T. P. Gopinath, Jul 9, 2016.
Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Cast: Salman Khan, Anushka Sharma, Amit Sadh, Kumud Mishra, Anant Vidhaat, and Randeep Hooda (Special appearance).
Salman is not Irfan Khan as far as his acting skills are concerned. However if we compare his entertaining skill, he is no less than any other Khan.
Sultan (Salman Khan) is mostly a Salman show. The story is all about wrestling and one has to agree that his muscles play as much role as his acting. The comeback that is portrayed in the movie after a breakdown with Anushka, the love of his life, who is by the way also a female wrestler, is told with remarkable intensity but I felt that after the interval it was too much wrestling devoid of much story.
Sultan first became a wrestler to win the girl he loves. After their relationship soured following a tragedy that struck the family, he leaves wrestling forever. Several years later, how he strives to excel in wrestling and battles to get back his family and his stature in society is what Sultan deals with essentially.
Film first takes us to Delhi where Aakash Oberoi (Amit Sadh), in a suit and pretty business like meets with his partners and requests them for one last chance for his Pro-Take-Down tournament. His father asks him to track down Sultan as his contender for the event and promises to his son that Sultan is the one who can get his side to win and Oberoi goes to the Haryana town looking for Sultan. By the way in his WWF style Pro-Take-Down wrestling tournament, only foreigners fight.
Flashback is told by Sultans friend to Oberoi and starts with Sultan being a small town freak out young man who enjoys his time chasing a kite and involved in his dish TV business. He goes onto meet Aarfa (Anushka) and following a love at first sight chases her to marry him. Rejected outright, he decides he needs to conquer the wresting arena to conquer her mind.
I watch Hindi movies to get a quicker view of lives of different parts of the country that is often depicted in Bollywood movies. Hindi movies of the 80’s were flicks which were essentially sensational melodramatic piece with exaggerated characters and exciting events intended to appeal to the emotions. Type of 80’s movies included father meeting son, brother meeting brother, and mother meeting son, in the climax after long year’s of separation. However, starting 90’s, I feel that Bollywood movies have come of age and started handling serious, matured subjects and were sending a social message on variety of subjects.
Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’has been a movie of the similar nature and one that excelled in this genre. Milkha movie was handled with more seriousness than Sultan. Ali Abbas Zafar’s Sultan commences with a quote from Sultan to tell us what wrestling is, the proclamation goes like “wrestling is not a sport. It’s a war against what lies within”.
Sultan is a story of how a star wrestler who has been down and out due to his beloved rejecting him on two different occasions comes back to his true self of stardom to reestablish self-esteem and also to win her back. The story that the movie depicts is for the most part is said with poise, humor, and eloquence. Salman being such a star what happens in the end game is predictable. The final fight of Pro-Take-Down in Delhi goes with broken ribs but our Sultan refuses medical care and went on to fight right from the hospital bed. I hope you can imagine what the result of that fight is. In spite of any minor flaws, it remains a reasonably engaging action film that has romance, village life, feeling, and violence.
Already struggling with not so good Hindi skill, Haryanvi accent of Sultan was tough call for me. However the song ‘Jag Ghoomeya’ with lines such as ‘Jaisi Tu Hai Waisi Rehna’ sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was beautiful.
The success of any good movie lies in a good story and how it is scripted and enacted. In comparison Bajrangi Bhaijaan definitely stayed one notch above and Sultan in the end lacks enough punch. Final verdict is, Sultan is an above average entertainer and it is all the way Salman Khan. To allow you to compare, let me add that the Bhajrangi and Milkha movies stays on top.