Sanju: Ranbir Kapoor's relationship with his parents is eerily similar to Sanjay Dutt's equation with Sunil Dutt, Nargis

Devansh Sharma

June 24, 2018 17:12:12 IST

In a recent video that surfaced online, filmmakers Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Rajkumar Hirani recorded Rishi Kapoor's reaction to the trailer of Sanju, starring his son Ranbir Kapoor. Rishi was visibly, and admittedly overwhelmed by the trailer, as he mistook his son playing Sanjay Dutt to be Dutt himself. He got teared up soon and was all praise for Ranbir in a rare display of admiration for his son before modestly backtracking on his words.

Ranbir Kapoor and Paresh Rawal in a poster of Sanju. Twitter

Ranbir Kapoor and Paresh Rawal in a poster of Sanju. Twitter

A parallel can be drawn to an interview of the late Sunil Dutt from the sets of Hirani's 2003 gangster comedy Munna Bhai MBBS. When asked about how it was sharing the screen space with Sanjay for the first time, Sunil refrained to comment explaining how he cannot give a biased opinion. However, he did add that Sanjay is a versatile actor. In the climax of the film, which is essentially also a father-son story like Sanju, Sunil and Sanjay broke down in an emotional scene while hugging each other. The same scene has been recreated in Sanju as well, since the onscreen equation of Munna Bhai and his father is an extension of their off-screen bonding.

Another integral part of Sanju is Sunil leaving no stones unturned to make his son's life as normal as it was before the death of his mother Nargis. From Sanjay's drug rehab phase to his legal battle in the TADA case, Sunil has stood by his son like a rock. That is why as soon as Sanjay was released from the prison two years ago, he said he missed his father the most that day as all the late Sunil Dutt wanted to see was Sanjay as a free man.

Sunil Dutt and Sanjay Dutt in a still from Munna Bhai MBBS

Sunil Dutt and Sanjay Dutt in a still from Munna Bhai MBBS

This admission of the love buried under years of fear and respect came as a surprise to the media who were aware of the not-so-intimate relationship that Sanjay and Sunil shared over the years. Rishi Kapoor has often confessed to a similar equation he has with Ranbir, which in turn, is a result of the relationship he shared with his father, the late Raj Kapoor. Though Rishi starred in Raj's classics Mera Naam Joker and Bobby, their equation bloomed neither on the sets nor at home. Rishi maintains that he was not treated as Raj Kapoor's son on the sets but only as any other actor on the set. There is a reason why both Rishi and Sanjay call their fathers "Raj saab" and "Dutt saab" respectively.

Rishi beautifully explains how he and Ranbir inherited the equation of him and his father. "He’s a great son, he listens to me but I don’t interfere in his career because my career is mine and his is his. I know I’ve screwed up my relationship with Ranbir even though my wife kept telling me about what I was doing. It’s now too late to change it; both of us will not be able to adjust to the change. It’s like there’s this glass wall, we can see each other, we can talk, but that’s it."

Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor

Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor

There is a hint of guilt in his statement but is quickly replaced by resignation. While Sunil tried every trick in his bag to save his son from surrendering to fate, Rishi may not have got the chance to do so for Ranbir yet. However, his wife Neetu Kapoor, in an exclusive interview to Firstpost, did spell out how her troubled married life affected Ranbir emotionally and mentally.

"I was very troubled in my married life. I think he must have been 15 or so, when Rishi and I went through a really bad patch. I have always felt that while my daughter should be innocent and learn to face life as it comes, my son should be street smart and know everything about life. So I would sit with Ranbir and talk to him. For hours, I would tell him all I felt was right and wrong with my marriage, try to explain it all to him. I think he was my best friend then, my only confidant. I would talk my heart out to him, as to no one else. He changed then I think, suddenly became responsible, grown up. I felt he should know everything, for one, it would make him a good husband when the time came," she had said.

Nargis and Sanjay Dutt

Nargis and Sanjay Dutt

The statement shows the intimate bond Ranbir shares with his mother. In a recent interview, he did mention how she always has contrasting reactions to Rishi, as far as Ranbir's work is concerned. "She is my biggest fan," he said, while admitting that Rishi has not been that kind on his films. Similarly, Nargis was known for 'spoiling' Sanjay in his childhood. She ensured that every small moment of his life, from the first walk to the daily bath ritual, is documented. Yasir Usmain, writes in his recently released biography Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story of Bollywood's Bad Boy, mentions that Nargis was more stressed about what Sanjay would do with his life, than her battle with cancer, in her final days.

On the other hand, Sanjay, who was under the heavy influence of drugs at the time of her mother's demise, vowed to change only when he heard her recordings addressed to him years later. It was a major factor in making him quit drugs for good. His admission of love and gratitude for his parents have been delayed, and unfortunately, too late. When Sanju releases on 29 June, Ranbir will most likely give his father another chance to give him a Jaadoo ki Jhappi. Well, it always takes a Rajkumar Hirani film to break the ice, or the glass wall.

Ranbir Kapoor and Paresh Rawal in a still from Sanju

Ranbir Kapoor and Paresh Rawal in a still from Sanju

Sanju also stars Paresh Rawal as Sunil Dutt, Manisha Koirala as Nargis, Vicky Kaushal, Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Dia Mirza as Manyata Dutt, Jim Sarbh, Boman Irani and Karishma Tanna. It is co-produced by Rajkumar Hirani Film, Vidhu Vinod Chopra Productions and Fox tar Hindi.

All images from Twitter.

Updated Date: Jun 24, 2018 17:23 PM