Sanju: A Bollywood biopic released on 29th June 2018, can be compared with the famous biopics like Richard Attenborough's Gandhi, Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis's Lincoln, and Spike Lee’s Malcolm-X. But instead of praising Sanju this much, let me give you an overview of whats, whens and whys of Sanju!
This bollywood biography (biopic) of Sanjay Dutt has everything best in it.
Acted by Ranbir Kapoor, directed by Raj Kumar Hirani, (who has directed masterpieces like Munna bhai MBBS, 3 Idiots, PK), and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Sanju needs no better introduction.
Other stars of Sanju include Bollywood actors Paresh Rawal, Anushka Sharma, Sonam Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Vicky Kaushal, Manisha Koirala, and Jim Sarbh. This is the star cast which has made Sanju what it is.
The main highlight of the film is that it has not glorified Sanjay Dutt.
The film traces the life of Sanjay Dutt, his relationship with his father, his sinking into alcoholism and drug addiction, his accusation and arrest in 1993 Bombing bombings case, his comeback into the film industry, and final release from jail after completion of his punishment. It shows the ups and downs that Sanju baba went through.
So, introduction ke liye inta kafi hai deviyo aur sajjano. Apni kursiyo ki petiyaan band ligiye kuki, ab Sanju after movie ke bare mein hum batane jaa rahe hain.
(Ladies and Gentlemen please hold back to your seats. We are going to present the story of Sanju after movie.)
1- What are the three songs that Sunil Dutt Sahab taught Sanjay Dutt ( Sanju)? Who were the ‘Ustaad’ in those songs?
It is not tough to remember the three songs as they are already presented in the movie, Sanju.
Sunil Dutt taught to Sanjay dutt to fight fear with the help of Ustaad Sahir Ludhianvi’s song, Na Moonh Chupa Ke Jiyo, Na Sir Jhuka Ke Jiyo. This song is from the movie, Humraaz (1967), and gave Sunil Dutt Sahab a lot of courage to fight his fear when he wanted to marry Nargis Ji. The same song helped Sanjay Dutt to fight his fear of not joining hands with the underworld.
The second song which Sunil Dutt Sahab taught Sanjay Dutt (Sanju) was for the work ethics. Ustaad Anand Bakshi’s song, Duniya Mein Rehna Hai To Kaam Kar Pyaare, from the movie, Haathi Mere Saathi (1971) taught Sanjay the importance of work and why he should not give morning shot in evening. Sunil Dutt Sahab made Sanju focus on work and become successful actor with the help of Ustad Anand Bakshi.
Coming to the third song, which taught Sanjay Dutt to accept criticism and figure out what is right. Sanjay had to figure out this song himself because before Sunil Dutt Sahab could tell it to him, he passed away.
The song was Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, Logo Ka Kaam Hai Kehna, penned by Ustaad Anand Bakshi and filmed in movie Amar Prem(1972). The same song name was used by the famous biographer, played by Anushka Sharma, to pen down the name of biography of Sanjay Dutt.
These three songs are not just important for Sanjay Dutt, but also for every person. We can always look up to the Ustaads, who have penned beautiful teachings in their songs, whenever we are stuck up in life.
2 - How did Sanjay Dutt land into Munna bhai MBBS? How he made a comeback into Bollywood?
Munna bhai MBBS was a ‘luck by chance’ film for Sanjay Dutt. He was never the first choice of director, Rajkumar Hirani for the role of Munna bhai. In fact, when Munna Bhai MBBS was in the scripting stage, Hirani wanted Anil Kapoor to play the lead role.
When the script was ready, Shahrukh Khan was cast as Munna while Sanjay Dutt was cast as Zaheer. That was all Sanju had in his account till now.
Due to problems in his back, Shahrukh was asked by his doctors to turn down the film, and Hirani had no choice. He was considering Vivek Oberoi for the role but at last, he had to cast Sanjay Dutt as Munna, because he knew the requirements Munna Bhai MBBS very well.
The film thanks Shahrukh for his inputs into the script, and Sanju thanks Hirani for giving him Munna Bhai MBBS. This was a career changing film for Sanjay Dutt as it washed all the stains he had. It gave him an image makeover and helped in changing the public perception of the controversial superstar.
The film is very special to Sanjay Dutt for two reasons. The first one is that Sunil Dutt returned to film industry after 10 years to play Munna’s father. This was the first film where both shared the screen and gave scenes together. And second that Sanjay Dutt received Filmfare Award for Best Actor in comic role for this film.
Blessing in disguise!
3 - Was Rocky, Sanjay Dutt’s debut film another example of nepotism in Bollywood?
Rocky song - ‘Aa Dekhe Zara Kisme Kitna Hai Dum’, was on top of the charts after the tease of Sanjay Dutt’s debut film, Rocky. The film was directed by Sunil Dutt and like any father, he wanted to give the best start to his son’s career.
Sadly, Sanjay Dutt’s mother and Sunil Dutt’s wife, Nargis, who was a renowned actress herself and was eagerly waiting for the release of Rocky, passed away just a week before the premiere of Rocky. She was suffering from Pancreatic cancer but kept on motivating Sanju to act well.
Nepotism in Bollywood has been prevalent since then. It was 1981 when Rocky released. On the day of premier of Rocky, Sanjay Dutt reserved a seat by his side in the front row for his mom and assumed that she is sitting there.
The film was released only a few days after her death and was declared "Hit" at the box office. It was ranked as the 10th highest grossing film of 1981. The overall budget of the film at that time was 1.2 crore, and the box office collection was 6 crore.
The father-son project was a huge success. In memory of his beloved wife, Nargis, Sunil Dutt laid down the foundation of Nargis Dutt Foundation, which supports and cures cancer patients.
4. Who in real life was the person whose role is played by Anushka Sharma in the film Sanju?
Ever since the trailer is Sanju was released, it was rumored. that Anushka Sharma is playing the role of one of the girlfriends of Sanjay Dutt. It was while watching the film that one comes to know that she was playing the role of a leading biographer, who is approached by Manyata Dutt to pen down the life story of Sanjay Dutt.
However, if the sources are to be believed, her role is only a fictional character. Sanjay Dutt’s biography titled ‘Kuch Toh Log Kahenge’ as shown in the film doesn’t exist in reality. The character is inspired from not just one but two living persons. These two people are the ones who are a very important part of Sanjay Dutt’s life and in fact, the reason behind the making of Sanju.
You must be curious enough to know who are the two people whose combined role is played by Anushka Sharma. Well, Rajkumar Hirani once stated, ‘Anushka Sharma plays a biographer from London who comes to India. This character is a mix of me and Abhijat Joshi. We were persuaded by Manyata to know Sanju’s story.’
And here we have Rajkumar Hirani directing the film with Abhijat Joshi writing the screenplay for Sanju. These two men are the reason why we have this beautiful life story before us. Maybe now some international biographer gets interested in writing Sanjay Dutt’s story!
5. How Rajkumar Hirani got interested in Sanju? What all refusals did he face from producers and actors?
Nearly every biopic that is made in Bollywood faces a lot of problems. Sanju was no different, except for the fact that it faced a different kind of problem - everyone associated with the film, refused to work in it at first. It was after knowing the story that everyone said yes.
Rajkumar Hirani, director of Sanju, was prompted by Manyata Dutt to make a film of life story of Sanjay Dutt in a casual conversation. She narrated an excerpt from Sanjay’s life and Hirani refused the offer saying, ‘Sanju’s world is very different from my world".
This incident passed and what actually prompted Hirani to make Sanju was the anecdotes from Sanjay Dutt’s life which he, himself, narrated to Hirani when Manyata was in hospital and Sanjay used to feel lonely at home.
He shared his life incidents with his friend Hirani, including the 308 girlfriends he has had, the roads of US he has begged on, etc. ‘These anecdotes were just gems to a filmmaker.’, Hirani said in an interview.
When he began collecting resources for constructing the film, by meeting people Sanjay had told him about, he and his team sat for a crazy amount of time and recorded everything they said. They also met others who knew him — journalists, cops, relatives and friends. Once all anecdotes became true, Hirani felt that there was film that should be told.
While deciding the name for the film, there was a lot of debate. Sanju was the name by which Sanjay Dutt’s mother, Nargis, used to call him. Hirani confirmed that the film was named Sanju after a lot of deliberation.
The next problem with the making of Sanju was convincing Vidhu Vinod Chopra. He refused Hirani initially to produce the film, saying that it was hogwash. It was when he joined Hirani in researching the anecdotes, and found that everything Sanjay Dutt told was true, Vidhu Vinod Chopra agreed to produce Sanju, all by himself.
This wasn’t all. Hirani had signed a pre-condition with Sanjay Dutt that if the latter would request to change any lines or scenes, he "would not make it". Sanjay Dutt allowed Hirani to make the film after agreeing to this condition. He was okay with Hirani not glorifying him in the film. All he wanted was to reconstruct his image before his audience.
Thus, Sanju shows all aspects of Sanjay Dutt’s life, which the public should know like - What was happening in the Dutt household when Sanju was accused of the crime? What was his father going through? What was happening with his sisters? How were his friends reacting? How he fought the two battle of drug addiction? The film was made only to answer these questions.
6. What is the real story behind Vicky Kaushal’s role - Kamlesh
It is rumoured that the real name of Vicky Kaushal’s character is Paresh, who is more like a brother to Sanjay Dutt. However, Vicky Kaushal’s character is an ‘amalgamation of three or four other friends’ of Sanjay Dutt and is thus, a fictionalized character of a Gujarati boy, who is originally from India, but has been living in America for the maximum time.
Vicky Kaushal had put in a lot of efforts to master his role. He went to Surat to study the body language and mannerism of Gujaratis. He also went through huge physical transformation, by losing weight to look like a lean young Gujarati guy initially and then, look like an aged man of the present time as the film approaches its climax.
Thus, Kamlesh "Kamli" Kanhaiyalal Kapasi, can be seen in every friend that Sanjay Dutt has had.
Now that your questions about behind the scenes of Sanju are answered, here are 11 records that Sanju Movie has made.
1 - Sanju was released across 4000 screens in India, and over 1300 screens overseas.
2 - Sanju collected INR 34.75 crore (US$5.2 million) nett on its opening day at the domestic box office, which was the highest for all film released in india in 2018.
3 - Sanju recorded the highest second day collection ever for a Hindi film domestically.
4 - Sanju earned over INR 157.87 crore (US$24 million) at the box office as of its third day. It collected over INR 46.71 crore (US$7.0 million) nett on its third day, setting the record for the highest single day collecting ever for a Hindi film in India, surpassing Baahubali 2's dubbed Hindi nett.
5 - Sanju also became the highest weekend earner of the year in India.
6 - Despite Sanju being a non-holiday and with reduced tickets, the film collected INR 25.35 crore (US$3.8 million) nett on its first Monday. Became the most grossing bollywood film on non holiday monday.
7 - On it's first Tuesday, the film Sanju collected INR 22.10 crore (US$3.3 million) nett.
8 - It's total to INR 167.51 crore(US$25 million) within it's first 5 days of release.
9 - Sanju debuted at number 8 at the US box office in the opening weekend, earning more than Avengers: Infinity War, and, Solo: A Star Wars Story in the same week on a comparatively lower number of 356 screens.
10 - In Dubai, the government allowed cinemas to remain open for 24 hours on Friday and Saturday to prevent crowd frenzy, causing shows of Sanju to start as early as 4:30 am.
11 - Sanju becomes the first ever film to cross 200 crores collection within a week.
So, if you haven’t watched the film yet, it is high time that you must visit the nearby theatres. Not watching Sanju is a crime.