Sanju Review – Wasted Opportunity

Sanjay Dutt.

Son, Hero, Addict, Traitor?

Sanju aims to answer these questions and does exactly that, in a well-measured way, not even sidestepping once. Thus, a hagiographic image of a person whose life has been the center of discussion for the last two decades in the public eye is presented for public scrutiny. Sanju dangerously veers towards being another Azhar but narrowly escapes from it by the virtue of some superlative performances by Vicky Kaushal and Ran-Unbelievable-Bir Kapoor. The movie needs to be watched only for these two guys, their amazing chemistry, and some great acting.

The movie covers Sanjay Dutt’s life in those parts that have been in public records. Barring a few moments, there is nothing that’s not known. And that’s the bane of being a celebrity. Being directed by Rajkumar Hirani, who owes his career to Dutt and vice versa, the movie doesn’t even paint Dutt in a little shade of grey. Hirani doesn’t portray anything remotely negative about Dutt. Hirani even has a character modeled on himself, played by Anushka Sharma, a writer who Dutt chases after to write his biopic. It’s weird that the movie chooses media as the culprit behind Dutt’s misery and not his poor choices.

But all is not bad. The 2 hours and 42 minutes long movie survive on the able shoulders of Ranbir Kapoor and Vicky Kaushal. It goes without saying that Ranbir is one of the finest actors of this generation. The way he picks up the mannerisms and the gait, it becomes difficult to imagine that it’s not Sanjay Dutt. It is important because there’s a fine line between impersonation and caricature and Ranbir walks on it, with closed eyes and comes out unscathed. Vicky Kaushal plays Sanjay’s best friend and comes up with a bravura performance that overshadows even stalwarts like Paresh Rawal.

Sanju could’ve been a great film, yet it chooses to be a lesser one. Watch it only for Ranbir and Vicky Kaushal.

The Cinemawala Rating: 2.5/5

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