Cover credits – mumbaimirror
Sumita Chakraborty traces Ranbir Kapoor’s unique transformation into Sanjay Dutt for the film Dutt.
Once upon a time, there was a superstar who lived by his rules. He was flamboyant, OTT yet extremely charming. He broke the rules and the law came down on him rather sternly. Today, he’s reformed yet the aura of his strong persona still endears. He is none other than the very loved Sanjay Dutt lovingly called Sanju Baba.
Sanjay Dutt has lived his life on his terms. He has packed in so many experiences – some good others bad but nonetheless, his life is indeed extraordinary. So when Munnabhai director Raj Kumar Hirani better known as Raju thought of the idea of making a biopic on the life of Sanjay Dutt, there was a bit of a shock wave doing the rounds in Bollywood. Who would play Sanjay Dutt? Obviously, Sanjay at the age of 50 plus could not play a teenage Sanjay, so obviously, he was out of the reckoning. But the moot question was: Who would play Sanjay Dutt?
Ranbir Kapoor Is Sanjay Dut!
Then Raju Hirani hit on a brave wave. He decided on a very talented actor – Ranbir Kapoor.
Pros of Ranbir Playing Sanjay Dutt
Image Credits : relypost.com
But there were difficulties. Ranbir looked nothing like Sanjay Dutt.
And an irate Sanju baba, one emotional evening, a little high on the spirits, caught hold of Ranbir and told him off. His tirade went on and on, and it touched on the fact that Ranbir was too slim and chocolaty looking to even think of playing Sanjay Dutt who, according to Sanju Baba, was a macho actor.
A Determined Actor
Ranbir heard him out silently. And then went on to say ‘yes’ to the role of Sanjay Dutt in the biopic Dutt. Sanjay was livid. Though he did believe in Raju Hirani’s vision. He did not think Ranbir could do his persona justice. But Ranbir persisted.
What Did Ranbir Do Next?
Image credits : bollywoodlife.com
He went with the director’s vision. He trusted Raju Hirani and he knew the director who was known to be a perfection would do justice to his vision.
So before starting on the shoot, Ranbir first started spending more time with Sanjay Dutt. He observed his mannerisms and his way of talking and walking. He closely noticed the way Sanjay Dutt would sit or chat with friends. Slowly and steadily, Ranbir started incorporating all the nuances into his personality. It was a subtle change.
Ranbir then went off the radar. He stopped going for press shows or even attending too many parties which was a bit of a change for him because Ranbir Kapoor is said to be a very social person.
He practised in front of the mirror for hours until Sanjay Dutt’s unique mannerisms became part ‘n’ parcel of his own personality. Soon Ranbir was not only living and breathing Sanjay Dutt, he was Sanjay Dutt.
Raju Hirani had also arranged for the videos of Sanjay Dutt’s films which Ranbir Kapoor would watch over and over again until he perfected every nuance of Sanjay Dutt’s dialogue delivery.
The shooting started and the film Dutt created a buzz. People wondered whether Ranbir Kapoor could carry off playing Sanjay Dutt. The pressure on the young actor was huge. But a sneak peek of Ranbir’s look as the young Sanjay caught everybody by surprise. He looked ditto Sanjay Dutt of the days of yore including the facial expression.
But the going was still not easy. As the shooting commenced, Ranbir had to play Sanjay Dutt at various ages. That’s when makeup came to his help. With advanced prosthetics and skilled makeup artistes, the facial differences between the two actors were removed. Ranbir got the contours of Sanjay Dutt’s face, and the resemblance was uncanny. In fact, if you saw him from a distance, you’d think it was Sanjay Dutt himself.
As for the physique, Ranbir, agreed, was a little lanky. That did suit the young Sanjay Dutt but the older Sanjay Dutt was more bulked up. In fact, that was the grouse Sanjay Dutt had against Ranbir – that he looked too soft and more like a chocolate hero.
So Ranbir hit the gym with a vengeance. He got himself a personal trainer who helped him sculpt a body just like Sanjay Dutt. And lo, behold, the transformation was remarkable. Ranbir became Sanjay Dutt as you can see from the pictures.
… The film Dutt is being shot to perfection as we speak even to the extent of shooting at Sanjay Dutt’s Pali Hill residence. As for Ranbir, he has become Sanjay Dutt, and we are sure he’ll do complete justice to the character. In fact the biggest compliment he’s got is from Sanjay Dutt himself who said ‘Aare, yeh toh main hi hun!”
…This is one film which is a must see, we are sure!