Rajkumar Hirani is known for some of the most popular and successful films of the last decade and deservedly so. He is applauded for being the storyteller who can make us laugh and can impart lessons in the process. Be it Munna Bhai MBBS or PK, Hirani always finds a way to engage his audience with his superior skill and they end up raving about the film. With his latest film Sanju, Hirani has chosen a path which many would not have chosen to tell the story of a certified bad boy. Rather than sensationalising the story with drugs and sex, Hirani tells this story through the eyes of Sanju’s best friend Kamlesh played by Vicky Kaushal.
Vicky Kaushal’s character is the narrator of Sanju
He is shown as the best friend who sticks by through the lowest of Sanju’s phases. Like many friends, they have their share of misunderstandings, but there’s no malice here. And Sanju (Ranbir Kapoor) too honours that relationship. Their chance meeting results in a relationship that they cherish their entire lives.
Vicky is an exceptional actor and with performances like Raazi, Rama Raghav 2.0 and Masaan, we have seen that Vicky does not disappoint his audience and in Sanju too, he matches up with actors like Ranbir Kapoor and Paresh Rawal. Vicky Kaushal has earlier mentioned in interviews that Kamlesh is not based on one person but is an amalgamation of many of Sanjay’s friends.
Vicky plays a Gujarati boy and from what we have seen in the movies, a dialect can easily make one look caricaturish but Vicky is miles away from that zone. He catches on the Gujarati accent but nowhere does he annoy the audience. In one particular scene with Paresh Rawal, Vicky is shown to be drunk but he performs it with quite an appropriate mix of slurry speech, dwindling steps, and convincing eyes that you are immediately enticed with his sincerity.
The other pillar of Sanju is Paresh Rawal’s Sunil Dutt
We all know Sunil Dutt as the yesteryear superstar who stood by his son through all odds. Rawal plays the icon with such honesty that in places, one finds themselves thinking about the struggles that the real-life Sunil Dutt must have gone through for his son.
It is well known that Sunil Dutt fought tooth and nail to save his son, be it from drugs or jail, Dutt Sr stuck by Sanjay. Sunil Dutt had admitted in various interviews that he always believed in the will-power of his son. He knew Sanjay was a phoenix who could rise from the ashes and Sanjay on his part too, proved his father right.
Paresh Rawal’s acting career has seen him deliver some memorable performances in films like Naam, Sir, Hera Pheri, among many others and Sanju is another feather in his hat.
Director Rajkumar Hirani utilises these two actors to the fullest and treats them with as much respect as his titular character. Even though the film is called Sanju, the film draws its emotional strength from the characters of Kamlesh and Sunil Dutt.
If Sanju turns into another iconic film by Rajkumar Hirani is yet to be seen, but the performances here still deserve an applause.