Sanju: The Rollercoaster Life of Sanjay Dutt
Let me preface by saying that I didn’t know much about the life of Sanjay Dutt prior to watching Sanju aside from the fact that he was the son of the legendary Nargis and Sunil Dutt (whom by the way, I didn’t realize was in Munna Bhai, MBBS until after watching this movie!) and was married to Manyata Dutt with twins. The only other thing that I knew was that he had gone to jail for some connection to terrorism or something of that nature.
I walked into this movie not expecting much at all. I didn’t expect to be wowed. I didn’t expect to be so engrossed in a movie, that I didn’t even want to check my phone. I didn’t expect to laugh. I didn’t expect to cry. I didn’t expect to feel so connected to a character. I didn’t expect to be taken on such an emotional roller coaster. But what I really didn’t expect is to want to go back into the theater and watch the movie again (right after it ended).
Sanju – The Acting
First of all, I want to note that Mukesh Chhabra and Rajkumar Hirani have done an incredible job of casting this movie. The actors were so spot-on for every single character — I truly don’t see anyone else playing the roles that they did.
Ranbir Kapoor has been one of my favorite actors since his debut into Bollywood, and I’ve always thought that he will go far, and this movie – in my opinion – shows that he is truly an actor made of his own accord, and not just because he is part of the Kapoor Khandan. Ranbir’s acting in Sanju is truly incredible. He has challenged himself to play a character that is so utterly broken but one you cannot help but fall in love with. He establishes himself as Sanjay Dutt from the opening scene; from walking to talking to his mannerism and actions, you almost forget that he is not Sanjay Dutt. More than the storyline, his acting is why I would watch this move again. For me, Ranbir became a true thespian in this movie.
It was also great to Manisha Koirala and Paresh Rawal on the big screen again. I grew up watching their movies (from Dil to Hera Pheri and everything in between), and I must say, I loved seeing her smile light up the screen once more! Even after all of these years, she hasn’t lost her ability to captivate an audience. It was also refreshing to see Paresh Rawal play a more serious role after a while.
Boman Irani and Vicky Kaushal both provide a sense of comedic relief. Kauhal’s acting and character (is there really a Kamlesh Kapasi IRL?!) is truly like a nerdy, nice friend that everyone loves. His character provides both comedic reliefs and hopes that true friendship still exists in the world, even if you have your “enda” crushed (watch the movie and you’ll get the reference). And Boman, well, he’s Boman and will always keep audiences laughing!
Tbh, Diya Mirza, Anuskha Sharma, and Sonam Kapoor’s acting aren’t worth mentioning, because they’re stand-in characters (so to speak); essential but non-essential at the same time. I honestly forgot that they were a part of the movie while writing this review.
Sanju – The Songs
Another thing that I loved about this movie was that there were really only like 2 songs at max that. Most Bollywood movies are filled with songs that are for the most part not relevant to the movie and “item numbers.” In Sanju, the songs were well placed and served a purpose to story and plot. One of my favorite songs was Kar Har Maidaan Fateh and its been stuck in my head for the past two days.
Sanju – Final Thoughts
In the end, I personally liked the movie and would definitely watch it again. It feels like the true story of Sanjay Dutt and covers many aspects of his life from drug addict to superstar to terrorism suspect and prison inmate. There are definitely some parts left out like his first and second marriage, but then again its already a 3-hour movie.. how much longer could they stretch it, ya know?
While this move was very raw, real, and relatable, one cannot help but wonder how much of it was embellished/left out? It’s also hard to overlook the clear and obvious fact that this movie was made with the purpose of changing the public opinion and persona of Sanjay Dutt and shedding him in a positive light (an opinion many people shared).
But in terms of autobiographical-Esq movies, Sanju definitely is well made and directed with superb acting! (…sorry SRK, “FAN” definitely diminishes in comparison to this movie…)
Hey, don’t just listen to what I’m saying. Go out there and watch it for yourself, and let me know your thoughts!