Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Manisha Koirala, Vicky Kaushal, Sonam Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Karishma Tanna, Anushka Sharma, Jim Sarbh
Runtime: 2h 41min
As everyone by now know ‘Sanju’ revolves around the roller coaster emotional ride of a Bollywood star – Sanjay Dutt. It starts with Sanjay Dutt aka Sanju (Ranbir Kapoor) being out on Parole from his custody for illegally possessing arms at his house. His wife Maanayata Dutt (Dia Mirza) contacts Winnie (Anushka Sharma), a renowned biographer to pen a book on his life. The family wanted to bring out the real & clean image of Sanju in-front of the world.
The graph of the movie travels through various timelines. First of which is how Sanju actually became Sanju & he how became the drug-addict. Introducing his close friend Kamlesh Kanhaiyalal Kapasi (Vicky Kaushal) and another friend Zubin (Jim Sarbh), the movies gets forward to another phase – how Sanju was called a terrorist. Was it all the allegations or did Sanju really committed something he shouldn’t have, that’s what Rajkumar Hirani explores in rest of the film.
Halfway into the movie and you feel how Ranbir Kapoor is not acting, he’s living Sanjay Dutt. He’s not the actor; he’s the man who he’s playing. Rajkumar Hirani & Abhijat Joshi has a formula they follow; every important scene has three important things – drama, emotions & fun.
If you follow the filmography of Hirani, you’ll see how Munnabhai brings in the memory of having Chinese at 3am in an emotional confrontation scene with Circuit (Arshad Warsi), you’ll see how Farhan (R. Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi) strip down their pants for ‘jahapana’ Rancho (Aamir Khan) after a super-emotional scenes & you’ll see how in the heart-wrenching climax ‘PK’ (Aamir Khan) tells Jaggu (Anushka Sharma) that he’s not in love with her to ‘bhaste’ the time thinking about her.
Hirani, Joshi have been living off this formula throughout their filmography and Sanju is no exception. Yes, this is a biopic and everyone knows the major part of it but it takes a Hirani to make even what you already know interesting. He concentrates entirely on the drug addicted phase in the first half & on the comeback of Sanjay Dutt from jail in the second. Yes, there are loopholes in the second who should’ve been covered by Hirani but as I said no movie can be perfect.
Love him, hate him, envy him, admire him, praise him, disgrace him but Bollywood will never find anyone else like him. Rajkumar Hirani has gifted a pool to Ranbir Kapoor to reflect in and we just watch him grow throughout. He carries of each and every emotion with pure perfection. The expressions, the walk, the talk, the accent – he has achieved nirvana with this performance.
Vicky Kaushal – the talent waiting to be explored. ‘Raazi’, ‘Lust Stories’ & now ‘Sanju’, this year is turning out to be his career’s best. He has overshadowed Ranbir in some scenes; there I said it. He shares a significant chemistry with Ranbir in the film & alike Sanju his character too travels through a fickling graph of emotions. I can’t wait to see him more on the big screen.
Paresh Rawal inputs a great support to Sanju’s character as his dad, Sunil Dutt. We revisit some known things & divulge into some very interesting aspects of Dutt sahab’s life. Paresh Rawal performs with a similar enthusiasm and zeal as Sunil Dutt used to do. Manisha Koirala as Nargis Dutt shines bright! She adapts the charm of the veteran actress on-point.
Anushka Sharma looks refreshing & does her part well. Sonam Kapoor is just for short time but fulfills her presence with the grace that was required for her role. Jim Sarbh is all set to be a part of another humongous movie after ‘Padmaavat’ and he’s does not disappoint in this one either. Karishma Tanna is there just for one scene and she has looked smoking hot in her cameo.
Rajkumar Hirani proves yet again why he deserves the tag of master-storyteller more than anyone in Bollywood. He can explore emotions like no one else! Everyone will talk about Ranbir Kapoor’s transformation as Sanju but it’s this man who deserves the credit to see him Dutt. This, without a doubt, is the best biopic to come out of Bollywood. Exploring the dark sides of someone’s life, when was the last time you saw such revelations in a Bollywood biopic? Barring some glitches in the second half, Sanju is a masterpiece – all thanks to the team effort of Hirani-Joshi, Ranbir & the man who brought in Vicky Kaushal in on board.
Surprisingly, apart from the 3 songs that are out, there’s just one closing-credits song in the film. Vikram Montrose’s Kar Har Maidan Fateh works as the anthem of the film. Shekhar Astitwa’s lyrics & Sukhwinder Singh’s voice makes the song what it’s. Rohan-Rohan’s Main Badhiya fills the gap & gets saved by some eccentric expressions by Ranbir Kapoor. A.R. Rahman’s Ruby is stoners’ hymn and pumps up the mood in the film. Closing credits’ song is special, wait for it once the movie is done.
All said and done, Sanju entertains, surprises & blows your mind.