Recently, we caught up with Rajkumar Hirani – the director of Sanju.
Rajkumar Hirani spoke at length about how he finally said yes to the film. How Ranbir Kapoor and Paresh Rawal were brought on board, Munnabhai 3, and lots more.
Upon asking him about how doing a biopic is different from other movies he said,
“When you’re doing fiction you’re in total control. When you don’t like something you can change it. But with a biopic, it’s a responsibility to state as true…is the story. The battle in a biopic is how to structure it.”
He continued that in Sanju’s life there are so many interesting stories. We had to leave many of those interesting stories to find a cohesive story. While talking about what attracted him to make the story he said,
“We have not done something like this and it’s very engaging in nature.”
Rajkumar Hirani continued,
“Sanju is not dark. Every film can be told in various ways. You get pulled to what you like- what attracted to me in this film was a father-son story, a friendship story. If someone who likes thrillers were to do it, they would focus on Sanju picking up the gun and his connection to the underworld.”
“What attracted me the most was while all this was happening in his life – which most of us know anyways – what was happening in that house”
When asked if the movie was an attempt to clear Sanjay Dutt’s image he said,
“I don’t need to make a film as a propaganda film for anyone, least of it Sanjay Dutt.”
He continued saying that he was writing Munna Bhai but dropped it to concentrate on Sanju causes he liked it.
Talking about Paresh Rawal playing Sunil Dutt, Rajkumar Hirani said,
“There’s always a battle if you are doing a biopic of a person who is not so much in limelight – so even if the look doesn’t match 100% it is ok. But Sanju is an actor, there are millions of his photos floating around. The battle was to find actors to match that look. Ranbir, fortunately, we could manage that, with Sunil Dutt, the problem was we thought a lot on whom to cast, we worked with many people, tried the look on many also. But none of them matched.”
Rajkumar Hirani continued saying that in the film Sunil Dutt’s life from the time he is 51 to the time he dies (ie.76) is shown – mostly his older age. Generally to show a person aging beard whiting, thinning of the hair, balding, etc. tools are used, but Dutt Saab’s every image you see he has all black hair and no beard. He went on to say that such a thing had them in a fix to so the distance.
“With Dutt Saab, it was a problem. But I still feel, Dutt Saab’s look is not a perfect match but we tried as close in terms of his dressing up. So we said let’s get an actor who can play it, more than look at it.”
Check out the entire audio clip here: