‘An emotionally enriching experience worth witnessing…’

‘Sanju’ movie review by ‘Divya Solgama’ 


Hindi cinema saw the first the first glimpse of Sunil Dutt and Nargis Dutt’s son Sanjay Dutt in the movie ‘Reshma Aur Shera’. His debut film ‘Rocky’ took a while to get completed as Sunil Dutt was busy with health issues of Nargis Dutt and saw it’s release day thanks to uncredited direction by Raj Khosla. The movie failed to match up to the expectations but managed to make a mark for Sanjay and is still remembered for its fantastic music. Sadly, Sanjay had to wait for films such as ‘Naam’ followed by ‘Thanedaar’ to make his real mark. Then came the early 90s which established Sanjay Dutt the superstar with back to back super hits in the form of ‘Saajan’, ‘Sadak’ and ‘Khalnayak’. Along, with the film career Sanjay manage to keep the gossip mongers busy with his multiple affairs, brawls, marriages, drug issues and possession of illegal arms. Despite of all the good and bad Sanjay Dutt managed yo hold a special place in everyone’s heart. Thus the announcement of a bio pic on his life was highly exciting and the names of Ranbir Kapoor and Rajkumar Hirani made it more merrier. So let’s find out whether ‘Sanju’ will manage to match up to its mammoth expectations or might be one more bio pic made only to glorify it’s main protagonist.


‘Sanju’ starts with the court’s sentencing to Sanjay Dutt (Ranbir Kapoor). This verdict upsets Sanjay Dutt and his wife Manyata Dutt (Dia Mirza) as they want the world to know their side of the story. Thus, they approach Winnie Diaz (Anushka Sharma) to writer a book on him. Initially, Winnie rejects the offer but later agrees to know Sanjay’s tales related to his father Sunil Dutt (Paresh Rawal), mother Nargis Dutt (Manisha Koirala), his best friend Kamlesh (Vicky Kaushal), drugs and guns. What happens next is what the entire film is all about.

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Screenplay & Technical Details:

The story of Sanjay Dutt is something which we all have seen, heard or read in our life and thus the relatibility factor is very high. The narrative pattern of Rajkumar Hirani is highly engaging. The initial scenes take some time to establish but the moment film goes into it’s flashback mode with the song from ‘Rocky’, there is no looking back. Every scene enhances the film to another level. The scenes will make you laugh, cry and amuse you at the same time. There are many fantastic scenes in the film such as the song shoot part of ‘Rocky’, Ranbir and Jim talking about drinks with Boman Irani (will remind you of Chamatkar-Balatkar scene from ‘3 Idiots’), Ranbir knowing about Manisha’s illness, Ranbir and Vicky’s first meet followed by premier of ‘Rocky’ and Ranbir seeking help from Paresh Rawal, Ranbir’s rehab track, Paresh Rawal playing Manisha’s tape to motivate Ranbir, Ranbir fighting against drugs, the entire track of illegal arms, Sunil Dutt sharing his experience of a don and singing old song, Mahesh Manjrekar and ‘Munnabhai MBBS’, Paresh’s advice to Ranbir followed by Ranbir reading his feelings for Paresh Rawal, Ranbir sharing story of RDX on radio followed by how Paresh Rawal was proud of him followed by the tribute and philosophy of Sunil Dutt leading to the end credit featuring the man himself. These scenes are so amazing that you don’t want the movie to end. This is all due to the brilliance of Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijaat’s brilliant screenplay. The movie connects with you on every emotion. On the flip side the entire track of Anushka Sharma is weak and fails to connect. It seems like Anushka has walked right from ‘PK’ to ‘Sanju’. Also, many key factors of Sanjay Dutt’s life have been royally ignored. Forget his multiple affairs but his multiple marriages have also been avoided. Neither there is clear focus on his talks with underworld and few such chapters of his life. The peak period in his film career have also been not highlighted. The rightful media bashing in the finale gets bit stretched. Nevertheless, these are minor flaws in comparison to the fantastic and a great film like ‘Sanju’. The dialogues are heartfelt and the cinematography is of top notch. Special mention to the prosthetics team for getting the right looks of Ranbir, Paresh and Manisha.

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Music wise ‘Sanju’ will be Rajkumar Hirani’s weakest music score. ‘Kar Har Maidan Fateh’ is like an anthem and will be cherished for years. ‘Main Badiya’, ‘Ruby’, ‘Mujhe Chand’ and ‘Baba Bolta’ failed to get registered but at the same time works brilliantly with the flow of the screenplay. The usage of retro songs is fantastic. The background music is like an additional screenplay.


Director Rajkumar Hirani is like a 24 Karat gold, pure and focused with only one intention and that’s to entertain it’s audience. If even ten directors of our country can try to narrate their films in Rajkumar Hirani’s style, then we will be among all those countries which make brilliant films. He captures the father-son and friendship track and presents it in purest and strongest form. His hard work and efforts are visible in every scene. Salute to hi for making such entertaining and engaging bio-pic.

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Sanjay Dutt is fantastic in this movie. By Sanjay Dutt, I mean Ranbir Kapoor as he transforms himself with right mannerisms, expressions, physical similarities and everything else related to Sanjay Dutt. This movie will fetch him several awards and bring back his lost super stardom. Paresh Rawal is flawless and every expression of his is priceless. He nails it bu getting the right expression, feeling and pureness of Sunil Dutt in his performance. Vicky Kaushal is brilliant and this movie will do great wonders for him. All these three actors are like the main hero of this movie. Manisha Koirala in her small role is rightfully impactful. Her motherly expressions are so apt for inspiring Ranbir’s character in the movie. Sonam Kapoor looks cute but has hardly anything to offer in such a small role. Anushka was not up to the mark. Dia Mirza does her part with grace. Jim Sarbh was fine in his part. Boman Irani and Piyush Mishra were wasted.

Final Verdict:

So on an overall basis, ‘Sanju’ is an emotionally enriching experience which every cinema lover should witness. Bole toh ekdum ‘Faadu’ hain. You don’t want this movie to end. The journey of Sanjay Dutt’s life will at many places connect with your personal journey. .

Rating – 4.5/5