Let’s admit it. Biopics in Bollywood are rarely completely honest. Our filmmakers don’t have it in them to give an utterly unbiased, objective and scathing portrayal of a celebrity, with their warts and all. The most interesting biopics are often those of the most controversial people and in our films, they are usually white-washed, sanitised and deified – case in point, MS Dhoni and Azhar. Perhaps our audience and celebrities themselves are not mature enough to handle the negative aspects of their lives shown on screen.
It is in this context that one must view the teaser of the much-awaited Sanju – a biopic of Sanjay Dutt, one of the most controversial, enigmatic and fascinating actors of Bollywood whose life is worth many books and movies. The actor playing Sanjay is Ranbir Kapoor and the director is Raju Hirani, one of Sanjay’s closest friends, who resurrected his career with the Munnabhai series. So let’s accept that whatever is shown in the film will be Sanjay’s version of events.
After that willing suspension of disbelief, let’s view the teaser ‘objectively’. The one word that comes to mind is: WOW! It starts off rather predictably with the clichéd “A true story you won’t believe” line popping up on screen. But what follows completely grips your attention.
The heavy jail door in Yerwada, Pune, opens and out steps Sanjay Dutt – oops, Ranbir Kapoor who has been remarkably styled to look like the Munnabhai actor. Now, one has come to expect great performances from Ranbir but portraying someone who is still active on the scene presents a unique challenge of its own and Ranbir seems up to it. The body language – the beefy physique, the lazy, lop sided gait, the stretched accent… Ranbir nails it and how! The hairstyles – that Sanjay has always been known for – has been perfectly captured too.
Watch the teaser here:
The 80-second teaser packs in quite a punch as it skims through the well documented details of Sanjay Dutt’s life – his brush with drugs, his superstardom, his jail term and his women. But the difference lies in the treatment. Instead of giving glimpses of scenes (perhaps that’s left for other trailers), we get to see Ranbir aka Sanjay playing narrator to his own life. Clever! It’s a technique that arouses curiosity about a man who we already know much. The heightened emotional connect that is a hallmark of every Rajkumar Hirani film is there here too and if this teaser is anything to go by, it would be safe to assume that this will be a fast paced, superbly entertaining piece of story-telling. Can’t wait for it!
Sanju Releases on June 28 in the UAE