We really don't know why this has become such a big deal! After all, which biopic in Bollywood, that has the backing of the muse whose life it is based on, has been honest in its depiction? Sanju, currently this year's biggest Bollywood hit and one of the highest grossers of all time, is based on controversial star Sanjay Dutt's life. If you are really familiar with Dutt's life, you would know that Sanju has a more sympathetic take on him and his misdemeanours, while avoiding the more greyish areas (his various affairs and fights, his previous marriages). Sanju: From Ranbir Kapoors Casting to Using Humour, 5 Smart Tricks Rajkumar Hirani Applied To Cleanse Sanjay Dutts Public Image
During an interaction with writer Anjum Rajabali at Indian Film and TV Directors Association’s (IFTDA) special masterclass, Sanju director Rajkumar Hirani admitted that he had manipulated certain scenes in the film, to bring sympathy for his lead character. He revealed that his first cut didn't sway the test screening audiences, who didn't like Dutt's persona in the film. So he changed some portions of the narrative to make Dutt look like a better person.
Speaking to PTI, Hirani 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,” he said. “Because I wanted to do a true story, I didn’t create any empathy towards him. I said lets not create empathy and show (him) as he is. But later I understood that he is our hero, we need some empathy for him."
He also gave examples of the scenes that he changed for better audience reception. He added, “The scene where he tries to kill himself after the verdict is out; which he had mentioned to me but we didn’t put in the film, I shot it later. It was not in the original script. I thought through this some empathy will come... The initial test reactions were like ‘naah we don’t like this guy...’ Every film is a journey. Some things work and some don’t. I still see flaws in the film but you try your best and hope your best is good enough.” Sanju: Disappointed With Rajkumar Hiranis Take on Sanjay Dutts Life? Now Ram Gopal Varma Wants to Make a True Biopic on Him!
With his confession, some of the Twitter users are not impressed with how Hirani manipulated the narrative to make Dutt look in a better light.
— Arpit Sinhal (@arpit_sinhal) September 14, 2018
For #Sanju changed script to generate Empathy says Rajkumar Hirani, was there a disclaimer saying so?
In #Dangal they made pure Vegetarian Phogat Sisters eat meat and avoided showing they are devotees of Hanuman ji!
Bollycreeps cannot even make Biopics without Distortions? pic.twitter.com/f99ez8HD2b
— Ankur जय श्री राम। (@vastalitech) September 14, 2018
— Prathit Mahapatra (@i_Prathit) September 14, 2018
Film ne 300cr kama liye
Film nikal gyi theatre se tab ye admit Ku kiye
Audience se Dhoka h
Phle Ku admit nhi kiye Mr.Rajkumar Hirani ne
— Kh (@Khanmohammed12) September 14, 2018
— Vishal (@vishalkmumbai) September 14, 2018
It is interesting to note that Rajkumar Hirani only became honest about his film's portrayal of Sanjay Dutt only after the movie has done with its theatrical run.
Sanju starred Ranbir Kapoor in the lead, while Anushka Sharma, Dia Mirza, Sonam Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, Manisha Koirala, Jim Sarbh, Karishma Tanna and Paresh Rawal.