There is something about Salman Khan. Either you love him for his charm, screen presence or bold attitude or you hate him due to his controversial remarks or brush with law but you cannot deny the fact that he is one superstar whose stardom and films are not impacted (morning shows were housefull at 8 AM everywhere for “Sultan” .. unbelievable.. isn’t it ???) at the box office. Now let us find out whether “Sultan” (whose promo was aired one year before the film) lives up to its hype…
“Sultan” is the coming-of-age sports drama which tells about the story of Sultan Ali Khan (played by Salman Khan), a wrestler whose life is like a roller-coaster rides going through various ups and down both on and off the ring.
Though the trailer of the film looked promising but I had doubts about the director Ali Abbas Zafar who made an average film “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan” before. However, I was in for a big surprise after watching the film. Ali has definitely made a good comeback with “Sultan”. The film begins well in the present scenario showing the life of a wrestler who lost his family as well as his championship due to his arrogance. The wrestling-drama goes back into the flashback mode showing the reason behind the fall of a champion. Here you will encounter typical Bollywood romance coupled with song-dance routine and light humor to keep you enlightened. The opening scene of Salman Khan (which always is the highlight of his films) is electrifying with well-executed fight scenes between Salman Khan and other wrestlers (though the makers made it easy for a hero to defeat 10 wrestlers at the same time). The first half is fine but it is the second half which is amazing and the climax is highly effective.
Couple of scenes do stand out – the hospital scene where Salman finds about his son, the training scene between Salman Khan and Randeep Hooda is intriguing and MMA fight scenes are pretty realistic. On the flip side, the editing is a weak point and the film definitely could go a long way to be trimmed by atleast 15-20 mins. The fight scenes initially and when Salman Khan becomes the world champion is too easy to digest. Though the songs are tuneful to ears, the wrestling drama could definitely be more impacting barring few songs in the reel. Nevertheless, the screenplay is pretty tight and succeeds to keep you at bay. Background score by Julius Packiam deserves special mention. Cinematography by Artur Zurawski is good capturing the beautiful locales of rural India. Wrestling stunts are well-executed. I loved the folk song “Tuk Tuk” and the tuneful “Jag Ghoomeya” while others were ordinary.
Now coming to the performances, it is Salman Khan all the way. Salman Khan is Sultan and Sultan is Salman Khan. I cannot imagine anyone else playing the character of “Sultan” and that is where Salman proved his mettle. The actor deep dives into the character as if it was tailor-made for him and gives his best. Anushka Sharma as Aarfa is equally competent and shines in her well-defined character. Amit Sadh ( the guy from “Kai Po Che”) finally gets the opportunity to show his acting skills and the actor does well. Last but not the least, Randeep Hooda will blow your mind with impeccable performance. The actor who plays Anushka’s father does a fine job as well.
On the whole, “Sultan” is a well-made wrestling drama which delivers a solid punch. Good 3/5
- Ketan Gupta