Rajkumar Hirani opens up on his relation with Sanjay Dutt

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Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani says he is not actor Sanjay Dutt's close friend.

From Sanjay's drug addiction, personal affairs, a jail term for possession of arms in connection with the 1993 serial blasts, to his bonds with his parents and friends — Hirani's SANJU delved into different aspects of the actor's life but many felt that the film also left out a lot. The makers were even accused of whitewashing, media bashing and glorification.

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"The film SANJU has nothing to do with my relationship with Sanjay (Dutt). I could have made some other film may be 'PK' part two or another part of 3 IDIOTS but I got carried away by hearing his story," Hirani said.

"I don't think I am his best friend, I made the film because of his story," Hirani told screenwriter Anjum Rajabali at the Indian Film and TV Directors Association's (IFTDA) special masterclass on Wednesday here.

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"Though I have done two films with him like LAGE RAHO MUNNA BHAI and 'MUNNA BHAI MBBS I have never partied with him. I do not come under his friend circle. He is close with Sanjay Gupta, Mahesh Manjrekar and those people," added the filmmaker.

Recollecting one incident, he said: "I remember during the shoot of 'Munna Bhai…', when Mahesh or Sanjay used to come and chat with him on-set about party, drinking etc. Sanjay used to feel very uncomfortable if I was present there. So, I would say I am not Sanjay's closest friend but made the film and put out my perception of his character."

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What was his perception of Sanjay?

"My perception of Sanjay was that, though most of his actions are wrong, like sleeping with a friend's girlfriend, keeping the gun, doing drugs etc. But he is not a villain, he is not a bad man from his heart," he added.

SANJU touched upon a few important chapters of Sanjay's life, and Hirani says finding the base of all the anecdotes for the story was tricky.

"A filmmaker makes a film from his interpretation of a story. In Sanjay's story, how he got the firearms, what he did with that when police arrested him — could be the story of a whole film. In fact, I think if Anurag Kashyap made Sanjay's story, he would have made the film based on that chapter. If someone wants sensational (the story), (they) would make a story about his girlfriends. But I was interested in what was happening between him and his father. I was interested in a father-son relationship," Hirani said.

He feels it is good that he made the film now.

"When someone asked me that why I made a film on Sanjay since he is alive, I said that at least, I heard from him, so it is authentic. After his death different people will tell their perception of Sanjay," he added.

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