Sanjay Dutt’s new biopic Sanju has quickly become the highest grossing movie of the year, lighting up screens everywhere with the dramatic portrayal of Sanjay’s life. Starring Ranbir Kapoor as a young Sanjay, the film has been a quick critical and commercial success, with critics hailing it as one of Ranbir Kapoor’s best performances and one that balances its heavy subject matter well with lighter, entertaining moments.
However, one critic of the movie who isn’t so thrilled is Sanjay’s second wife Rhia Pillai, who isn’t represented in the movie at all. It’s no secret that Sanjay has been married three times – he married his first wife, Richa Sharma, in 1987, but she tragically died of a brain tumour only nine years later in 1996. She was 33 years old. Rhia was his second wife, who he married in 1998. They were technically married for 10 years, but they separated after only a few years of marriage – in 2006, she said they remain close friends. So although their time together as a couple was brief, they remained an important part of each other’s life. He married his third wife, Manyata, in 2008, the same year he finalized his divorce with Rhia. Manyata is the only person who is represented in Sanju, portrayed by actress and model Dia Mirza. 20 years his junior, the real life Manyata is the CEO of Sanjay Dutt productions; before her marriage, she worked as an actress. Although it’s inevitable that some details will be left out of any biography, it certainly wasn’t a happy discovery for Rhea to discover that she was one of them.
Rumour has it that Pillai was “shocked” that she wasn’t included in the biopic, since she played such a pivotal role in his life. They met when Rhia was working at Art of Living, while Sanjay was out on bail. She was a beacon of hope in Sanjay’s turbulent life, which has had many ups and downs from fame all the way to prison. Sanjay was imprisoned in 1993, then again in 2007 and 2014 for involvement in serial bombings. He’s also won a total of 17 film awards and 10 nominations. It seems as though his life has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, rife for cinematic material – it’s just too bad that his marriage to Rhia and his marriage to Richa didn’t make the cut!
Apparently his daughter Trishala, now 30, was also disappointed that there was no mention of her or her mother in the movie. The film portrays Sanjay as a ladies’ man, but it would seem that his actual life was more complicated than that. However many details it left out, the ones it left in still made it a box office hit, allowing Ranbir Kapoor to showcase his acting chops alongside Paresh Rawal, Manisha Koirala, Vicky Kaushal, Dia Mirza, and others.
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