Rajkumar Hirani is a master storyteller and we all know that from his previous hits like Munnabhai MBBS, 3 Idiots and PK but even his most ardent fans wouldn’t have advised him to go for a biopic on the troubled star Sanjay Dutt who has worked with him in 3 of his 4 films.

Who has lost count of the times he has been in prison, who has slept with other women, who had links with the underworld, who was a bad son to the perfect set of parents and who was never a good role model for youngsters – until now.

The actor has reformed in real life and Rajkumar Hirani found it to be the best time to show that he can make a film on a living legend who has lived a filmi life off-screen as well as on it.

So should one go and watch the film or give it a miss – we believe it is one not to be missed for anything in the world. Read on:

The Acting Is Near Perfect

Ranbir Kapoor is undoubtedly one of the most talented actors around but even he wouldn’t have believed that he would play Sanjay Dutt convincingly had he been told that a few years back.

From playing lover boy roles to guys who wanted to live their life, his career graph had been steady before Sanju – now it will only go on the way up, such has been his performance.

He looks like Sanjay Dutt, walks like him and even talks like the actor who has been around for over 35 years. Paresh Rawal as Sunil Dutt is outstanding as well; he not only has many scenes in the film but his character develops just like Sanju’s.

It is as much a Ranbir Kapoor film as Paresh Rawal’s and the two make you cry by portraying the strong father-son relationship between the two Dutts.

Manisha Koirala as Nargis Dutt is wonderful in her guest appearance and so are Anushka Sharma, Dia Mirza, Sonam Kapoor and Boman Irani.

The surprise factor was however Vicky Kaushal who plays a character who doesn’t exist in reality but makes you believe that even in this fast-paced world, good friends can make the difference. His pronunciation and his mannerisms were excellent and his image in my mind has changed completely after Sanju.

Emotions in Unlimited supply

Every time you go an watch a Rajkumar Hirani film, you make a promise with yourself that you will not cry like an idiot or laugh like one; every time he makes a film, he does that with ease making you laugh and cry at the same time.

Be it the scene where one of the 3 Idiots try to commit suicide by jumping from a window or the one where PK tries to find God in a church, Raju Hirani knows what the audience wants.

In Sanju, he even makes that guy in the audience cry out hard with the Munnabhai hug scene between the two Dutts who had watched the film more than a dozen times. When Sanju’s father decides to sleep on the floor or when his friend Kamli asks him to roar on a hospital bed, the audience feels connected to Sanju’s character and wants to cry their heart out.

It isn’t that Sanju is a drama because there are scenes that make you smile like the one where Sanju goes to his girlfriend’s house to meet her father, or where he runs away from a strip club or where he is shown lying to one of his directors on phone.

The Direction Is Flawless

Rajkumar Hirani is not just the director of the film but also the editor and that’s why the film’s pace never slows down. Like yesteryear directors like Raj Kapoor, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and even David Dhawan, RHK knows the game and that’s the reason why his films don’t look drag at all.


His direction and command on the cinema of the 80s are evident from the scenes where he recreates the old era and doesn’t glorify himself at all, considering it was his film Munnabhai MBBS that heralded the return of Sanjay Dutt in films.

The Art Direction, the attention to detail and the transformation of Sanju are what will stop you from looking at your watch during the film and if that’s not the success of a film, I don’t know what is.

Content Is King Even If It’s Fiction

Yasser Usman’s book on Sanjay Dutt gives an exact opposite view of the actor but the director took it upon himself to delete many such incidents from the actor’s life so as to avoid any controversy.

There is no mention of his eldest daughter, his first two wives, his many girlfriends and his decision to settle abroad after getting a clean chit from his rehab centre. That’s because the runtime of the film had to be less than 3 hours and with events from Sanju’s life, one can make countless films.


The other reason is that Sanjay Dutt’s currently working in the industry and nobody wants to make him angry, not even his frequent collaborator Rajkumar Hirani who is due to work with him in an upcoming Munnabhai film.

The most logical reason, however, seems to be the fact that this film is a work of fiction and the writers can add or subtract details from the subject’s life because they know what the audience wants and that’s what counts the most.

They have come up with a brilliant film that caters to all the good, the bad and the ugly incidents in Sanjay’s life, leaving out the ones they didn’t consider important.

The Lesson – How To Make A Biopic

Bollywood has made many biopics in the last few years but none has been attempted about a person who is currently alive and working. This biopic tells the future filmmakers how to make a film about living legends and one hopes that in coming years, people will follow this format and succeed.

You get emotionally charged while watching Sanju even if you have followed the events of Sanju’s life. The way his case has been put by the makers is commendable as they have removed all doubts from the audience’s mind regarding his links with the underworld, the terrorism charges, his adultery, his conduct as an irresponsible citizen et al.

After watching the film, you will realize that people with the right vision can make good films and think of the many people whose biopic can be made in the near future. Sanju will always be the first one on the list!