In a sensational confession, filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani has ‘confirmed’ the criticism that he indeed made attempts to whitewash Sanjay Dutt’s tarnished image through his biographical blockbuster Sanju. This, Hirani finally admitted, was to create empathy for the actor, who has had to serve time in jail for his role in 1993 Bombay bomb blasts case.
Hiran’s stunning confession comes barely a month after he vehemently denied the charge that he attempted to whitewash Sanja Dutt’s controversial past. Delivering a masterclass in Melbourne, Australia, last month, Hirani had said, “At some stage I wanted to address that what have I done. I was very surprised with the reaction I have received. I want to ask where have I whitewashed Sanju.”
A month later, while speaking at a masterclass held by Indian Film and TV Directors Association in New Delhi, Hirani performed a spectacular U-turn and finally admitted to having tinkered with the original script to create sympathy for the main protagonist of his film.
Hirani said that the reaction from the audience during the test screening had left him shocked prompting him to ask, ‘What am I doing? I’m going wrong.’ This was after he was told by people that they hated Sanjay Dutt in the film adding that they wouldn’t watch the film.
“Because I wanted to do a true story, I didn’t create any empathy towards him. I said let’s not create empathy and show (him) as he is. But later I understood that he is our hero, we need some empathy for him,”PTI quoted Hirani as saying. The Sanju director admitted that he had to add a few additional scenes in the film to create ’empathy’ for Sanjay Dutt. This, he said was not the part of the original script.
So what were those scenes? Hirani, as reported by PTI, said, “Where he tries to kill himself after the verdict is out; which he had mentioned to me but we didn’t put in the film, I shot it later. It was not in the original script. I thought through this some empathy will come…”
Sanjay Dutt has acted in Hirani’s hit Munna Bhai series before also doing a cameo in Aamir Khan-starrer PK. He was convicted for possessing AK-56 rifle during in conenction with 1993, Bombay blasts. His released from the jail ahead of the prescribed time had become hugely controversial in February 2016 as he did not have complete five years in jail as ordered by the court.
Sanju starring Paresh Rawal, Manisha Koirala, Vicky Kaushal, Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Dia Mirza went on to colelct more than Rs 300 crore at the box office.