Salman Khan, Anushka Sharma, Anant Sharma, Amit Sadh, Randeep Hooda, Kumud Mishra, Parikshit Sahni
Ali Abbas Zafar
Ali Abbas Zafar
Watching an archetypical Salman Khan potboiler is usually not just entertaining but also an experience in itself. Of course, if you keep your logic aside and simply enjoy the larger than life persona of Bhai on-screen, as in the case of all his die-hard fans.
And it’s an added bonus when the beloved Bhaijaan, apart from his usual gimmicks gives us a lot more than expected. Sultan is that one big fat bonus from Salman Khan to all his fans and even to the critics who have often accused him of walking through his films.
Written and directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, Sultan is a predictable sports drama, a clichéd tale of loss and renewal, and a fight against all odds. However, despite the familiar premise it keeps us pinned to our seats with its strong narratives, upbeat energy, and the use of its central characters – Sultan (Salman Khan) and Aarfa (Anushka Sharma).
Sultan is a naïve village boy who falls in love with the wrestling champion Aafra. However, the feisty Aafra would only marry another wrestler not a loser like him. So our love-struck innocent Jatt boy decides to become a wrestler too. And he does become one — A world renowned wrestling champion.
However, our champion in all the glory of his victories becomes arrogant. So much that he even loses Aarfa on the way and also his kusti.
And thus begins the power-packed second half of the film, where an over-weight and broken down Sultan competes with world champions of mixed martial arts, so as to win himself and Aarfa back.
Salman is truly shocking. This is perhaps the first time Salman has taken up a character, which has so many layers to it and has delivered a striking performance. From being a childish kite runner to a powerful wrestler, a lover to an arrogant athlete, a loser to a fighter – Salman does full justice to each and every shade of his character.
His raw emotions and breakdown in the dressing room, when he looks at his potbelly is remarkable. The only time the star falters a bit is while lip-synching the songs.
His co-star, Anushka isn’t far behind either and gives an outstanding performance as the gusty Haryanvi wrestler. Her hard work is visible in every frame and she lights up the screen with her rustic effervescence.
Sultan also has an equally strong supporting cast, which comprises of Anant Sharma, Amit Sadh, Randeep Hooda, and Kumud Mishra.
Narratively, the film is pretty solid and though it does gets a bit repetitive and predictable it manages to keep the audience engaged. Ali Abbas directs with unfussy candidness, alternating between capturing the intensity of the akhara and the soulfulness of the two lovers. The one thing that strikes you the most is that in times of stylized action sequences, Ali keeps the action in Sultan as real and rustic as possible. Be it the chase sequence in the narrow lanes of Haryana or the use of real wrestlers in the ring, he has kept it as authentic as possible.The cinematography of the film is absolutely gorgeous too.
Laced with all the quintessential elements of a Salman Khan film – catchy dance numbers, dialogue baazi, action, Sultan very subtly also drives a meaningful message home through excellent craftsmanship i.e. you will fall down in life, but what will really define you is how you pick yourself up again and face the challenge that it throws at you.
Watch this Salman Khan film, not just for Salman but all the heart that has gone into making this endearing film.