodrama, humour despite the anguish and the truth (mostly) despite the hurdles. The man needs a standing ovation for managing all that and more.
Of course, it would not have been possible to have achieved this had he not had the support of his cast and crew. Let’s start with crew: Of course having A R Rahman already gives you the winning edge, but while the background score is phenomenal and some of the songs remain with you till after you walk out of the theatre, the movie definitely took precedence over the music. There is not much that distracts you from the script. The cinematography changes as strongly as Sanju’s life story. It is brilliance by Ravi Varman.
There is no taking away credit from any one of the fabulous minds that have put Sanju together, however the movie belongs with Ranbir Kapoor. If anyone ever said, Ranbir was taking it the easy way, will have to eat their words when they see him in this film. Portraying a man who has been seen, loved and celebrated by the very audience who will sit and judge, waiting to see you miss a step – is working under inhuman conditions. Ranbir has gone ahead and taken up the challenge, one look at him and you know that he has won the contest. You don’t see Ranbir in the film at all, it is completely Sanjay Dutt, from look to gait to emotions. Ably supported by Vicky Kaushal (our fast favourite, who you will love in this film) and Paresh Rawal, Ranbir Kapoor has lifted up the life of Sanjay Dutt from all murky doubts and done a grand job with it all!