Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju, which is refusing to bow out of Indian theatres after more than a month of its release, has reached another milestone. In Australia, Sanju has earned more money than SS Rajmouli’s fantasy-action film Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. Padmaavat leads the list of Indian films down under. Back home, this Ranbir Kapoor starrer is now the third biggest Indian film after Baahubali 2 and Dangal.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh posted the news on his Twitter handle. He said, “This is MASSIVE… #Sanju crosses *lifetime biz* of #Baahubali2 [Hindi] in AUSTRALIA… Now THIRD HIGHEST GROSSING *Hindi* film… 1. #Padmaavat A$ 3,163,107 [IMAX, 3D, 2D], 2. #Dangal A$ 2,623,780, 3. #Sanju A$ 2,409,125, 4 #Baahubali2 *Hindi* A$ 2,407,933, 5 #PK A$ 2,110,841 @comScore.”
About half a dozen films have hit theatres and exited even as Sanju has continued to earn money. Sanju is a biopic of controversial actor Sanjay Dutt and chronicles his life from his entry into Bollywood to the present. The film also deals with the darker aspects of Dutt’s life, including his conviction in illegal arms possession case and his drug addiction. Some people have criticised the film of going easy on Sanjay Dutt, saying it paints a picture of a naive man who was wronged by circumstances and other people.
Despite this, Sanju has received mostly good reviews. Critics have praised Rajkumar’s direction and Ranbir Kapoor’s performance. The Indian Express film critic Shubhra Gupta wrote, “Once you’ve made your peace with the Sanjay we get, and there was no way of getting any other in a Hirani movie, you can sit down and enjoy the film. I had a blast all the way till the half-way mark. Ranbir Kapoor is wholly believable as Sanjay-Sanju, channeling not just his (Dutt’s) distinctive body language and ‘lehja’, but his internal confusion. Paresh Rawal, playing Sunil Dutt with exemplary restraint, matches Kapoor step for step, even striding ahead in places. Manisha Koirala, as Nargis, makes you wish there was more of her. Jim Sarbh, as the guy-with-the-bad-influence, is very fine and dandy, and Vicky Kaushal as Sanju’s faithful New York-based Gujju friend who teaches him life lessons, is absolutely terrific. And Hirani is in top form, getting all his reel characters to riff off the real characters, in the pursuit of a solid, entertaining tale.”