The trailer of Rajkumar Hirani’s biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt titled Sanju was released Tuesday. If the trailer is anything to go by, the filmmaker (and a close friend of the actor) has not attempted to glorify Dutt, choosing instead to stitch together the real incidents of the controversial actor’s life.
So the trailer features the death of his mother Nargis, his drug habit and rehabilitation, his love life, his arrest in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case and subsequent conviction.
So what are the real-life incidents that are referred to in the trailer?
The actor’s drug addiction
The trailer begins with Ranbir Kapoor, who plays Sanjay Dutt, saying he first took drugs because he was angry with his father, and it soon became a habit after his mother Nargis died.
Dutt has been candid about his drug habit in interviews.
In a BBC documentary titled To Hell and Back, Dutt said,”I have done every drug there is. I was already on drugs when my mother was being treated for cancer. Once during shooting for ‘Rocky’ (Dutt’s debut film), I was so addicted that once I travelled with 1kg heroin hidden in my shoes.”
His love life
While Dia Mirza is said to play the actor’s third wife Manyataa, it’s not very clear who Sonam Kapoor plays in the film.
Dutt was married thrice: first to actor Richa Sharma, then to Rhea Pillai and then Manyataa. He married Sharma in 1987 and they have a daughter.
The trailer also shows the actor admitting that he was a womaniser, something Dutt hasn’t spoken too much about. Dutt though was linked with multiple heroines he worked with, including Tina Munim and Madhuri Dixit.
The trailer shows Dutt being arrested from the airport, being interrogated by the police and claiming he wasn’t a terrorist.
In the BBC documentary, Dutt said, “When I reached Bombay airport, I was coming down from the slide and I saw 50,000 policemen pointing their guns at me as if I was Osama Bin Laden.”
Dutt was convicted by a special court under the Arms Act for illegally obtaining an AK-56 automatic rifle from gangster Abu Salem and attempting to destroy it. He was, however, acquitted of charges of terrorism.
The Supreme Court upheld the conviction by the special court and the five-year jail term awarded to him.
Dutt’s jail term
The trailer shows Dutt’s experience in jail, including the humiliations he had to face, and how he dealt with them.
After his arrest, he was housed in a Mumbai jail before being granted bail, while the trial was on. After he was convicted, he spent over two years in the Yerawada jail in Pune. During his time in the Pune jail, he was granted furlough on multiple occasions, allowing him to visit his family during his jail term.
Dutt was also allowed to leave jail eight months early on account of good conduct, which was challenged and subsequently dismissed by the Bombay High Court. The actor has maintained that he never received any special treatment.
“I did not get any VIP treatment. In fact, I was treated worse than normal inmates as everyone thought I was getting special treatment. The worse thing about jail was the food, it was terrible and not edible at all,” he said at an event after his release.
The underworld links
The trailer of Sanju talks of the actor’s links with the underworld but Dutt has largely played it down in real life.
Dutt was accused of getting the AK-56 rifle, thanks to his links with the Dawood Ibrahim gang. The Supreme Court had asked the actor about his links with the gangster, but the actor’s lawyer said that Dutt had merely attended an event hosted by the gangster with two film producers before the 1993 blasts. Dutt’s lawyer maintained that there were no other ties with the gangster.
The Mumbai Police also claimed to have a tape of the actor and others speaking with Dawood’s associate Chhota Shakeel, but the actor was not prosecuted for it.