After heaps of expectations were mounted on the film, Sanju, the Dutt biopic released today. Ranbir Kapoor plays Sanjay Dutt, while Paresh Rawal, Vicky Kaushal, Manisha Koirala, Sonam Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Jim Sarbh and Anushka Sharma play other important characters. Co-written by Abhijat Joshi, this film is written, co-produced, edited and directed by Rajkumar Hirani. Now, let us dive right into the review.
Before we talk about the technical and other aspects of Sanju, here's a disclaimer for all the lovers of fast-paced commercial cinema. Right from the first scene of Sanju, the director establishes the mood, and the pace of the film is understood to be slow. This biopic will talk about the intricate details of Sanjay Dutt's personal life, his emotional relationship with his parents, friends, and partners. A very minute portion of the film discusses his career in films. Those who have done their research and a detailed study about Sanjay's life might connect to the film's emotion and mood a little more.
Sanjay Dutt has been sentenced to serve a 6-year jail term for possession of an assault rifle, and the whole nation refers to him as a terrorist. He wants to prove that he isn't one, by publishing an autobiography. He meets Winnie (Anushka Sharma), an acclaimed biographer to narrate his story. From there on, we travel back and forth into the flashbacks and reality of Dutt's life. Let us take a look at the technical characteristics of the film without divulging more into the story (though reality).
Firstly, Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi have efficiently made use of drama and cinematic liberties to convincingly present Sanjay Dutt's life in a well-staged manner. Though his life does include various negative features such as drug abuse, the film will subtly create an awareness as to how harmful it can be. It is a well-written film and the dialogues carry a great level of potency. As mentioned above, the film runs for 2 hours and 40 minutes and it does not waver much in its pace. It travels slowly but it guarantees total engagement throughout. Raju Hirani has cut the film in an interesting pattern that complements neatly with the screenplay. A really important factor in this film is Ravi Varman's cinematography. His trademark lighting standards and sense of framing add prodigious value to the film. There are a couple of interesting background score themes that supplement the tone of the film, and Sanjay Wandrekar and Atul Raninga's work is appreciable.
Now, coming to the performances, Paresh Rawal plays Sunil Dutt, and he doesn't compromise on his quality of performance. Vicky Kaushal requires a special mention for his wonderful performance as Sanju's best friend Kamlesh. Manisha Koirala, Sonam Kapoor, Dia Mirza and Anushka Sharma play their roles to perfection and none of them seem to look like misfits.
Finally, Ranbir Kapoor deserves one whole paragraph to describe his performance. After Sanju, one would certainly feel that Ranbir Kapoor has entered the next league as an actor. He has performed exceptionally well, and it is so intense that it might leave you teary-eyed at many junctures. Being the titular character, Ranbir doesn't necessarily try to convince you that he is Sanjay Dutt. His looks and body language conveys that he is Sanjay, but he knows his limits really well. Special credits to Rajkumar Hirani for drawing the boundary of imitation clearly. A substantial amount of hard work has gone into portraying himself as Sanju, and it is very much visible.
On the whole, Sanju is an emotional ride into the eventful life of Sanjay Dutt which has been exhibited remarkably well.