Sonntag, 8. Mai 2011

Sanjay Dutt completes 30 years in the film industry

Yes, yes, I know, he made his first appearance on the silver screen already 1971 in his father Sunil Dutt's film Reshma Aur Shera – a cute little boy beaming and trying to clap rhythmically in a qawwali scene. But his adult debut film came ten years later: Rocky, premiered on May 8, 1981; not really a success, but it nevertheless made Sanju a new heartthrob in the industry. Especially after he successfully fought his drug addiction in the early 80s and then impressed with his intense performance in Naam (1986), he silenced all the people who much too early had written him off.

In the following years he started a fitness trend which subsequently was followed by many of his colleagues. "Sanjay Dutt was the first to make a macho physique a fashion statement," wrote the Stardust in 1997. "The Deadly Dutt has an animal sexuality about him that emanates as much from his perfectly sculpted 'he-man' physique as from his large, vulnerable eyes with their 'little lost boy' look. Add to that his smile, his hair and his recklessness and you have a lost lion cub that is just waiting to be mothered. Not many women have been able to resist that."

Never did Sanjay show this combination of muscles and vulnerability more clearly than in Sadak (1991) which made him the most wanted action hero of the 90s. Other highlights of these years were Saajan (1991 – the role of a crippled, sensitive poet earned Sanjay his first Filmfare Best Actor nomination), Aatish (1994) and Khalnayak (1993) which became a synonym for Sanjay: the 'antihero' which won the people's hearts though being a 'villain'.

It was sheer, bitter irony, that Khalnayak just advanced to one of the biggest hits in 1993 while at the same time the fiction became reality for Sanjay when he was arrested and jailed, suspected of being involved in terrorist acts leading to the Mumbai blasts – an accusation he finally was to be acquitted of in 2006. At that time, he had made himself another popular identity besides the 'Khalnayak' – it was the loveable and golden-hearted Munnabhai he played in Rajkumar Hirani's blockbusters Munnabhai MBBS (2003) and Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006).

At the age of 51, Sanjay Dutt still enjoys a firm position in the industry and is still a much sought-after actor who gets more film offers than he can accept. Besides, he has launched his own production banner Sanjay Dutt Productions; his maiden home production will be Rascals starring him and his buddy Ajay Devgn. Other forthcoming projects include Double Dhamaal and Karan Johar's Agneepath remake where Sanjay plays the role of the villain Kancha Cheena.

So now, as my gift to Sanjay's 30th birthday in the film industry (many, many happy returns of the day, Sanju!), I present you my slightly different film recommendation list – apart from the usual suspects (as named above):

Hathyar (1989)
JP Dutta's fabulous action movie Hathyar (don't mistake it for Mahesh Manjrekar's Hathyar from 2002) is probably one of Hindi Cinema’s most underrated films and presents one of Sanjay's most stunning performances. Imagine a mixture of Naam and Vaastav and you get an idea of this film’s ambiance.

Vaastav (1999)
Sanjay's best performance ever! No two ways about that. Rarely did he devote his body and soul to a role as uncompromisingly as in Vaastav. He doesn’t just play Raghubhai, he embodies this character with all its facets. It is indescribable, you simply have to see this achievement yourself; all the awards Sanjay got for it were absolutely deserved.

Pitaah (2002)
Sanjay once considered this film as his 'Mother India'. Poor and dependent from the Thakur's grace, Rudra seems chance-less when the Thakur's sons bestially rape his little daughter and, thanks to their father's money, can expect to go scot-free. But as a father, Rudra is determined to fight for his daughter and for justice. Together with his co-star Nandita Das, Sanjay delivered one of his most intense and vulnerable performances.

Hum Kisise Kum Nahin (2002)
Sanjay's first Munnabhai – which of course is not identical to Raju Hirani's child-like gangster. Though even this don has his lovable sides – especially when he falls in love and gets his brain convolutions knotted just by looking at his queen of hearts. Here Sanjay presents his comedy skills in a most adorable way.

Kaante (2002)
Kaante is no simple popcorn movie, it demands full concentration. But the film is worth it – because of the forceful controversy between Sanjay and Amitabh Bachchan, because of Sanjay’s ubercool performance and because of his singing in "Rama Re" and "Chhod Na Re" (I simply adore his voice). And, of course, because of the hot item number "Ishq Samandar".

Shabd (2005)
I will never understand why, when it comes to naming Sanjay's best achievements on the silver screen, Shabd hardly ever is named. Sanjay is brilliant as the introvert and schizophrenic writer Shaukat who in the end cracks completely – an unforgettable scene where Sanjay seems to break the line between acting and being. Shaukat is probably his most ambitious role to date, and he shapes it with touching sensitivity.

Knock Out (2010)
Too bad this film suffered from the rip-off controversy around its release. Too bad also for the fabulous protagonists Sanjay and Irrfan who never met on the sets but nevertheless delivered their dialogues as if they did interact directly – a top achievement! Sanjay plays his part masterfully, with calm and considerate serenity and sometimes with a little twinkle in his eye. Indeed, this man should never be written off.

Check this link for more pics from Sanju's movies named here:
Sanjay Dutt completes 30 years in the film industry

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