"Cheers Ranbir! You don’t know how proud your parents are."
The highly-anticipated Sanju has enjoyed its opening weekend with record-breaking success.
Taking critics and Indian audiences by storm, the Sanjay Dutt biopic has entered the coveted Rs 100 crore club, earning an incredible Rs 120.06 crore in the space of just three days!
In the biographical drama, we see Ranbir Kapoor in the titular role as Bollywood actor, Sanjay Dutt. The tragicomedy film depicts his chaotic life including his drug addiction, love affairs, and imprisonment.
Whilst it was inevitable that this Sanjay Dutt biopic would do well, it seems to have surpassed all expectations.
Ranbir has been especially praised by critics for his impressive performance and his ability to take on the persona of Dutt so expertly.
Sanju: By the Numbers
Releasing in over 4,000 across India on Friday 29th June 2018, the Ranbir Kapoor film which has achieved an incredible amount of success in such a short period of time.
Compared to the recent releases of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat and Salman Khan’s Race 3, it becomes clear how well Sanju has done. Far surpassing both films opening weekend box-office collections, as Padmaavat earned Rs 114 crore, whilst Race 3 had an opening of Rs 106.47 crore.
With so much buzz surrounding the biopic, Indian film critic and trade analyst, Taran Adarsh, took to Twitter to post the huge success of Sanju during its opening weekend.
Tweeting his usual box-office figures, even Adarsh seemed amazed by the unprecedented success of the film. He littered his post with capitalised words of astonishment, writing:
“#Sanju sets the BO on (fire)… Gets #JaaduKiJhappi from the audience… Collects Rs 46.71 cr on Sun, MIND-BOGGLING… Has an EXCEPTIONAL Rs 100 cr+ opng weekend… Emerges HIGHEST OPENING WEEKEND of 2018… Fri 34.75 cr, Sat 38.60 cr, Sun 46.71 cr. Total: Rs 120.06 cr. India biz.”
#Sanju sets the BO on ???… Gets #JaaduKiJhappi from the audience… Collects ? 46.71 cr on Sun, MIND-BOGGLING… Has an EXCEPTIONAL ? ? cr+ opng weekend… Emerges HIGHEST OPENING WEEKEND of 2018… Fri 34.75 cr, Sat 38.60 cr, Sun 46.71 cr. Total: ? 120.06 cr. India biz.
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) July 2, 2018
Adarsh continues his analysis of the film by comparing it to the success of other recent releases including Race 3. He wrote on Twitter:
“While #Sanju has crossed the *3-day opening weekend biz* of #Race3 by a distance, it has also crossed the *extended weekend biz* of #Padmaavat by a margin… That’s not all, #Sanju has also surpassed the *3-day opening weekend biz* of #TigerZindaHai [Rs 114.93 cr]…AWESOME!”
While #Sanju has crossed the *3-day opening weekend biz* of #Race3 by a distance, it has also crossed the *extended weekend biz* of #Padmaavat by a margin… That’s not all, #Sanju has also surpassed the *3-day opening weekend biz* of #TigerZindaHai [? 114.93 cr]… AWESOME!
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) July 2, 2018
Once it was revealed that Sanju had surpassed SS Rajamouli’s magnum-opus Baahubali 2, Taran seemed unable to contain his excitement. By surpassing Baahubali 2, Sanju becomes the highest single day grosser for any Hindi film. He added:
#Sanju creates H-I-S-T-O-R-Y… Records HIGHEST SINGLE DAY for a HINDI film… DEMOLISHES the record held by #Baahubali2 [Hindi]… #Baahubali2 had collected Rs 46.50 cr on Day 3 [Sun]… #Sanju has surpassed it, collects Rs 46.71 cr on Day 3 [Sun]. India biz”
#Sanju creates H-I-S-T-O-R-Y… Records HIGHEST SINGLE DAY for a HINDI film… DEMOLISHES the record held by #Baahubali2 [Hindi]… #Baahubali2 had collected ? 46.50 cr on Day 3 [Sun]… #Sanju has surpassed it, collects ? 46.71 cr on Day 3 [Sun]. India biz. Boxoffice on ???
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) July 2, 2018
The Critic’s Reviews of Sanju
While Sanju may be setting the Box-Office alight, critic reviews of the film have been largely mixed. The varied reviews range from a ‘honest and truthful account of a troubled actor’ to the ‘glorification of one of Bollywood’s most privileged stars’.
Writing for NDTV, critic Saibal Chatterjee gave the film that was directed and co-written by Rajkumar Hirani 4 out of 5 stars.
The review said:
“Ranbir Kapoor, slipping into the skin of the troubled Bollywood star, pulls out the stops in astonishingly effective ways, subsuming his own personality completely into that of the protagonist.”
“The director is on the top of his game and the actor frequently soars to dizzying heights. Sanju, as a result, is an entertainer that delivers more than just the superficial goods that one expects from a mass entertainer.
“It sets a new benchmark for Bollywood biopics. It will be a hard act to follow.”
Starring an enviable cast Sanju recruited a host of talented actors. This includes Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Paresh Rawal, Dia Mirza, and Vicky Kaushal, to name a few.
Writing a review for Showsha, Swetha Ramakrishnan highlights the other members of the cast as well as Ranbir’s performance that helped to bring the film to new heights:
“This is a meta performance. Ranbir Kapoor acts like Sanjay Dutt, who is an actor by profession. Sanju is so much more than Sanjay Dutt though. And Ranbir Kapoor.
“Yes, the film serves primarily as a platform for Ranbir Kapoor — and his talent — to show us the intricacies of Sanjay Dutt’s life. But one person’s story rarely makes a good film.”
“Sanju is as much about Paresh Rawal’s restrained performance, as a helpless father torn between love for his son and his moral code. It is as much about Manisha Koirala, Sonam Kapoor and Dia Mirza, who each play memorable (but ultimately secondary) characters in Dutt’s life.
“Manisha is particularly refreshing as Nargis Dutt and it is a delight to watch her on the big screen.”
One of the standout performances of the film, in addition to Ranbir, was Vicky Kaushal who plays Sanju’s best friend. In particular, filmmaker Karan Johar was all praise for the actor. Johar tweeted:
“VICKY KAUSHAL is emerging to be such a bonafide movie star!!! There is nothing this talented actor can’t do!!! He plays the sympathetic friend with such emotional depth!! He made me cry with him….superb!!!! @vickykaushal09 and what a year he is having!!!!! #sanju.”
While many have praised the star performances of the biopic, there are others who have criticised other aspects of the movie. In particular, some have found Sanju seemingly make its lead character a victim of his surroundings.
One review by the Hollywood Reporter highlighted the director’s close relationship with Dutt as a cause of its flaws. It stated:
“Given Hirani’s longtime professional relationship with Dutt, it may be unreasonable to expect a warts-and-all depiction of the actor’s unsavory sides. But the film’s whitewash approach deceives no Indian movie fan familiar with his real life and career.”
The review ultimately labelled the film as a “glorified infomercial about the life of a Bollywood bad boy.”
Despite positive reviews being the majority for Sanju, several critics have identified the ‘bad boy’ trope as being over-done by Bollywood.
First Post’s review also reinforces this, calling Sanju, “the story of every privileged man-child.”
Rishi Kapoor’s Heartfelt Message to his Son, Ranbir
Another critic, and perhaps one of the most important for Ranbir, is his father, Rishi Kapoor. Rishi couldn’t stop himself from taking to Twitter to tell his followers how proud he was of his son.
Alongside a picture of himself seated happily on an aircraft, the well-known actor and director wrote:
“I am flying and aircraft flying at 40,000 ft.Emirates flight EK702 Mauritius to Dubai now in real time. Cheers Ranbir! You don’t know how proud your parents are. Thank you and God Bless you. Aur bhi achcha kaam karo!”
I am flying and aircraft flying at 40,000 ft.Emirates flight EK702 Mauritius to Dubai now in real time. Cheers Ranbir! You don’t know how proud your parents are. Thank you and God Bless you. Aur bhi achcha kaam karo! pic.twitter.com/CIt63wjxg1
— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) July 1, 2018
Featuring a host of well-known and popular actors, the anticipation building up to the biopic’s release has been immense.
Despite receiving several negative reviews regarding the bad boy trope that Bollywood seems to love, the film and the actors were inundated with positive responses to their performances.
The cast and crew celebrated reaching the 100 Core Club with a big bash on the evening of 2nd July 2018.
Ranbir was joined by co-stars Manisha Koirala, Paresh Rawal, Rajkumar Hirani and Dia Mirza. Although, Vicky Kaushal was unable to attend, Ranbir voice called him to ensure he didn’t miss out on the celebrations.
Watch the video here:
— ETimes (@etimes) July 3, 2018
Whilst Sanju may have left audiences divided, the film’s success is undeniable. The impressive figures speak for themselves.
We last saw Ranbir Kapoor’s in the film, Jagga Jasoos, which did not do well at the box office.
As well as becoming the highest single day grosser for any Hindi film, Sanju has also become Ranbir Kapoor’s highest opening day grosser of his films so far.