Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Manisha Koirala, Anushka Sharma, Sonam Kapoor
Director : Rajkumar Hirani
Producer : Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Music : A. R. Rahman
Cinematographer : Ravi Varman
Editor : Rajkumar Hirani
Sanju (Ranbir Kapoor) jailed on charges of possessing an assault rifle. He asks a reputed author (Anushka) to write his autobiography to tell the world what exactly had happened to him. Initially, she is reluctant to pen his book. Sanju tries to convince her by narrating his story from childhood to different stages of his life.
Sanjay Dutt’s life may have been an open book, yet Raj Kumar Hirani’s explores Sanju’s life in multiple aspects that is heartwarming. The director honestly presents lively and dark sides of the actors life. Sanju keeps audiences hooked, disclosing details about deadly Dutt’s life showcasing his glorious film career, disturbing drug addiction, illegal relationships, mafia linkups etc.
It is no denying that Raj Kumar Hirani is an auteur with a flair for storytelling, He effectively manages to keep the audience engrossed with the simple narrative, which is a journey of emotional upheavals, shocking revelations and tender moments.
The dialogues by Hirani himself and Abhijat Joshi are straightforward, colloquial, yet laced with humour. The songs too mesh perfectly with the narrative and nothing seems out of place.
Ranbir Kapoor’s impeccable performance as Dutt makes the film a epic of a biopic. Ranbir shines all the way as Sanju and not only does his physical demeanour resemble that of Sanjay Dutt’s, but he slips into his psyche too and becomes an extension of Dutt, making you see Dutt’s life on screen.
Matching him in histrionics is Vicky Kaushal, an equally talented actor, who is effortlessly convincing as Sanjay’s friend Kamlesh Kanaiyalal Kapasi aka Kamli. He is endearing, as he steals your heart with his simplicity and unabashed affection for Sanju. Their on-screen bond is palpable.
Manisha Koirala as Nargis Dutt is genuine, while Dia Mirza as Sanjay Dutt’s Wife Manyata, is restrained and charming. Anushka Sharma as the renowned author Winnie Diaz fails to leave an impact, but Paresh Rawal as Sunil Dutt renders a heartfelt performance except for his diction that gives him away. Sonam Kapoor, as his love interest Ruby is effective and Boman Irani, as the quintessential Parsi father, is a delight to watch.
In cameo roles, Jim Sarb as Zubin Mistry, the drug peddler whom Sanjay Dutt refers to as “God” and Anjan Shrivastav in a one scene role as a prominent political figure, are brilliant.
Sanju’s is mounted with ace production values. The production designs, the camerawork, editing and sound, are expectedly top notch.
The script steers clear from Sanjay Dutt’s personal life and romantic liaisons, but does in no way appear lopsided, as those do not seem intrinsic to the film’s focus.
Overall, ‘Sanju’ is a heart-warming tale told honestly with right dose of entertainment. The film lays emphasis on the father-son relationship, as well as his bond with his friend Kamli.