Sanju is not the best film by Rajkumar Hirani but it is still definitely worth a watch!

“Are you kidding me, of course I’ll do it!” Also, in my head, I was sure it was going to set the box office on fire and define new benchmarks of how to make a biopic

And I was not the only one

Yes, there aren’t many films that carry as many expectations as Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju did

The challenge for someone like Hirani is how to surpass what he has already made and how to meet those expectations



com/watch?v=1J76wN0TPI4 Hirani’s formula has been tried and tested

His movies are an emotional roller coaster ride, where he hides sudden tear-jerking moments in comical scenes

Before you have fully recovered from laughing off a slapstick scene, he brings in emotional melodrama

The same formula has continued in Sanju as well, even though it has less comic moments as compared to 3 Idiots or Munna Bhai

Contrary to expectations, Sanju is not a biopic

It barely covers Sanjay Dutt’s life events

It fails to cover his film career, rise and fall at the box office, his relationships with Madhuri Dixit, Tina Munim or other heroines, his camaraderie with Salman Khan or Suniel Shetty and so on

His daughter Trishala from his first wife, Richa Sharma, is not even shown! I can only imagine losing his 32-year-old wife and having a motherless daughter in the times of his legal and personal struggles would have some emotional impact on his life

Leaving that out from a biopic does not do justice to the life of Sanjay

That’s one problem with Sanju, but it is not the only problem

Sanju is actually a relationship drama which covers two parts of his life: his relationship with his father, Sunil Dutt, and his relationship with his friend Kamlesh

While Sunil, played by Paresh Rawal, is Sanjay’s real father, Kamlesh, played by Vicky Kaushal, is not a real character but an amalgamation of different friends of Sanjay

Similarly, Ruby, played by Sonam Kapoor, is also a mix of many of his girlfriends

Arguably, Hirani had a lot to say about Sanju but there seemed to be a struggle about what to keep and what to remove

Considering that he had to make an entertainer, he had to compromise on a few things to let others in, albeit forcefully, like the ‘three ustaads’ narrative of Sunil

Music has never been Hirani’s strength, the same trend continues in Sanju as it leaves not a single memorable melody

It will be an insult to compare Sanju with Azhar but the two films have one thing in common: both films aim to glorify the protagonist, where the protagonist had made a few questionable decisions in his life

While Azhar simply refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing by Azharuddin, Sanju takes the route of playing victim

Be it his drug habit or his association with Mumbai blasts, Sanju shows Sanjay as a victim of unfortunate events

A dying mother, a strict father, lack of friends and fear of life are behind all his wrong actions

In some of the scenes, Hirani has gone overboard, which is very unlike him

Sanjay beating up Zubin outside his home and the theatre scene with the lawyer are the two scenes which actually made me cringe

Sanju does have its nice moments though

In fact, there are many of those moments

There is no doubt that the film will do wonders at the box office and it will touch the hearts of many

Hirani knows how to play with the audience and he has done just that

The central premise of the film, the father-son story and the best friend story are full of emotional and inspiring moments

Har Maidan Fateh will go out as one of the best pictured motivational songs in recent times



com/watch?v=1KzsCv9chh4 Sanjay’s speech on Sunil’s death will make you bawl your eyes out

The breakup scene with Sonam, scenes in the prison and Kamlesh’s car buying scene will make the viewers choke on their own sobs

The one thing which was never doubtful and has gone in favour of Sanju is the acting department of the main cast; however, the supporting cast is not as good as it was in the Munna Bhai series

Jim Sarbh is a weak link and his accent is annoying

Sonam does what she does best; stays high-pitched and looks in constant pain

Anushka Sharma was painfully unbearable flaunting a visibly annoying duck pout and is best ignored as a non-resident Indian (NRI) author who’s penning Sanjay’s biography

Manisha Koirala’s cameo was endearing and poignant, considering the actress’s own struggle with cancer

Diya Mirza’s portrayal of a selfless wife was also pretty good

Even though Rawal probably was a wrong choice for Sunil and started off really poorly in the first few scenes, he gradually grew into the character and towards the end, made it his own

It seemed like the wrong choice because his Punjabi accent was poor and Sunil’s stature in person was very different from that of Rawal’s

 Perhaps Amitabh Bachchan would have been a better choice for the role

But then there were two actors who were just out there to win the screen

Ranbir Kapoor is more Sanjay than Sanjay himself! He is absolutely fantastic in this utterly complex role; the ever-changing look, the physicality of Sanjay’s character and playing the proverbial drug addict

The way Ranbir has captured the timeline of Sanjay’s life proves once again that he is the best actor of his generation, way ahead of Ranveer Singh and the others

The film, however, equally belongs to Kaushal

His character is one-dimensional which is a writing flaw, but his performance more than makes up for it

He makes you laugh with his ‘snake in the hole’ and ‘sexpear’ accent

He makes you cry in his drunk scene, which by the way is the best drunk scene I have seen in a long time

While his relationship with Sanjay is a treat to watch, his relationship with Sunil is a lot more engaging and warm

He is pretty much a sure shot winner of all the supporting actor awards this year

Thankfully after his first mainstream film, we will be able to see a lot more of Kaushal

Sanju is a good film; a very good film

The audience will love it

The numbers will come for it

Awards will pour down on it

Will it go down as the greatest biopic in Indian cinema as it was expected to? Does it set new benchmarks for making biopics? Is it an all-time classic? The answer is a resounding no

It’s not the best film by Hirani but it is still worth watching

All photos: Screenshots

Date:01-Jul-2018 Reference:View Original Link