Sanju‘ is a revelation in some parts and a flashback to documented reality in others. We decode how the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer reflects
Sanjay Dutt‘s life.
WHAT THE MOVIE TELLS YOU ABOUT SANJAY DUTT THAT YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW
- Sunil Dutt tells Sanjay to tackle his life’s problems with the help of the ‘Ustaad theory’ – Listen to the songs of Majrooh Sultanpuri, Sahir Ludhianvi and Anand Bakshi.
- A confrontation between Sanjay Dutt and his girlfriend Ruby (played by Sonam Kapoor Ahuja) shows how Dutt forced Ruby not to marry her fiancé. He asked her to come to the marriage registrar’s office, but he himself never turned up.
- Sanjay Dutt was on drugs the night Nargis Dutt passed away in the hospital.
- Sanjay had a meltdown at the premiere of his debut film ‘ Rocky’. It was at the premiere that he told his father that he wanted to quit drugs.
- Sanjay was asked to not sit in the front row with Sunil Dutt at a consulate event where Sunil Dutt was a chief guest. Sanjay wanted to read a speech for for his father, telling him in front of everyone that he was his hero. However, Sanjay’s speech was cancelled.
- When Dutt escaped from rehab, he not only begged on the streets, but travelled for 12 days to a friend’s place to borrow money for drugs.
- Sanjay tried to commit suicide when in 2013 the Supreme Court dismissed his plea seeking review of its judgment upholding his conviction under the Arms Act and sentencing him to five years in jail in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
- A renowned lawyer had asked Sanjay Dutt to turn approver and tell the police that he knew about blasts and he was involved in plotting.
A still from ‘Sanju’
WHAT ‘SANJU’ SHOWS THAT REFLECTS THE REALITY AS WE KNOW IT
- Travelling to New York with drugs
What ‘Sanju’ shows: In the movie, Sanjay Dutt says, “Main 20g cocaine le kar travel kar raha tha. Main itna irresponsible tha ki 20 saal jail ya 20 gm cocaine, meri choice clear thi.”
What Sanjay Dutt said: After his release from the jail, when Sanjay Dutt made an appearance at the Young FICCI Ladies Organisation (YFLO) event in Delhi in 2016, he said, “I was already on drugs when my mother was being treated for cancer. ‘Rocky’ (his debut film) was being made, and I remember that I was so addicted to drugs that once I travelled with 1kg heroin hidden in my shoes. My two sisters were also with me on the same flight. At that time, checking at airports was not so strict. Today, when I think about the incident, I get scared. Main pakda jaata toh theek tha, but what about my sisters? Drugs do this to you. You don’t care about family or anything else.”
- Acquitted of terror charges
What ‘Sanju’ shows: In the movie, Sanjay Dutt says, “Dad agar ek saal aur zinda rehte toh woh baat sun paate jiske liye unke kaan taras gaye thay – (Judge’s voiceover) ‘Mr Sanjay Dutt, I want to go on record and say I do not find yourself to be a terrorist, but you are convicted under the Arms Act for six years’.”
What Sanjay Dutt said: In an interview with Delhi Times in 2010, Dutt said, “It was such a big… accusation. Being part of a terror activity? My God! When the judge said what you always wanted to hear. What your dad always wanted to hear – ‘You are acquitted of the terror charge’. That moment was the biggest, the greatest moment of relief in my life.”
Ranbir Kapoor and Vicky Kaushal in a still from ‘Sanju’
What ‘Sanju’ shows: In the movie, when Sanjay Dutt is thinking about committing suicide, his wife Manyata stops him and says, “Sanju, humne decide kiya tha na ki hum fight karenge?” When Sanju tells his friend that he’d rather die than go back to jail, his friend asks him to fight. The words ‘Fight, Fight, Fight’ have been used as part of dialogues in several scenes across the film.
What Sanjay Dutt said: In an interview with Delhi Times in 2010, Dutt said, “I swear there were many moments when I wanted to just give up. Let it be. But I don’t know why, something used to tell me, ‘Don’t give it all up. Fight, fight till the last.’
- The arrest at the airport
What ‘Sanju’ shows: When Sanjay Dutt is returning from Mauritius, Sunil Dutt informs the police commissioner about Sanjay’s arrival and gives him his flight details. As he lands at the Mumbai airport, he sees hundreds of policemen waiting for him.
What Sanjay Dutt said: At a 2016 YFLO event in Delhi, Dutt spoke about the time when he returned to Mumbai after completing shooting in Mauritius. “When I reached Bombay airport, tab woh purana wala airport tha, I was coming down from the stairs, and I saw 50,000 policemen pointing their guns at me as if I was Osama Bin Laden,” he said.
- ‘I had taken every single drug’
What ‘Sanju’ shows: When his dad takes him to a rehab in the US, he is given a form to fill, in which he has to tick all the drugs he has used. He ends up ticking every drug on the list.
What Sanjay Dutt said: Speaking at the EEMA (Event and Entertainment Management Association) annual convention in Delhi in 2016, Sanjay said, “There are no drugs in the world that I have not done. When my father took me to America (for rehab), they gave me a list (of drugs) and I ticked every drug on it, because I had taken ALL of them.”
- The Abu Salem connection and possession of AK-56
What ‘Sanju’ shows: In the movie, Sanjay narrates how he got the AK-56 rifle. He says that Abu Salem visited his home in January 1993 with Samir (Hingora) and Hanif (Kadawala), who were producers of his film. They had brought three AK-56 rifles with ammunition, and later he returned two with ammunition and kept one. The gun, he told police, was to protect his family, as they had received threats during the Mumbai riots that followed the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992. He had asked for police security, which was denied. And so, he kept an assault rifle for his family’s security.
After he heard of the Mumbai serial blasts and Samir Hingora and Hanif Kadawala’s arrest, he asked his friend Yusuf Nulwalla to destroy the rifle.
What Sanjay Dutt said: Talking about being charged for illegal possession of firearms, Sanjay said at the 2016 YFLO event in Delhi, “I love guns and I love hunting. I got into trouble for having a gun and at that time, there were riots going on. One of my producers asked me, ‘Tujhe bandook chahiye?’ Bandook sunn ke mere kaan khade ho gaye. I asked which gun? And he said AK-56. I thought I would take it to Khandala, thoda chala wala ke phek dunga. I kept it in the car dicky and forgot about it and went to Mauritius. When Priya called me, asking about it, I told a friend to get rid of it. He got rid of it, but the poor guy is still in jail.”
WHAT THE FILM DOESN’T SHOW
- The film doesn’t explore how Abu Salem met Sanjay Dutt, or whether they were ever in touch with each other after the meeting involving the AK-56.
- Apart from Bhandu dada, there is no mention of Sanjay’s connection with any other local gangster in the film.
- The film doesn’t talk about Sanjay’s political connections.
- His real-life friendships with Kumar Gaurav, Salman Khan, and others are not a part of the movie.
- Even though Sanjay says that he had 350 girlfriends, the character played by Sonam Kapoor Ahuja is the only girlfriend shown in the film.