Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju is not only on its way to becoming one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time but has also taken on a life of its own on social media. The biopic about Sanjay Dutt, starring Ranbir Kapoor, opened on June 29 to rave reviews as well as criticism for glossing over the more controversial aspects of the Hindi film actor’s life. Sanju has already mopped up nearly Rs 200 crores as of Thursday evening.
Sanju spoofs began right after the trailer was launched on May 30. Among the first popular parodies was Manju - Kahani Ek Bai Ki that parodied the trailer by replacing Dutt’s character with Manju, a domestic help.
Produced by The Viral Fever, Manju - Kahani Ek Bai Ki is a scene-by-scene recreation of Sanju’s trailer. It opens with Manju (Khushbu Baid) from Mumbai admitting that she may be a gossip-monger, a lazy worker and a drama queen, but she is not a thief (just like Kapoor’s Sanjay Dutt pleads that he is a number of contentious things but not a terrorist).
Soon enough, to the guitar strains of Sanju’s Kar Har Maidan Fateh begin, but the accompanying lyrics are, “Har ghar ko saaf kare, aane mein der kare, jaane mein jaldi kare.” (She cleans every home, she comes late but leaves early). Released on June 10, the video has notched up over 4.5 million views.
Then, there’s Sanju Junior, released on the YouTube channel Baccha Mat Bolna. This video tells the story of a schoolboy who claims that he may be many things, but he is not a failure. While the adult Sanju battled drugs, Sanju junior is addicted to cheating in exams, and he recounts how he went from scribbling notes on his arm to carrying chits into exam halls.
After the theatrical release, a scene from Sanju has brought back memories of Hirani’s 2004 hit film Munnabhai M.B.B.S. one of Dutt’s most popular roles.
In the film, the gangster-turned-medical student stands up in the classroom to ask the dean “Woh bahar casualty mein koi marne ki haalat mein raha, to usko form bharna zaroori hai?” (If someone is dying in the casualty section, does he have to fill a form?).
That scene, which was recreated in Sanju, has been recreated in several shapes and forms on Twitter, questioning the necessity of everything from good morning messages on family WhatsApp groups to the Indian obsession with engineering degrees, the rangoli-making exercise by the human resources department during Hindu festivals and lastly, the film itself.
With the help of image manipulation software, the meme has also been used to take aim at other actors as well as politicians and football players.
Eagle-eyed viewers also pointed out that Boman Irani actually appears twice in Sanju: once as the father of Sonam Kapoor’s character, and the other as the medical college principal in the recreated Munnabhai sequence.
Boman Irani of Munnabhai vintage also inspired memes related to, among other things, Tinder profiles.
Some Twitter users had had enough of Sanju and Munnabhai memes.