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Hirani’s Sanju will be entertaining but not an accurate biopic. Here’s why

Will ‘Sanju’ be the story of a star trying to tell us how he wants us to remember him? Considering that it’s being directed by Sanjay Dutt’s real-life friend Rajkumar Hirani.
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Somewhere on Facebook, someone’s status update went “If I had a friend like Rajkumar Hirani, even I would look like a Rockstar.” And it is amidst controversial statements and jeers like these that Sanju, a biopic on Sanjay Dutt’s life, is set to release tomorrow. And no matter how much one chooses to deny it, the hype is real.

ranbir as sanjay dutt
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The film has created a lot of buzz among the audience

The film is set to release in 4000 screens across the country, making it both Rajkumar Hirani’s and Ranbir Kapoor’s widest release. Pre-bookings have gone through the roof and cinemas in all major cities claim that they expect to see a full house on the release date itself. Yes, even though it is a working Friday. So, what sets this film apart so much that it has seen equal and extreme amounts of criticism and love in the weeks leading up to its release? Haven’t the audience seen any of its kind before? Is it because everyone in the audience has forever been obsessed with Sanjay Dutt? The answer to both of those questions should be evident.

ranbir and raju hirani with vidhu vinod
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Biopics, while not a regular occurrence, are often presented to us. Inspiring stories of heroes, tales of love that knew no bounds, ones that broke families apart-we have seen it all. And what ties all of those together are the three things that run the industry, which is “Entertainment. Entertainment. Entertainment.” And that is exactly what, after four years of near silence, Rajkumar Hirani promises us through Sanju. Entertainment. Because we all know that when we walk into the theatres to watch this movie, it is not a true story we will be looking for. No, we know Sanjay Dutt. We know who he is and what he has been up to. What we don’t know is how Rajkumar Hirani will tell those same stories, how he will drive everyone to the edge of their seats, how he will make even the most cynical cheer and tear up for our very own Munnabhai. And that is what entertainment is about right now. Not the actual story, not the truth behind every scene or every dialogue. But the glory and the lights and the emotions we see on Ranbir’s face, as he enacts those moves that Sanjay Dutt used, to con so many women into sleeping with him.

Watch the trailer here:

Who really is the people’s hero?

The hundreds of people who will be flocking to the theatre once the movie releases will not be there to watch a hero being born. Instead, they will see the story of a star trying to tell you how he wants you to remember him. See, if the audience wanted the raw, honest story, an actual biopic of a real hero, Neerja would have broken records last year. But it didn’t. It didn’t release in 4000 screens. Not many rushed to pre-book the first day, first show.

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Incredible though it was, Neerja was still a niche movie, loved by its niche audience. But Sanju faces no such issues. And that brings us to one question, the question of who really is the people’s hero. The woman who gave her life to save multiple lives on a hijacked airplane. Or a man, an actor from a renowned family with all kinds of power, someone whose ideals were brought into question time and again. And that question itself is the answer to all the others in this piece. Why Sanju? Because of guns, sex, money, chaos sell. Sanju sells. Especially when his friend Hirani is there to glorify all his “personal demons.” Because he is the hero people asked for and so the one that we deserve!

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