If we were to not see #Sanju as a Sanjay Dutt biographic film at all. What happens then?
How do we see it then?
As a normal emotional social story, a family story with a buddy thrown in for good measure.
Let me look at the important dramatic moments of the film that stays with us without really giving away the plot line.
a. Sanju has a girlfriend who he wants to marry quite early and he’s been lured by a bad friend to do drugs because as it turns out, he is unable to face his Dad Sunil Dutt’s charisma on sets where he is shooting his first film. He has promised that he will marry his girlfriend after the release of this film. The girl’s name is Ruby and she is fictional as there was never any girl named Ruby that he had wanted to marry ever.
b. The bad friend is Zubin Mistry and though there is a Zubin in the Mumbai builder industry, there was no known Sanjay friend who was a pusher before and then a builder named Zubin.
c. Sanjay goes to America to be with his mom, Nargis. He chances upon a guy called Kamlesh. A Gujarati youngster who was a Nargis fan and came to the hospital to pay his respects. There was never any Kamlesh. It is said that he is an amalgamation of three to four friends of Sanjay, a cinematic spin off.
d. He kicks the drug habit after rehab and comes back to India and has a fight with Zubin thereby informing his father that he is clean. This didn’t happen.
e. There is a biographer and she has to write his story. She uncovers a lot of the latter part of Sanjay’s life. There was no biographer like this. In fact, other than Raju Hirani, the director, there was no one who was doing anything about his life story.
f. The guns were stored elsewhere and they came up in the case and that is why it was a TADA case. Not explained here.
g. The women in his life – Richa Sharma, Madhuri Dixit. Rhea Pillai and the daughter were not shown at all.
This does not happen in a biography.
This was a family drama about a father and son and about two buddies. It gave us the usual moral story about respecting parents, loving the children, demonstrating love at times, being there for friends and being honest about certain things.
If this is the story that Hirani intended to do, full marks to him and he gets everything right. This is a great story.
But if he had intended to do an actual biography and whitewashed a life for a friend, then this is a lousy film.
But what are friends for then?