Would Sanju Revive Sanjay Dutt’s Career?

Suddenly there is  a revival of interest in the almost-defunct career  of Sanjay Dutt whose last  real  successes  on celluloid were Raj Kumar Hirani’s Lage Raho Munnabhai in 2006 and Shootout At Lokhandwala in 2007.

Thereafter his films ranging from Raman Kumar’s cross-border romance Sarhad Paar and Sanjay Gadhvi’s  revenge drama Kidnap to  Soham Shah’s  heist  caper Luck and Tony d’Souza’s  oceanic adventure Blue and Ram Gopal Varma’s  cops-and-robbers jigsaw Department , have all been flops.

 Dutt’s  most recent releases  Zanjeer, Zilla Ghaziabad and Policegiri were miserable flops. And his first  release  post-incarceration Bhoomiwhere he played a  father grieving for his raped daughter was such a  boxoffice disaster that Dutt hastily withdrew  from the  other film that he was committed  to do for  the same director Omung Kumar.

 Raj Kumar Hirani’s Sanju , the bio-pic which was  released last week , has been declared a  gigantic  hit. But will it help revive the real Sanju’s sagging career?

No, says  trade analyst, Amod Mehra. “Only Ranbir Kapoor will benefit from the success of Sanju. Sanjay Dutt’s image will be more positive , so the negativity regarding his  controversial past, will diminish.But career will depend on his films succeeding at the box office.”

However, editor  and  trade analyst Atul Mohan says, “To a great extent , yes. Sanju has been declared a huge hit at the boxoffice.Thismeanspeople have accepted the movie and since Sanjay Dutt is an important factor in the film it may also signal a new level of acceptability  ofDutt, depending on how much the audience accepts the film’s whitewashing of  Dutt’s ‘terrorist’ image. Had people not been interested in ‘Baba’  then the film wouldn’t have got this acceptance. Rajkumar Hirani and Ranbir have also been  major factors for the film working at the BO. Sanju has revived Ranbir’s career also. So I’d like  think  that  this one blockbuster would  re-ignite the  careers of 2 superstars.”

Adds  Girish  Johar, “Sanjay Dutt was always there. Yes , for the young audiences or the youth segment of our cine-goers, Sanju has madeSanjay Dutt more relatable. So going ahead they can connect with his films more, so this has definitely added to Dutt’s viewer base amongst the youth.”

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