Sultan (2016)

Sultan Poster

Salman Khan, an unstoppable star of Bollywood has a speciality of making films which have content and commerce. After “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, he came up with another such film “Sultan” under the direction of “Ali Abbas Zafar” who previously made “Meri Brother ki Dulhan” and “Gunday”. While Anushka Sharma played the female lead, “Aditya Chopra” produced it under his “Yash Raj Films” production house.

Plot :

It’s the life story of Sultan Ali Khan (Salman Khan), a former world wrestling champion from Haryana, who fights to rise again to overcome his devastating past life.

Narration :

Neither the posters nor the trailers were interesting regarding this film. In addition to that it had director Ali who had most unimpressive films in his past. The only reason for watching this film was “Salman Khan”. But Ali seemed to be more ambitious in making this film.

I had to apologise Ali for underestimating him after watching the introduction scene of Sultan and a couple of scenes portraying his strength like lifting a tractor from the mud. They were in such a way that no patron can refrain himself from cheering in the auditorium. Music composers “Vishal – Shekar” supported Ali with their elevating “Rise of Sultan” theme. Wherever it comes, Ali had a cheering visual on screen.

Rise of Sultan from a DTH operator to a state champion was shown in an inspiring way for which Salman should also be appreciated. His performance made Ali’s work much easier. Though the sequences where Sultan tries to impress Aarfa (Anushka Sharma) were of typical Salman’s style and the latter sequences of their marriage appeared routine, Ali should be appreciated for not making Sultan a Casanova like Jordan of “Rockstar”. Devastating just the Sultan’s personal life was an impressive plot point.

Despite a bit sluggish first half, it’s the rise of Ali along with Sultan with the most engaging second half. The scenes where Sultan feels depressed on looking at his bulged belly and fighting out of that depression was conveyed well on screen. The first fight of Sultan in the championship should be mentioned because Sultan knocking down his opponent was the most cheering moment. Entire auditorium was resonated due to patrons’ cheering among whom I was the one.

Besides having a serious narration, Ali tried to balance the personal side of Sultan with the song “Jag Ghoomeya” soulfully sung by “Rahat Fateh Ali Khan” and soulfully performed by Salman. It feels, maybe Ali had in mind at which point, the narration turns low and he successfully energised his audience with a cheering scene, using “Rise of Sultan” theme.

On the whole, Sultan remained an honest attempt from Ali Abbas and Salman Khan who loved the film to the core and made their audience love it equally. This film with proper content and commerce surely brings celebrations to Bollywood before actual festival celebrations begin. You may go for it this week. 170 minutes of run time doesn’t appear a hurdle at any point.

Performances :

As stated, Salman completely lived the Sultan character. His portrayal of character’s innocence, depression, energy and ambitions was stupendous. After Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Bhai had another notable feather in his cap. Anushka Sharma was perfect as Aarfa and she got equal importance as Sultan in this film. Randeep Hooda as Sultan’s coach Fateh Singh was good. Amit Sadh who was noted in Kai Po Che got a good role. Rest cast like Kumud Mishra and all were fine. Tyron Woodley, an American mixed martial artist appeared as one of the opponents of Sultan who breaks his rib cage in the championship.

Eminences :

Besides Ali’s writing & direction and Salman’s performance, here are some more eminences of this film

  1. Vishal – Shekhar’s Music. Songs when listened weren’t so attractive but they gave ample support on screen.”Jag Ghoomeya”, “Bulleya” and “Rise of Sultan” surely have their impact.
  2. Artur Zurawski’s Cinematography. All the visuals are slick.
  3. Yash Raj Films’ Production Values. Even producer Aditya Chopra loved this film as much as Ali and Salman and ensured that this film appears rich.

Lowlands :

  1. Sluggish Narration in the first half.

– Yashwanth Aluru

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