Written by Manisha Lakhe on June 29, 2018
Ranbir Kapoor Ka Mimicry Show!
Drugs, Guns, Dosti, Ghapaghap,
Sab Kitta Sweet Hai!
Let’s get one thing straight: This is a work of fiction
masquerading as a biopic. And Rajkumar Hirani may have
violins standing by to manipulate emotions, and he has
Ranbir Kapoor mimicking Sanjay Dutt’s mannerisms, but the
movie remains a vanilla version of a life full of violence
induced by drugs, guns, bad company and women.
Have you ever bought a fake bag, sunglasses, even books from
a roadside vendor who ran when the cops came? Have you ever
had a friend who was told they resemble a movie star and then
they became so annoying in that imitation that you are no longer
friends? Watching Sanju was just such an experience. Granted,
that Rajkumar Hirani’s craft is visible, because he plays with all
kinds of emotion. Granted also that Ranbir Kapoor has a
humongous talent for imitation.
What should have been the story of a meteoric rise of a
privileged brat who turned into a superstar, brought down by
drugs and women and then guns and bad company, and then
rises against all odds, ends up being a two and half hour
mimicry show, which glosses over everything.
Kabhi Bambaiyya Kabhie Hindi
The storytelling style is like a conversation, Sanjay Dutt talking
about his life. And that’s a fine narrative device too. But the
writing swings from Bambaiyya style slang in dialog (‘Faad
daala’ and ‘Waat laagli’) to his internal dialog, when he’s
arguing with the lawyers, and pleading with the underworld don,
he speaks quite normally.
Grown Up Lads Fantasize About Phools Aur Butterflies
Whatever Happend to Pamela Anderson?
And what’s with seeing flowers and rainbows when showing us
drug induced hallucinations? Will troubled souls see flowers?
There is much better madness in Disney’s Fantasia, where
Mickey Mouse is a Sorcerer’s Apprentice and even he sees
pink elephants on unicycles, ostriches and hippos doing ballet
and twilring mushrooms and multiplying brooms when things
go out of control. And Rajkumar Hirani shows us flowers and
more flowers blooming and in his most drug induced sadness,
we see Sanju write his girlfriend’s name and blows on it and
the letters vanish as if made of smoke. If flowers is what Sanju
saw when he did drugs, then why is he so troubled?
350 Women Give Or Take, So Cute Na?
How cute and casual this is, about going through 350 women!
But that’s not troubling at all! They casually dismiss his
womanising as a statistic. Something his wife jokes about and
the female reporter notes it down as, ‘How honest he is!’ No one
thought it was weird to reduce women to numbers? Who would
believe that a superstar who is rumored to have dated some of
the most beautiful women would just gloss over this part of his
life with one line? And no one tells us how he was married to the
woman who is shown to defend him with her all? Then call it
‘Ghapaghap’ to get laughs from the cheap seats.
Violence Bhi Sweet Hai!
Let’s gloss over the guns and the other violent parts of his nature
too! Show us how he ‘playfully’ makes a writer pray to him
because he dares to suggest that his biopic should have
comparisons to Mahatma Gandhi, and then forcibly removes
the writer’s shoes because he is made to look like a God in the
biopic he’s writing. Well, in that case, the same should be done
to the director who wants us to believe Sanjay Dutt was a super
good guy, just misunderstood.
He’s As Innocent As A Daisy, The Press Is The Bad Guy
Cheap shots are taken at journalists because they’re trying to
‘sell’ news, and again and again and again we are shown how
Sanju Baba got a bad rap. They forgot to show one big part of
his life as a movie star! And he’s been such a huge movie star,
the failure to show anything about his movies is a shame! In fact,
there’s nothing, nothing about his movies. No highs when his
screaming fans chase him, no lows when the movies fail. In fact,
apart from the first movie and one scene of his very first film,
and one of his last films we see nothing of Sanjay Dutt the
All Is Not Lost…
But the one shining star in this movie is Vicky Kaushal. The friend
who stays with Sanju through all his ups and downs. He made me
cry and he made me smile. And you come away wishing you had
a friend like Kamli. This performance is not just the best, but
shows us what the film could have been, resemblance to Sanjay
Dutt be damned. Yes Paresh Rawal too gives off the Sunil Dutt
vibe and makes good dad to the Sanju.
But in the end, no matter how much lipstick and gloss and glitter
you put on a pig, it won’t turn into a unicorn. Despite the creepy
similarity to the real Sanju baba, this film remains what it is, a pig.
(this review sans subheads appears on nowrunning dot com)