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Thread: Sanju - Problematic Life, an equally Problematic Film

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    FK Citizen bhat's Avatar
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    Dec 2009

    Default Sanju - Problematic Life, an equally Problematic Film

    Sanjay Dutt’s dramatic and turbulent real life events are a misfit in a world where Hirani and his trusted writer marvel. So much so that the success of the enterprise hinged on the diversions Hirani makes from his traditional style and the challenges he conquers in his new cinematic journey. While it is interesting to see Hirani explore territories that are entirely new to his feel-good brand of cinema, he never gets a firm grip on the subject or tone of the film as he did in his successful previous ventures.

    Right from the start, the subject seems like an odd fit for Hirani, and the darker vision that was needed to capture Dutt’s plunge to the world of drugs and deceit is completely missing.

    There’s a desperate effort to keep the mood light, even when the film demands something else. As a result some of the key tracks, like Dutt’s first love affair and his animosity towards a builder, never get explored fully.

    Paresh Rawal in the role of Sunil Dutt is saddled with a one note character who lacks shades and despite the fleeting moments, the father-son relationship never emotionally captivates. Sanju fails to make us feel for its characters as it should, and the blame must go to the writers, who seem to have been intimidated by the magnitude of the subject material.

    There’s an effort to focus on various occasions of high drama in Dutt’s life but connective tissue between them is weak or non existent.
    Another big problem with Sanju is its claim to be an assortment of real events. One cannot help but believe that for probably the first time in Hirani’s life, he was manipulated or tricked to make a film that he is unsure of.

    Though proceedings remain at a distance, Hirani and Abhijat’s skill at building drama, keep the film engaging on a purely surface level. Vicky Kaushal is a revelation in the role of Dutt’s friend, and of all the tracks, it is the one between him and Dutt, that works the most.

    I will have to watch the movie again, to give a detailed assessment of Ranbir’s performance, but was definitely not problematic as judged from the trailer, and he also succeeds in preventing the role from slipping to caricature.

    I don’t necessarily perceive ‘clich?’ or ‘melodrama’ as jarring notes, and even believe that it needs a certain amount of skill to do it with finesse. Hirani is one such maker, but Sanju unfortunately is not one such movie.
    Last edited by bhat; 07-01-2018 at 01:44 AM.

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