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‘Sanju’ Movie Review: The unconventional life of Sanjay Dutt presented by Ranbir Kapoor has blockbuster written all over it

Directed By:  Rajkumar Hirani
Produced By: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Vicky Kaushal, Manisha Koirala, Anushka Sharma, Sonam Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Jim Sarbh, Boman Irani
Duration: 2h 41minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating:  4 stars

Bollywood has treated the audience to a number of biopics on great personalities. While some managed to intrigue us with their brilliant vision which let us experience a particular person’s life just by sitting on a couch, some failed to leave an impact. Nevertheless, when this man called Rajkumar Hirani thought of depicting his close friend Sanjay Dutt‘s life on the silver screen, his fans, including me, were merely content with his idea.

Sanjay Dutt’s life has been one hell of a roller coaster ride. From his estranged relations with his father to his drug addiction to his numerous girlfriends, Dutt’s journey is definitely worth being told. But executing the same while also keeping in mind to not disrupt it, demanded a lot of effort. Well, now let us see whether Hirani has sailed or sunk the ship.

The first half of ‘Sanju’ is about the not-so-great bond with his dad, Sunil Dutt (Paresh Rawal), his accidental friendship with a guy named Kamlesh (Vicky Kaushal) and his camaraderie with his mother, Nargis Dutt (Manisha Koirala). ‘Sanju’s initial phase builds the crux of the movie – from being an irresponsible son, a young guy who cannot spend a moment without the substance, his troubled relations with a girlfriend (Ruby), a mother losing her battle to cancer, involvement in 1993 blasts to meeting a writer, Winnie (Anushka Sharma), who helps him pull out of the mudslinging. You would be taken aback and smothered by the fact that the now superstar Sanjay Dutt, at a point in his life, had lost his senses, as he couldn’t differentiate between reality and imagination. Out and out, the first 90 minutes of the movie keeps you glued to the screen. With each scene, the curiosity to know more about the man increases.

Moving ahead, we are exposed to Sanju’s (Ranbir Kapoor) side of the story- how the man was arrested under TADA, the underlying reason for the same despite him not being the culprit, how the world and paparazzi framed him as a terrorist. Here as well, Hirani’s product doesn’t let you complain as every particular chapter of Dutt’s life is portrayed crisply thereby making us understand it well. Not bombarding the audience with loads of information at once, the movie is like a jigsaw puzzle, step by step putting each piece in the right place and eventually completing it appropriately. There are some scenes in this movie that leave you heartbroken, for example, the one where Sanju loses his mother and when he pleads or breaks down in front of his dad to help get out of all the mess in his life. These tiny and very keen details of Sanjay Dutt’s life will leave you speechless.

Speaking about the performances of the cast, I need to applaud each actor. Even though there are characters that have an appearance for a minute in the film surrounding one particular man, they have their own space. Ranbir Kapoor, who plays the reel, Sanjay Dutt, has left me stunned and with no words to appreciate his performance. I am sure after this film, Mr Kapoor can be touted as one of the most versatile actors in Bollywood.  Coming to Paresh Rawal and Manisha Koirala, they are the delight of the movie, especially Manisha as she looks the crystal clear image of late Nargis Dutt. Not missing out on Vicky Kaushal, Jim Sarbh and Boman Irani, the actors have purely done justice with this character. Whereas Dia Mirza, Anushka Sharma, Karishma Tanna and Sonam Kapoor are the cherry on top with their simple yet crisp appearances.

When you hear the song ‘Kar Har Maidan Fateh’ in the cinema hall, you will have to confidence to face the difficulties in your life with courage despite the failures, just like Sanjay Dutt. On the other hand, songs like ‘Ruby Ruby’ and ‘Main Bhi Badhiya Tu Bhi Badhiya’ make for a good watch too.

Just like the stellar acts by the actors and musicians, the scenes of the film are well crafted. Kudos to Ravi Varman, who balances both the past and present mood of the film aptly. Coming to the man who got all the above-said things in place, the director, Mr Rajkumar Hirani, we need to thank him for not glorifying and justifying Sanjay Dutt’s life on-screen and presenting it in a subtle way. No wonder this man has made a mark for himself as one of the finest directors of Bollywood, owing to his subtleness.

While the movie has blockbuster written all over it, there is a small glitch which is pricking us. The absence of Madhuri and Sanjay Dutt’s alleged love-affair kind of left a void in Hirani’s product. I mean, this was like missing out one important chapter of his life which was the most talked about. Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri’s love-affair was one of the highlights back in the 90’s, from the duo working in more than 5 films to their sizzling chemistry on magazine covers, their relationship had spread all over in Bollywood. Wonder what was the reason behind not making that chapter a part of the film.

Nevertheless, finally, giving out the final verdict- If you have been a fan or even if you are not a fan of Sanjay Dutt, do watch this movie- ‘Sanju’ to brighten up your lazy weekends! I bet you will have a smile on your once you leave the cinema hall. Adios!

Watch the trailer here:


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