‘Sanju’ – Airbrushing Errancy

The movie enthralled me from the word go; I confess that without reservation.

The movie pulls you into its warm fold immediately. The narrative is gripping. The story you see unfolding on the screen is impossibly heart-breaking. The redemption is so tightly wound together with the damnation as to set you breathless. You simply cannot believe that story you see can be true. ‘So much pain!’ you say to yourself. ‘Why were these people made to suffer so, this is so unfair.’ With that thought, comes a burning indignation. Injustice always stirs the most powerful and righteous rage in us, doesn’t it?


(Source: ABP News)

If you are of a positive mindset, the movie is inspiring. It is the story of a boy who took a series of wrong turns to inevitably land in a terribly putrid cesspool. You can’t help feeling sorry for the bumbling dumb fool. You even feel a little affectionate towards him because he is so pathetically blind and keeps falling into ditches which are right under his clueless nose. Does the kid have a death wish? How can he do this to himself and to those who love him?


You watch in sympathetic horror as the lovable fool blunders from one disaster to another. Your heart cries for his innocence; your eyes bleed for his pain. When he writhes in pain at the de-addiction centre, you find yourself wanting to scream. When he is arrested for something he never intended, you feel angry for his naiveté. When his only friend abandons him when he needed him the most, you feel the sorrow of his loss most poignantly.

The movie finished in a flamboyant flourish of redemption. The man has been released from prison and all is right with the world again. You rub your hands together in satisfaction. Truly, nothing is as sweet as a happy ending that comes after a roller-coaster ride of emotions that drove you to bits.

For a few hours, you bask in a happy glow. Then, with a jolt, you come awake from the trance.

It was a wonderful movie, yes. But it was a work of fiction; there was nothing biographical about it.


Director Rajkumar Hirani with Sanjay Dutt

Unless you think biographical is a euphemism for a heavily edited and controlled narrative whose purpose was to sell to you as virtue, that which was not worth living, let alone recording for posterity. The skill of the people involved in the production- the director, the actors- was exemplary. Together they managed to convincingly portray a story that wrenched your heart and made you sob. But why call the movie a biopic?



Sanjay Dutt is escorted to TADA Court (Source: Pinterest)

All the movie did -which was its true purpose- was to provide perfectly cropped answers to the most uncomfortable questions that actor Sanjay Dutt has ever faced. The movie is a study in cinematic skill and exquisite wordplay to push a false narrative down eager throats. The question one asks oneself is, why the rigmarole? If all he wanted was to tell his side of the story, he could just have called a press conference and given it out. But that wouldn’t have done, would it?


Because his lies would have been called out -not by mainstream media perhaps- but certainly by social media. The lies, therefore, had to be packaged in a thick layer of creamy chocolate or they would never be picked up. The perfect ganache was cooked up and the unbelievable lie coated with it. Now look how eagerly the creamy chocolates are being bought, hand over the box-office fist!

I resent any attempt to pull wool over my eyes. The attempt declares that you think me naïve, dumb and downright stupid. You think I will see only what you show me and never question you! Sanju, the alleged biography of Sanjay Dutt, attempted to pull a fast one – and I resent it most decidedly.

Sanjay Dutt with his father Sunil Dutt at the time of his incrimination under TADA act

On sober thought, the only thing genuine about the movie was the manner in which Sunil Dutt stood like a rock throughout Sanjay Dutt’s trials. While I personally model Nargis Dutt’s character in Mother India as regards errant progeny, I can make space for the emotions of a father. I can understand but can never condone.




13 explosions in Mumbai on March 12, 1993 killed at least 257 and injured nearly 713 persons (Source: Indian Express)

Regarding his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bomb-blasts, this article published on March 29, 2013, clearly states the Sanjay Dutt did a lot more than just keep illegal guns in his house. As the article shows, there is no way Sanjay Dutt was not aware that a major conspiracy was afoot. Asking the underworld for a few weapons is a far cry from the same underworld unloading a smuggled cache of arms in your home!

This is not all. It is reported that ten years before the 1993 blasts, Sanjay Dutt once let loose a gun inside his house. The police rushed over and the issue was somehow suppressed. In this interview, he confesses to his love of guns unabashedly – in fact, he is quite proud to confess it.

This article published on March 30, 2013, declares that Sanjay Dutt already possessed three licenced guns and one unlicensed gun before he acquired the AK-56! His father was an MP, he himself was a popular film-star. They already had security guards assigned to them. If he felt threatened, why did he not employ personal bodyguards? That’s what a normal person would have done! Moreover, why on earth did Sanjay Dutt need such a huge cache of arms to protect himself?

After all this, the movie tries to sell us a sob story about a loving son who was so afraid for the life of his father that he decided to contact the underworld to acquire three smuggled guns and a few grenades! Seriously, how stupid does Mr Hirani think we are?!

(Source: CVN24.com)

Sanjay Dutt was exonerated of the TADA charge because it was argued that he did not know about the terror attack conspiracy. He was thirty years old the night the smuggled arms cache was unloaded in his house. All we can say is: if he hadn’t the brains to question the need to smuggle the arms or to put two and two together, let him not now ask us to believe in his purity.

He got off a lot easier than he deserved! Let him be thankful for that but let us have no more nonsense about his innocence!


Author: Dagny Solis a passionate bibliophile. Her love for the written word is deep and enduring. She is a writer/ blogger and freelance editor. She edits fiction and non-fiction including novels, corporate communications and documents, as well as short stories, articles and blog posts. She has three almost adult children who try to keep her in line in matters of behavior and apparel. She can be contacted at: dagnysmail@gmail.com

Published: July 16, 2018

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