Sanju (2018)

From the moment this project was announced I was wondering how the subject would be treated, and how it would be balanced entertainment.

The way it was handled by Raj Kumar Hirani, no surprise there, was superlative. Not only has he managed to say one side of the story (as we know there are always many sides) in a remarkable way, but he’s done justice to all the characters, big or small.

Manisha Koirala is beautiful as the late Nargis, so much grace and spontaneity, she was perfect for the role. Paresh Rawal as Sunil Dutt was one of the three main pillars of the story, dependable and stoic, he was every bit the actor and person so many admired. Jim Sarbh was effective in a short role, as were Anushka Sharma and Dia Mirza. The second pillar, a fast rising actor Vicky Kaushal is a talent to be reckoned with. He holds his own in the frame with Ranbir and Paresh and has an exemplary presentation of his character ‘Kamli’.

The third pillar, Ranbir Kapoor, is someone who can never be accused of bad acting. He’s flawless in a role which walks the right rope portraying a living actor, who has been admired by many, so much so that the audience erupted in applause at the end of the film. He has shown a struggle with drugs/alcohol, the relationship with his parents, the underworld and his love life with such sincerity that it almost seems we are voyeurs to the real life of Sanjay Dutt.

This film is heart touching, reveals some facets which may be fiction, or fact, but make for good story telling. At the end, what is truth but a perspective and who knows it, but the ones who have lived through it? The film raises a very important point about media and how news is created. Something for the world to be wary about.

Do stay for the end credits song. It’s the icing on the cake.

3.5/5

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Bobby Jasoos (2014)

Vidya Balan is back in many avatars to subtly amuse and investigate the going-ons in her neighbourhood. She is a budding detective, trying to get a decent case to make her independent and tickle her skills. Her accent is adorable and her antics unpredictable.

The strength of the film lies in its simplicity. It doesn’t pretend to be anything big or dramatic, it is sincere, funny, true to its socio-economic setting with characters we can relate to.

Bobby a.k.a. Bilquis is one of 3 sisters in a conservative Muslim family in Hyderabad. A boisterous rebel, she gets a mysterious case and takes us on a short 2 hour journey in the nooks and crannies of the old city area.

She is ably supported by a host of characters; Ali Fazal, Tanvi Azmi, Kiran Kumar, Arjun Bajwa, Zarina Wahab, Rajendra Gupta, Prasad Barve and Supriya Pathak as her ever understanding mother, quite a departure from ‘Dhankorbaa’ in Ram Leela.

Debut director Samar Shaikh presents us a refreshing story that entertains in an endearing way.

3/5