The biographical film on actor Sanjay Dutt, titled ‘Sanju’ was a massive hit but also opened the stage for various debate. Despite all the love for the movie, there was a section of people who felt that the film was an attempt at showing Dutt as a victim of circumstances. Many, including critics and audience, called the film a propaganda and not an honest biopic. The film traces Sanjay Dutt’s life from age to 20 to the day he was freed from the jail.The film showed his drug addiction phase, spoke about his equation with women and his controversial jail term and alleged involvement in 1993 Mumbai bomb blast case.
Recently, the director of the film , Rajkumar Hirani admitted that changes were made to the script to create empathy for the the actor. Hirani, while speaking at a masterclass held by Indian Film and TV Directors Association (IFTDA), revealed that the test screenings for Sanju evoked a negative reaction for the protagonist Sanjay Dutt. These negative reactions are what led the director to make changes in the script in order to create empathy for the actor.
Talking further about the negative reactions towards the character, he said, “During the shoot, I felt ‘What am I doing, I’m going wrong.’ In fact, when the first edit was ready and we screened for people, they hated him. They said we don’t like this man, we don’t want to watch him”. Because I wanted to do a true story, I didn’t create any empathy towards him. I said let’s not create empathy and show (him) as he is. But later I understood that he is our hero, we need some empathy for him,”
The ‘Sanju’ director who was in conversation with writer Anjum Rajabali at the IFTDA said he had to add a certain scene in Sanju to create empathy for its lead character, which was not there earlier. The scene shows Sanjay Dutt trying to kill himself after the verdict was out, where he was sentenced to five years of prison. Hirani said, “Sanjay Dutt had mentioned it to me earlier, but we did not put it in the film. It was shot later and it was not a part of the original script.” Hirani thought that this scene will bring in some empathy. Hirani admitted that there are flaws in the film but one had to try their best and hope that the best is good enough.
Hirani has however said that he is critical of Dutt’s actions, though he believes the actor could be flawed but always harmless. The film managed to create box-office history by breaking many records. The film showed that behind every bad choice made by the protagonist there was a justification which was a good intention. Hirani has however said that he is critical of Dutt’s actions, though he believes the actor could be flawed but always harmless.
(With Inputs From PTI )
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