Don’t go by the trailers alone.
I was utterly disappointed to find that except the scenes shown in the trailer, and only a few others, Ranbir failed to sustain that dopy under-the-surface-bubbling, yet controlled energy that is so characteristic to Sanjay Dutt’s personality.
In all the key scenes, where atmosphere was charged, Ranbir time and gain fell back to his default voice pitch. His own style and body language, totally missing out on the character he was playing. In fact the same was true for other lead characters.
Paresh Rawal (Playing Sunil Dutt) kept on missing the Punjabi Accent and mannerism at key points in the story. The occasional accentuated “Puttarrrr” in Punjabi accent only highlighted the contrast even more. But the worst of all was Anushka Sharma. I don’t know why she was cast for a “role” which hardly was a role in the first place.
She plays the role of a Winnie Diaz, a London based Writer. And the only thing London about her was the blond wig she carried on her head and fake blue eyes that looked stupid on her face. Her accent fell flat. Only an occasional word that showed her London association.
After a point I stopped noticing this at all. It was like they were not even trying in the first place. They all knew they already had a formula for a Rs 100 Cr Movie. Top actors have been casted. Good banner is having their back. And the right buzz is already there. So why the effort.
Now to the heart of the story.
The movie tries to bring out the circumstances which led Sanjay dutt to make one mistake after another. First his drug peddling friend who pulled him to the bottomless abyss that is addiction. Then the threats of extremists which made Sanjay Dutt to acquire AK 56 to save his family. And then the newspapers who tried to get as much mileage as possible by juicing up his stories at the cost of his and his family image.
But isn’t this is the story of every person who has done wrong. In stead of bringing out his story, supported by facts, and really showing the circumstances that would have made us empathize for Sanjay Dutt, the movie felt like an appeal, almost like begging us to believe it. Just like that.
Every scene in the movie is a yell to persuade the audience that he is not a terrorist. That he did what he did for his family. He was afraid. He was innocent. He was desperate. He was everything but not a terrorist.
Even if that was true, and I have no qualms believing that as he has already been acquitted by Supreme court from any involvement with Mumbai Blast. But the way they have pathetically attempted to do that makes one feel what was the point of the movie. One of the basic rule of a good writing is “Show, don’t tell,” – a good story through carefully chosen scenes, a delicate storytelling makes the audience feel the message. Not shove down their throat by repetition.
All in all, a good opportunity wasted.
I didn’t feel the hair on my body rising the way it did in the scenes in Munnabhai MBBS. Or the fun riot that kept me laughing like 3 Idiots. Nothing of that charm was there.
It is not a movie that will bind your attention throughout. It’s a loosely held movie. The only binding force is the excellent portrayal of Kamali – friend of Sanjay dutt – by Vicky Kaushal. He laughed and cried much more convincingly than a talented Ranbir kapoor and a more seasoned Paresh Rawal. And in process made us do that too. Watch the movie for one more tick in the list of movies you have watched. Otherwise you are not missing out anything special.
Also published on Medium.