The Indian film industry has celebrated the stories of veterans. Rarely has one depicted success, fame and grief with as much eloquence as Sanju. Grossing over a massive $77.5 million worldwide, the movie has snagged the limelight for its take on Sanjay Dutt’s life. Produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra Films and Rajkumar Hirani Films in association with Fox Star Studios, Sanju offers a peek into the tumultuous life of actor Sanjay Dutt, a man who has battled many odds – from drug addiction to jail term.
In a conversation with us, the film’s producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra tells about the enthralling journey working on the film and the going so far. “What we really wanted to talk about was the father-son story in the film. There were many others. But we knew that this was what we wanted to do,” he tells us while highlighting the decisions that went into understanding which aspect of Sanjay Dutt’s life to focus on.
While filming the biopic, there were many intricacies involved in getting the right focus story out. “When we were editing the film, what stood out to us was the relationship he had with his father. To me, that was the crux of the message. His relationship with his friend was also an important aspect to include. So while we were editing, it became very clear that it was a father-son story,” the producer reminisces. He believes that Sanju has the power to bring change in real relationships for the better.
“When we do fiction, we know how to let the story flow. But when we film a biopic, we have to stick to the truth. This was a tough movie to film – it becomes increasingly difficult to make an interesting film when sticking to the boundaries of reality,” he says. The overwhelming success of the movie has brought in massive credits to the team and “It’s been a very big surprise!” Vidhu Vinod Chopra exclaims. “Despite the critics, I still had an inkling that it will be loved.”
After a successful string of films to his credit, Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s take on selecting his projects is exemplary. “I’m very clear – if it doesn’t move me, I don’t get involved. You touching people’s lives is an amazing feeling. Films like this will bring families close. Such movies talk about real relationships, and about genuine friendship. If films can move people and create an impact, I would love to do it,” he tells us. “I’m hoping that my films can make a difference, and that’s what drives me.”
Wrapping up the conversation, he talks a little about his upcoming project, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, and says that it is a story with an underlying message. An avid enthusiast of creating movies with great stories, Vidhu Vinod Chopra wishes that the audience watched better films. “If you see better films more often, then better films will be made,” he says laughing.