Sanju Teaser Released FINALLY! A Bit Twee

I know, hours late, but better late than never!  And now you can all watch it and have a nice discussion with me about it and how we all feel.

I was going to say that I’m not sure how I feel about this, but then I thought about it, and decided I am sure, and I am sure that I really really really don’t like it.

I can kind of see what the idea was.  Sanjay is a fascinating celebrity in how he has constantly reinvented himself, the Sanjay of 1981 has almost nothing to do with the Sanjay of 1991, or 2001, or 2011, and so on and so on.  So they wanted to show that idea through a slightly surreal play acting, deal with Sanjay The Image instead of Sanjay the Person.

This is an interesting concept for a biopic, especially the first major biopic of Indian film.  To treat the whole world as a stage and everyone in it as characters.  Only, I think Sanjay is a very very very bad choice for the subject of the film.  He makes sense because few stars have as many and as varied public personas as he did.  But his is not a life story you can treat lightly.

Starting with Sanjay himself.  His mother died, he survived drug addiction and recovered, his wife died, he lost custody of his daughter, he went in and out of jail breaking his father’s heart, his second marriage fell apart, his father died, he got married a third time and had two more children, and then was sent to jail again missing out on his children’s childhood.  And he is still a living person, as are his children, his sisters, his second wife, the parents of his dead first wife, and his current wife.  It makes me very uncomfortable to see all this real pain and all these real people being reduced to an acting experiment.

 

And that’s just the start of it.  Sanjay’s prison term was the result of his involvement in the Bombay Bomb Blasts, which killed real people.  Sanjay was barely involved, but it’s going to be hard to address his prison term at all without referring to the blasts in some way.  And again, very uncomfortable to put a reference to that within a film that has this very self-aware sprightly Brechtian kind of attitude.

I was optimistic when this film was first announced, not just because I am always optimistic, but because in the first Munna Bhai I feel like Rajkumar Hirani did a really good job exploring the Sunil Dutt and Sanjay Dutt relationship.  And he pulled out a unique kind of sweetness and goodness from inside Sanjay in their films together.  So I wanted to see Hirani’s thoughtful take on who Sanjay Dutt is and what he was to the people around him.

And initial signs were good!  The first confirmation I saw that this film was really really happening was that Rajkumar Hirani was there to film Sanjay leaving jail.  The idea of using that as an ending, and using real life footage, to me said that the film wasn’t going to shy away from the difficult parts of Sanjay’s life, and that it was going to try to grapple with it in a way that respected the real person involved.

But then pretty much everything after that made me pessimistic.  Paresh Rawal as Sunil Dutt?  Ranbir Kapoor taking an eternity to prepare?  Constant filming delays?

And now this teaser.  Which is…..not great.  Looking at the whole sweep of this, Rajkumar’s sensitivity for Sanjay’s story, the start of it outside of jail, the looooooooooooong prep period, the many many reshoots, it just feels like cowardice?  Like, they started out wanting to do a real serious look at Sanjay’s life, and then they just got increasingly superficial as they got scared away from the realness of his life, until they ended up with this.  The opposite end of the spectrum from “real”.

 

Or, maybe it is just a bad teaser!!!!  I am still an optimist!

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29 thoughts on “Sanju Teaser Released FINALLY! A Bit Twee

  1. I don’t know how to feel about this. I’m generally not fond of Hirani movies which makes me a rare breed amongst the BW audience. I just don’t like his childlike take on various issues where the complexities are removed and stripped down into moral fables. I don’t like his silly humor either. I didn’t want him to attempt a subject like this to begin with knowing what he tends to do in his movies. I truly fear we’re going to get a biopic version of Munnabhai – the sweet misunderstood Sanju who’s gotten into trouble but is really just a nice guy at heart. He does not deserve that sort of whitewashing and glorifying. I’m afraid this is going to be like the movie version of Being Human.

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    • I have a similar reaction, but for opposite reasons. I like Sanjay, because he overcome a lot of darkness and became a better person. And I want a movie that digs into that instead of silly humor and whitewashing of what happened.

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  2. Sanjay was barely involved in the Bombay Blasts? I mean I know he didn’t go and kill people, but he did help those terrorists kill them, hid their ammunition (or supplied them, I’m not sure). Or am I missing out on something?

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    • My understanding is that gangsters who were friends of his gave him guns which he hid in his home. So he did a bad thing for bad people, but I’ve never seen anything that said he knew there were going to be bomb blasts or anything.

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  3. I do feel that Ranbir is trying a bit too much about mimicking Sanju’s body language. But otherwise the trailer is fine.Really this movie should have been made 10-15 years later, when none of the people involved won’t either care or are not powerful enough to demand changes.Sunil Dutt’s role required someone with screen presence or dignified-older-star quality.Vinod Khanna would have been perfect,especially since Sunil Dutt was sort of a mentor to the former.And cutting out Madhuri is taking away the opportunity for some really dramatic moments.

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    • Exactly! I feel like the movie keeps pulling its punches, just based on the casting and the other rumors we have heard, and then this teaser is so light it makes me worried the whole movie will be light like this.

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  4. I was blown away by it!!!! I absolutely loved it and I know I wanna go watch it and I’m excited about it.

    I know you don’t like Indian films that deal with realities of this country but then again you also don’t like a trailer that is 100% true to the public image of this massive pan Indian icon because it’s not somber enough??! What?!

    In all honesty, I think the peppy part is just for the trailer. And it is very consistent with how Sanju was (maybe a bit more emotional. Or stoned) IRL whenever he gave those interviews in the middle of those shitstorms. He IS a guy that’s talked about his problems openly and with a smile always. He’s the guy that’s more likely to make the joke about the kalashnikov that ruined his life. Moreover, this film has his approval. This is how he wants his story to be told. We owe him the liberty to make that choice right?

    As for Ranbir, dude, this looks like it would be worth the wait. After I watched the trailer the next video on autplay was a trailer reaction by this Pakistani guy and he totally captured what this trailer made me feel. I guess I’ll hop on to Melanie’s review of the trailer and see if she felt the same about it.

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  5. As someone who has never seen a Sanjay Dutt movie, and only knows the outlines of his story, this intrigues me and makes me want to see the film. Of course it helps that I think Ranbir is a talented and charismatic actor.

    I don’t get a sense of Brechtian over the top-ness or glibness from the teaser. I do get a sense that it will be from Sanjay’s perspective, and he’s inviting us in to experience his story from his perspective. But I caught plenty of sinister and dark vibes in the clips–gallows humor rather than callousness or indifference.

    I am really sad that the Madhuri angle seems like it’s been cut. I find her one of the most fascinating real-life characters among Hindi movie stars, and it seems to me that from her current position–happy in her personal life, at the top of the “married woman celebrity” game–she shouldn’t be threatened by an account of an affair that happened decades ago. And can you imagine what a juicy, potentially career-changing role that could have been to play for a younger actress?

    Looking forward to a full trailer at some point. Any idea when it may be out?

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  6. It looks interesting but I kind of feel like they’re trying to show Ranbir in as many different looks as possible. Like instead of getting people to come to see Sanjay Dutt’s story, they’re saying “come and see how Ranbir looks just like Sanjay Dutt in so many different periods of his life”.

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  7. I like the idea of ‘one man – many lives’ because to me it always seemed that Sanjay was kind of ‘reborn’ more than once. I also like the humoristic approach which will not be always in the movie – understandably.
    There were moments when Ranbir really was like Sanjay…I am very curious about his performance throughout the movie.
    I did not like every movie de Hirani, but both the Munnabhai-films I find highly enjoyable.

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  8. I’m going to put myself in the “excited” column, although I realize it could all go horribly wrong. I thought this movie was a horrible idea, but the trailer makes it look really interesting. Really looking forward to seeing Ranbir do something different (? possibly?)

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  9. Why are people remotely interested on Sanjay Dutt and a filmmaker like Hirani to do a biopic for a man who remotely HAS DONE NOTHING to society. *imph

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    • Entertainment,Entertainment,Entertainment. Seriously his story has all the ingredients necessary for a commercial pot boiler. Plus there’s all those Sanju fans.Boys (mostly) who grew up admiring his style from the 80s and 90s.

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