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No Salman Khan, no Madhuri Dixit: Sanju left Bollywood out of Sanjay Dutt’s life

Sanju has been accused of being an image cleaning exercise for Sanjay Dutt. The Ranbir Kapoor film doesn’t show any Bollywood actor in the film.

bollywood Updated: Jul 05, 2018 17:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sanju,Sanjay Dutt,Ranbir Kapoor
Sanju, starring Ranbir Kapoor, is doing well at the box office.

Sanju, a biopic on controversial Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, is minting money at the box office. It has earned Rs 186.41 crore in first six days of its release. It is all set to become the highest grossing film of Ranbir Kapoor’s career. Ranbir plays Sanjay Dutt in the film.

The audience might have lapped it up, but the critics are not exactly floored by Sanju. Many pointed out the flaws in the film. They believed that the film is not an objective take on Sanjay’s life. And they have a point because Sanju lacks important details about the actor’s life.

Watch: Sanju movie review

Director Rajkumar Hirani’s film is a blinkered vision of the actor’s life and struggles, mostly with drugs. Sanjay debuted in Bollywood with Rocky (1981). He went on to work over hundred films in next thirty 37 years of his career, but none of these films made it to Sanju. Not even Vaastav.

Munnabhai, directed by Hirani, is the second film mentioned in the biopic. But this is the least of the problems with Sanju.

The most problematic area with the film is its representation of the film industry. There aren’t any actors other than Sanjay’s own family. Not even Tina Munim, who was the heroine of Sanjay’s first film, Rocky, and allegedly his girlfriend at that time.

In an interview with Reuters, Hirani said, “Biopic is a different monster. Our initial attraction to the biopic comes from the anecdotes we hear, because when you are writing a fiction story, you might have a faint idea that this is your story, but the bigger battle is how to write your screenplay. How do you make every scene entertaining and engaging? With a biopic, every time you hear an anecdote and think this can be in the film. But anecdotes do not make a film.”

This thought process reflects in Sanju.

Sanjay’s much talked about friendships with Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan are also not explored in the film. They aren’t even mentioned. There was a time when he was doing films with Salman and Govinda, and they were many. None of them finds a place in the final cut.

Actually, there is no stress on getting his film life right as if the writers were not worried about the circle he spent his maximum time in.

Sanjay, who is from a quintessential film family, worked with the top guns of Bollywood in many projects but probably those relations were not considered important enough for Hirani to assimilate in Sanju. Their absence has only made Sanju a hagiography.

Another reason could be that the makers wanted to stay away from controversy. If they were mentioning any actor or referencing him or her, they would have needed permissions from the said person. For instance, David Dhawan removed reference to Govinda in his film Judwaa 2’s song to avoid trouble.

First Published: Jul 05, 2018 17:25 IST