Mumbai: Hansal Mehta, who is renowned for his ability to make engaging cinema from real…
Mumbai: “After 3 films with him, I only knew 1% of the man”, Rajkumar Hirani said explaining why he chose Sanjay Dutt’s life for a biopic.
With a 100% track record, Rajkumar Hirani is a brand by himself, not unlike the Khans and today’s other ‘superstars’. He owns his product, with novelty as his trademark, and has created his own niche in an industry that thrives on formula. Out of his four superhit films released so far over the span of a decade or so, he has worked with Sanjay Dutt in three. Obviously, one would think he’d be the best person to tell the story of Dutt’s turbulent life on film.
Ask Hirani if he’s begun work on the Dutt biopic and he replies, “Yes, we are scripting it now. After PK releases, we begin working wholeheartedly on it.” Was the biopic always in the works? “We had no such plans initially”, he says, “We were supposed to start working on other projects”. But when the actor returned home from jail on a three-month parole and they met at Dutt’s place, Dutt and he ended up talking eight hours. Says the director, “Sanjay told me a lot and I called him again next day because I was very moved with whatever he told me. Abhijat and I sat with him for 25 days to know his full story. I used to edit PK, then reach his house at 5 or 6 o’clock and be there till 3 in the morning everyday. I discovered that although I did three films with him, I only knew 1% of that man. There’s so much about him which he has never shared with anyone. I saw a film there”.
He’s firm about one thing. He says, “There is in no way that we are doing this to glorify him. Neither are we doing this to show him in a bad light. We will show what it is, in a very straight manner. One would be shocked to know that so much can happen to one person in a lifetime. I am still meeting his family, friends and collecting materials, researching for things about him. We have only three hours of run time. So definitely, we cannot show all phases. So we will touch some and leave some phases and characters out.”
Sanju Baba was cool with Raju’s idea and excitedly told him, “Banao picture!”, shared the director. But he did not suggest who to cast. Reveals Hirani, “Ranbir Kapoor will be playing his part. But all that process has not started yet. If people can accept a 40 plus Aamir Khan playing Rancho, Ranbir can also look believable.”