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Sanjay Dutt: Top gun

The generally underrated Sanjay Dutt has proved his mettle in Sanjay Gupta?s Kaante, playing a role tailor-made for him with such aplomb that he puts even the redoubtable Amitabh Bachchan in the shade occasionally

india Updated: Jan 15, 2003 15:36 IST

The generally underrated Sanjay Dutt has proved his mettle in Sanjay Gupta’s Kaante, playing a role tailor-made for him with such aplomb that he puts even the redoubtable Amitabh Bachchan in the shade occasionally


It is not easy to hold one’s own in a film spearheaded by the redoubtable Amitabh Bachchan. The generally underrated Sanjay Dutt not only manages to do that with a certain degree of finesse, he also occasionally towers over the rest of the Kaante cast. That’s no mean feat in a film that has as many as six competent actors vying for the attention of the audience.

The Sanjay Gupta-directed crime thriller is right up Dutt’s street. He could quite easily have gone overboard. To his credit, he doesn’t. He plays the character of gangster Ajju with remarkable subtlety and restraint, qualities you do not normally associate with Bollywood hunks.

In scenes of blood-curdling violence, Dutt uses understatement to convey a sense of menace. And during the lighter moments, he eschews buffoonery in favour of a wry, matter-of-fact demeanour.

Dutt’s controlled performance in Kaante must surely rank among the best of his chequered acting career. The character of the mercurial outlaw he plays traverses the entire gamut of emotions – from laconic humour to over-the-top outbursts. Dutt handles both extremes, and everything in between, with the aplomb of seasoned performer.

In some scenes, he looks every inch the ruthless, unemotional ruffian. In many others, where the six protagonists exchange friendly banter, Dutt looks the least polished, exposing his raw sensibility in the form of crude humor and crass language. Kaante is, therefore, as much Dutt’s film as it is Bachchan’s.

First Published: Jan 14, 2003 14:18 IST