Horrified and amused by the lies, semi-truths and whitewashing of Sanjay Dutt’s image in Raj Kumar Hirani’s blockbuster bio-pic Sanju, Ram Gopal Varma who spent considerable time with Sanjay Dutt during the phase when the actor was being interrogated for his alleged hand in the 1993 Mumbai blasts,will now tell real story.
While Varma himself chooses to remain silent for legal reasons, a source close to the filmmaker describes Hirani’s bio-pic as a Walt Disney version of Sanjay Dutt’s life. “It’s all pink-pink rosy-rosy where Sanjay Dutt was portrayed as a victim. Whatever Sanjay Dutt wanted to be told in Hirani’s film has gone into the film. Ramu knows the truth. He was shooting Daud with Dutt when he was being rigorously interrogated by the cops for his alleged hand in the blasts. Dutt would land up on location quite shaken. He once confided in Ramu how he tried to call Madhuri Dixit from the police station and her father answered the phone saying she doesn’t want to talk . Ramu wants to know how Hirani could overlook these people like Tina Munim, Madhuri Dixit, Richa Sharma and Rhea Pillai who played such an important part in Dutt’s life.”
They will form an important part of Ramu’s narrative. As will the so-called “bad company”. Says the source close to Ramu, “Hirani would like to blame Dutt’s friends for his troubles. But Ramu has spoken to very senior police officers who were in-charge of the case. They say the friends were not responsible for his troubles. He was responsible for all the troubles in the lives of people who stood by him.”
There is also the contentious issue of Sanju’s best friend. Says the source close to Ramu, “The loyal friend played by Vcvky Kaushal is supposed to be based on Dutt’s Gujarati NRI friend Paresh Ghelani. However Ramu can vouch for the fact that Ghelani was nowhere on the scene when Dutt’s troubles with drugs and the law happened. Ghelani came much later. So the film is actually distorting the truth for the convenience. It’s like what Karan Johar has done to Sairat.”
As for those who think Ramu will be stopped in his endeavour by Dutt’s legal advisers, Ramu is ensconced in a safe zone. “All the information on Sanjay dutt’s activities, allegations, etc are part of the public domain. Anyone can use that information and there’s nothing Dutt can do about it,” says the source. Ramu is at the moment looking at shooting towards the end of the year with an actor, and not a star.Sources say he intends to cast Rana Daggubatti as Sanjay Dutt. As for the title, Ramu may call his Sanjay Dutt bio-pic Sanju or Baba. But not Sanju Baba.