Sharanya Misra

Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju, that released this Friday, has grossed a whopping Rs.34.75 Crore on Day 1. That makes it the biggest opener of 2018, and in fact, Ranbir Kapoor’s highest opener so far. Not too bad for a movie overrun with controversies from the go, eh? Or maybe, that’s exactly why!

So…Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way first!
Sanju, at the outset, is a very clever movie. It is clearly a platform for Sanjay Dutt to share his side of the story with the world, and Rajkumar Hirani doesn’t pretend otherwise. For people expecting a balanced biopic covering all of the facts and characters from Sanjay Dutt’s life, that’s not what this is. It is a ‘story’ blurring lines of fact, fiction and drama – a movie made out of love by one friend for another, to portray the humane side of a man hounded by the horrors of his past mistakes. The movie carefully poses selected misdemeanours as regretful confessions to woo the public, always lacing the screenplay with that tinge of humour and human emotion. Yes, Sanju is undoubtedly a movie aiming to redeem a man, who has been time and again put to trial, in the eyes of the public.
And yet, it is a great watch. Here are 4 reasons why!


The Top-Notch Performances!
Sanju literally explodes with the brilliant acting of each and every one of the cast. I have personally never been an ardent fan of Ranbir Kapoor, but this time, he blew me away! He fits into the character so well and mirrors Sanjay’s mannerisms to such perfection that at one point I had to shut my eyes and try to remember how the real young Sanjay Dutt actually looked! Having watched the film now, I simply cannot imagine any other actor doing justice to the role the way Ranbir has. Vicky Kaushal is perfection exemplified, yet again. This man has been hogging the movie-space of my life for some time now and I cannot complain. Be it Love per square foot, Raazi, Lust Stories or now Sanju, Vicky Kaushal has arrived and how! He brings incredible ease and nuance to his performance as Sanju’s friend Kamli and I am almost tempted to imagine that he is as much the hero of the movie as Ranbir Kapoor. Paresh Rawal is, as usual, brilliant in his portrayal of Sunil Dutt and Jim Sarbh has now perfected the art of playing the quintessential bad guy. But to me the cherry on the cake was, without a doubt, Manisha Koirala. She is perfect as Nargis Dutt, bringing in a breezy calmness to the chaotic life of her son. She looks and acts extremely naturally, reminding one of the almost forgotten tales of her yesteryears acting prowess and is a pleasure to watch.


The Superb Looks!
Much of the movie’s success is owed to the spectacular looks the team has recreated of all the characters involved. Costume designer Eka Lakhani and hair stylist Aalim Hakim have hit the nail on the head. Paresh Rawal transforms into Sunil Dutt in flashes, Dia Mirza is a spitting image of Maanyata Dutt and Anushka Sharma’s new look does justice and more for the role she essays. Ranbir Kapoor is lost out of mind’s frame after the first few minutes leaving behind Sanju Baba on the screen.


Some Good Songs!
There are barely a handful of songs in the movie, but I loved each one of them. The thing with Rajkumar Hirani’s songs is that they usually make more sense after you’ve watched them in the movie and the trend continues here as well. A R Rahman’s Ruby steals the show for me with its peppy 80’s beats and the brilliant cinematography. Baba bolta hai bas ho gaya where Ranbir Kapoor shakes a leg with the asli Sanju is a fitting and suave show stopper.


Incredible Screenplay!
Rajkumar Hirani is a master story teller. Yes, he sometimes over-does it, almost bordering on the Barjatyas’ flair for emotions, but thankfully reins back into acceptable limits. I loved the emotional angle the movie portrays, and after all isn’t that what was intended in the first place – to give the world a glimpse into the mind of the man who has been in and out of jails for most of his life. The movie doesn’t question the sentence the man has served, respecting our faith in the justice system and the punishment it had awarded. But what it does tear into (and I think rightly so) is the irreparable damage that speculations in the media did to the man. The screenplay focusses on the emotions in the family, the pain of a father watching a son spiral into a life of drugs even as he is losing his wife to cancer, the pain of a son who bears the burden of being a disappointment to his father and the pain of a young man who loses his way so badly that he must face the repercussions of his actions for the rest of his life.

All in all, Sanju is a great movie (movie. Not biopic), that revels in the efforts that its makers painstakingly took. Watch it, if you are an admirer of the art of film-making and derive delight from a good movie made.

Image Source – Internet.

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