Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Cast: Salman Khan, Anushka Sharma, Randeep Hooda, Amit Sadh
When I entered the theatre, I was constantly thinking of director Ali Abbas Zafar’s previous directorial ventures ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’ and ‘Gunday’. But at the same time, the hit formula of Salman Khan releasing his films on the festive season of Eid was not lost on me. Caught up in my own train of thoughts, the screen above me came to life and it was like one of those memorable journeys of 170 minutes.
Sultan (Salman Khan) is a local wrestler of Rewari district and is in love with Aarfa (Anushka Sharma) who is a state champion in wrestling and runs a haunt with her father. Aarfa wishes to marry a wrestler and in order to win her over, Sultan joins her haunt. In a typical Bollywood style, Sultan steals Aarfa’s heart and the couple soon tie the knot. Meanwhile, Sultan and Aarfa become world champions and their life seems to be a picture perfect fairly tale until one incident changes their lives forever.
Amit Sadh, runs a wrestling league and eventually becomes bankrupt due to lack of viewership. Soon after, the sponsors of his company pull their hands off. With nowhere to go, he seeks help from his father who then suggests him to meet Sultan. After meeting him, Sadh’s character makes him an offer which Sultan turns down.
Director Ail Abbas Zafar has finally added a feather of a well made film on his cap. His debut ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’ went unnoticed at the box office and his second directorial ‘Gunday’ sank without a trace. But Ali’s ‘Sultan’ comes out as a champion. Though he had too much to do in just one film, the filmmaker managed to make a film that wins in every aspect. His narrative is engaging to the core. Though the film is pretty long, the emotions and humour quotient in the film will succeed in keeping you on the edge of your seat. Few dialogues where we see Salman expressing his liking for Shah Rukh Khan or Randeep Hooda calling Salman a true Jatt, are realistically humorous. The best part of the film is its easy flow. With ‘Sultan’, one can easily say that Ali has made a mark for himself in the industry. Helming a film with huge star cast and appropriate narrative is commendable. Cinematography by Artur Zurawski is praise worthy as he has shot such beautiful locations in Rewari district.
Salman Khan’s last outing ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ created shockwaves at the box office, which also proved that a mass entertainer like Salman finally understood the importance of plot driven films. ‘Sultan’ is yet another such film where the actor completely steals the show. He proved that he can also create magic on the silver screen if given a story oriented film unlike his brainless comedies. The way he has pulled off a character of a wrestler is outstanding. His aggression in the second half definitely deserves a standing ovation. ‘Sultan’ is one of the best gifts from Salman Khan to his fans on Eid.
When the makers were hunting for a female lead opposite Salman Khan, lot of names popped up. Later, speculations were put to rest when the makers announced Anushka Sharma as their leading lady. While many were sceptical about Anushka doing proper justice to her character, some also believed that the lady will emerge as a winner in the end. After seeing her performance in ‘Sutlan’, one thing that struck me that Anushka has a capability to be crowned as a versatile actress. One can say that the actress passed her ‘NH 10’ genes to this film. She made the character of Aarfa look real, raw and believable. Even though in a special appearance, Randeep Hooda as an aggressive martial arts coach did a fabulous job. His arrogance suited him in his ferocious role. Amit Sadh got a noticeable screen space. Well, good for his drowning career. It takes a lot to leave a mark in a film like ‘Sultan’ which is an out and out Salman Khan film.
However, the drawback of the film is its slow pace. The film should have easily chopped off for about 15 minutes but it won’t bother you since ‘Sultan’ is entertaining till the last frame. Second half of the film is little dragged but picks up in the last half an hour. On the other hand, few portions in the film will remind you of Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Chak De India’, especially the last wrestling match and Salman’s misson behind it. Music by Vishal Shekhar is peppy, especially ‘Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai’. ‘Bulleya’ sung by Papon and ‘Jag Ghoomeya’ sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan are melodious.
‘Sultan’ is the best feast on this Eid. The film is recommended not only to Salman Khan’s fans but also to the family audience who were awaiting a family drama high on emotions, just like YRF style....