The much-anticipated Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma starrer Sultan releases in theatres today, and the good news for Salman fans is that the movie delivers. The first time pairing of Anushka-Salman is not only fresh, but also impactful. Both of them shine individually yet manage to share a natural chemistry, as it was essential to the movie that has romance as a major plot-theme. The ambitions of all the 3 major characters – Anushka (Aarfa), Amit Sadh( Aakash Oberoi) and Randeep Hooda (Fateh Singh) - are interwoven beautifully in the plot of the movie to, ultimately, make Sultan realize all of their dreams. The journey of Salman’s character ‘Sultan’ could be anyone’s life journey. Add to it the movie’s setting in a middle-class town of Haryana; Sultan manages to strike just the right chord. The movie tickles funny bones and portrays the state of Haryana in all its beautiful essence through natural characters and setting. The movie keeps up with the expectations as Salman makes a entertaining and whistle-inducing entry in the wrestling arena, surrounded by cheering supporters and funny commentary in Haryanvi. The movie, with detailed scenes of each round of the final wrestling match, seemed slightly stretched towards the end. The movie is a hit! For Salman’s brilliant portrayal of the character and for reinventing the lost glory of the sport of wrestling and weaving it beautifully with an emotional story, we give Sultan 4/5 stars. We suggest you book your tickets NOW and Let us know whether it is a hit or a miss.
Aditya Chopra’s screenplay eases us into a world 100 kilometres away from the National Capital. The director’s uncontrollable urge to make his characters break into a jig every now and then slows down the film. The songs consume time, and act as mere advertisements of Salman’s superstardom. However, that’s also Sultan’s USP. Sultan treads a predictable line until it reaches the climax. In the best part of the movie, Salman carries forward his Bajrangi Bhaijaan act. The director’s biggest success lies in taming Salman’s overpowering persona. Zafar further breaks the film into three distinct acts, and the actor excels in each of them. From playing a done-and-dusted homegrown wrestler to a wonder-boy of freestyle fighting, you see Salman put up a performance like never before. Sultan has all the right ingredients of a ‘masala’ potboiler, and whistling and sobbing are likely to go hand-in-hand here. Don’t go looking for a twist ending, though. We all know what to expect from such a film, but it’s still a lot of fun to see the underdog win.
Wrestling is about fighting what lies within. That's what Salman Khan's Sultan Ali Khan attempts to make people understand in the near-three hour Sultan. And it delivers the message home in style. Director Ali Abbas Zafar crafts an interesting and emotional tale out of the most-used tropes in the history of Hindi cinema. Even after employing every run-of-the-mill cliche in the book, Sultan doesn't fall flat. The story entertains, largely because of the invested performances by the actors. Ali Abbas Zafar's Sultan is a thorough crowd-pleaser. The film is a cocktail of sportsmanship, drama, romance, patriotism...heavily spiced with the factor called Salman Khan. Salman, in large chunks of the film, is Salman. And that is probably what still works for him. The film's emotional scenes draw that rare teary-eyed moment from you, but the real Sultan, much like its protagonist, lies inside the ring. The Haryanvi-accented dialogues from both Salman and Anushka are done well. Well enough to elicit whistles and applause at the right moments. Among the main drawbacks of Sultan is its run-time. At 170 minutes, Sultan seems like two films could have been made out of it. The narrative is paced leisurely, peppered with MANY songs. The number of songs slacken the speed of the film. Every time Salman faces an opponent inside the ring, you want to shout 'Sultan' out loud. Every time he tries wooing Aarfa in his awkward 'gaawar' ways, you can't help but feel for the guy. Watch Sultan for Salman Khan. Not sure if anyone would watch the film for anything else any which way.
The writer of Sultan repeatedly evokes a beast of burden by way of an analogy for the film's simple-minded but irrepressible protagonist. Mercifully, Sultan isn't all bull. But as a sports film, it does not quite take the genre by the horns and deliver a product unsullied by the conventions of a Bollywood potboiler. From the audience's point of view, the cliched life lessons that the film offers are borderline passable. The length of the film - 170 minutes - isn't. Sultan, written and directed by Abbas Ali Zafar, may have been designed to pull Salman Khan away from his comfort zone, but, in the ultimate analysis, it is just another bloated affair that rides on the bluster and bombast typical of a film featuring the superstar. Sultan is a case of a superstar vehicle latching on to the current trend of sports films but failing to achieve the requisite grounding in the rough and tumble of the wrestling pits to evolve into a convincing drama. But Sultan is a Salman Khan film made solely for the superstar's fans. It has everything to please its target audience. It has megahit written all over it.
‘Sultan’ has him breaking free from Bhai-giri bondage by getting his character to crack and bleed. His down-and-out wrestler has foibles, is fallible, is human. Sultan Ali Khan has faults, and is punished for it. Because of which Sultan scores, and delivers a solid entertainer with heft. Director Ali Abbas Zafar surprises us by keeping the slack moments mostly at bay in this 170-minutes enterprise. Some lines are distinctly populist, but spry enough to make you crack up: Hooda has a lovely one about ‘asli Jats’. The support is able, but the star holds firm at the centre. Swelling background music threatens to mar even the most effective parts, which is something most films should watch out for, especially when their lead is willing to go down and dirty. There’s a moment in the film in which Sultan Ali Khan says sorry to a character, and begins earning forgiveness. It is a what if’ moment, especially resonant in the face of his most recent controversy. It is tempting to wonder, just for a second, if that reel moment could turn real. In films, as in real life, an apology has lasting power.
So, this is the first movie where Salman Khan takes off his shirt and everyone - including Khan - shudders. Portraying Sultan, who goes from being fit and lean to a gloomy, middle-aged, paunch-burdened man, Khan performs with elan and unhappiness, his acting giving Sultan a nice, rounded punch. Salman gives a fighting performance, his character graph moving plausibly from a cheery, everyday "loojer" to a determined athlete, an arrogant star, a crushed, depressed, lonely guy. Anushka plays her familiar feisty girl, with a rustic twang and self-control, but fairly little change. The performance which really impresses is Sultan's friend Govind (Anant), who stands by his buddy through broken heart and crushed rib, charming throughout. Amit Sadh presents an attractive persona while Kumud Mishra, as Anushka's father and Sultan's guru, adds noticeable subtlety to the drama. Sultan's dialogues also "oopher" a Haryanvi kick while its visuals are fresh and attractive, swaying with Rewari's eucalyptus trees and gushing canals. The trouble is its length. At nearly three hours of runtime, Sultan gets heavy and repetitive - only so many training sequences can look sharp and by the time Randeep Hooda shows up as MMA coach Fateh Singh, resembling a perennially eating Brad Pitt from Ocean's Eleven, but overacting as he gets senti about Sultan, you become restive. By cutting 30 minutes of flab - running commentaries, kite-running, taalas, taalis - Sultan could've been a leaner, meaner movie. As it is, it's more a large lassi, not an espresso shot. But hey - who drinks espresso on Eid? Go watch Sultan - it's got moments of "ghana" good fun.