1. Sanjay Dutt: The subject of this biopic, actor Sanjay Dutt deserves a pat on the back for opening up about his life warts and all in a manner that no film celebrity has done before.He spoke candidly about his battle with drugs, serving a jail sentence for the illegal possessions of arms and more to Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi. Celebrities seldom show their vulnerabilities or share their deepest, darkest secrets, but Sanju may just turn the tide.
2. Hatke Biopic:Biopics that have come out of Bollywood more often than not are about heroes and achievers, celebrating their success.Sanju, however treads the path of Hollywood biopics based on the likes of Marylin Monroe and Princess Diana which offer a gentle recapturing of a celebrity's foibles and finesse.The film allows the audience a glimpse at his drug addiction, battle with his inner demons, how he was labelled a terrorist, his needy and clingy ways in his close relationships and more. In the beginning of the film, one gets to see that Sanjay Dutt wants his biography to be written as he wants people to know the truth about him and not the picture which the media has painted about him, which is what Sanju succeeds in doing. The film also contains heart-wrenching scenes from Sanjay Dutt's life, for instance, there's a scene of him with his mother, Nargis Duttin hospital while she was on her deathbed. And because he was under the influence of drugs, he was unable to even remember her last moments with him.
3. A Nuanced Story: What started withDutt telling Hirani about his time in jail turned into e material for an engaging film. Hirani who obviously has a nose for unusual subjects and good storiesknew this would be a winner if told well. Making the father-son relationship the crux of the story, adds a deft touch and an emotional heft. The film also strikes the right balance between being empathetic and incisive and does not spare Dutt his trespasses.
4. Director Extraordinaire: Unlike Hirani's earlier films like the Munna Bhai series, PK and 3 Idiots, Sanju by virtue of being a biopic about Bollywood's favourite bad boy,is adeparture. Despite the sentimental heartwarming moments, Sanjuis different from his other feel-good films with a far moregrim outcome for the consequences. While his other films which had various messages from non-violence to the futility of ritualism, Sanju did not have any message, barring Dutt's perspective about celebrities being soft targets when it comes to media coverage.
5. Star Power: The film belongs to Ranbir Kapoor, who transformed himself for the role. Although he gets Dutt's body language down pat, Kapoor is clever enough to not make his acting look like a clever imitation. The film can easily be called one of Kapoor's finest performances. Other noteworthy performances include Vicky Kaushal who plays the role of Kamlesh, Kapoor's estranged best friend who is his conscience keeper. Paresh Rawal as Sunil Dutt, Manisha Koirala as Nargis and Sonam Kapoor as Dutt's ex-girlfriend too turn in fine performances within the limited screen time assigned to them.
This review originally appeared on http://talkietive.in/