Rajkumar Hirani directorial Sanju, a biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt, is making more money in the middle of the week than most movies do in their lifetime. In just a week, it has crossed the Rs 200 crore mark and with it, the lifetime business of the director’s 3 Idiots. Its collection now stands at Rs 215.41 crore.
The whitewashing criticism of the Ranbir Kapoor starrer notwithstanding, the film is still dominating the box office. The usual movie-going audience does not seem to care whether the film depicts events faithfully or not. Also, it can be argued that Sanju is a commercial film and a commercial film, first and foremost, has to be a crowd-pleaser. And crowd-pleaser, Sanju is — as the numbers suggest.
It had received an average review from the Indian Express’ Shubhra Gupta, who had said in her 2.5 star review, “Basically, Sanju is a dialed-down, tamer version of the real-life hellraiser that used to be Sanjay Dutt, who at one point was so over-taken by drugs that he begged his father, the respected thespian and parliamentarian Sunil Dutt to save him. Sanju gives us a Sanjay mediated by the trademark sunniness of the director’s world-view in which even the most unlikely ‘munnabhais’ (there’s a Munnabhai MBBS reference in here too, which is meta piling upon meta: a star playing a star playing a much-loved character played by that star) overcome all odds and become heroes. This Sanju Baba feels like an updated version of Munna Bhai, or was Munna Bhai an anticipatory version of Sanju? Both bad boys with great, supportive fathers and a ‘jaadu-ki-jhappi’ which pulled them out of the abyss’: sometimes it’s hard to know which is which.”
Chances are the film will see further ascent in its second weekend after which it will likely begin to taper a little but still maintain a strong performance. The audiences seem to love it and word-of-mouth promotion of Sanju is superb.