You are here

SULTAN – Movie review

An underdog wrestler's journey against all odds stacked up against him


Sultan, movie review

A tale about an underdog wrestler’s journey, looking for a comeback by defeating all odds stacked up against him. But when he has nothing to lose and everything to gain in this fight for his life match, Sultan must literally fight for his life.

For Salman Khan fans, ‘Sultan’ is Full Paisa Vasool. The ups and downs of Sultan Ali Khan. a 30 something settled in profession of installing TV connections for a Direct to Home (DTH) provider, as he dreams of representing India at the Olympics and who begins with fighting his way to become a local wrestling champion and ending with the world at his feet.

For Sallubhai fans – Don’t waste your time reading this review, just go and watch it.
For others – TINA (There is No Alternative) on Idd holidays. This is a solo hindi film release.

There are some encouraging words of wisdom in the film, like “Wrestling is not a sport it’s about fighting what lies within” and “the path to glory is a rocky one and one must fall several times before one stands victorious – More often than not, this journey can take a lifetime”.

It was in ROCKY III that Sylvester Stallone’s statue was created where it formed an integral part of the boxer’s journey. Inspired with this, the makers of Sultan thought it proper to have Sultan’s statue erected in Rewari district’s Buroli village after he brings the Olympic gold medal in Wresting to India. Pride of India!

Now, for the reality check. Imagine a 30 plus man (played by a 50 year old) indulging in petty bets/challenges and then sets himself running through the crowded by lanes, jumping on the rooftops around his city – for being the first in catching hold of cut-off kite before any other person gets hold of it.

Sultan falls in love at first sight with a girl and gatecrashes into a wedding function to woo her only to find out later on that she is the daughter of a Pehalwan (Coach) who runs his Akhada (School) for training budding youngsters in Wrestling. She is a feisty young girl from the same small town as Sultan with her own set of dreams of achieving an Olympics gold medal for her country.

Therefore, Sultan makes his mind to learn wrestling and announces that he would bring the State Championship’s title for his Akhada – the championship is less than 2 months away.

He manages to do it. The Master’s daughter finally gives approval to his proposal and they get married.

In the second half, it is amply evident that Sultan has lost the purpose of his life but with a sole motive to set up a Blood Bank in his district, the unavailibity of a particular Blood Group had led to the death of his newborn, which made his wife drift away from him.

These are the most touching moments in the film, which eventually leads to the climax where Sultan is now 35 plus, has gained weight, walks sloppily, yet he again takes up the challenge to fight the most agile, nimble footed fighters highly trained in martial arts, kick-boxing and Taekwondo.

The film often moves at a very slow pace and many scenes are heavy & repetitive, it could have been slicker with a bit of trimming (pun intended for Sultan in his second innings too). Adding to the strain are some six odd songs which make it more cumbersome to sit throughout its duration of 2 hours and 50 minutes.

There are some good moments where wrestling and martial art scenes hold your interest. Anushka Sharma is apt as the Wrestling Coach’s daughter.

Now we come to the final, prior to which in the penultimate kick-boxing match Sultan had got his ribs broken, but he still dares to venture in the ring and emerge victorious. One feels not only for Sultan but for the ‘poor’ accomplished fighter champions from other countries who appear to ‘deliberately’ lose their matches. It is also a pity watching Sultan (now a middle aged wrestler) in his struggle and striving to be on par with fighters half his age!

These points would not matter to Salman Khan’s fans who would just cheer and see him fighting till the end.

A notch above an average Bollywood flick.

Click on the Thumbnails for ENLARGED PICS:

Salman Khan as Sultan Ali Khan
Anushka Sharma as Aarfa
Kumud Mishra as Sultan’s first coach
Anant Sharma as Sultan’s friend
Amit Sadh as Sultan’s Promoter in Professional Boxing
Randeep Hooda as Sultan’s coach

Producer: Aditya Chopra
Writer – Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Director of Photography: Artur Zurawski
Music: Vishal & Shekhar
Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
Associate Producer: Aashish Singh
Production Designer: Rajnish Hedao (Acropolis)
Editor: Rameshwar S Bhagat
Sound: Dileep Subramaniam, Ganesh Gangadharan
Action Director: Larnell Stovall, Parvez Shaikh, “ANL” Arasu
Choreography: Vaibhavi Merchant, Farah Khan
Costume Designer: Alvira Khan Agnihotri, Ashley Rebello, Leepakshi Ellawadi
Original Score: Julius Packiam
Line Producer: Sudhanshu Kumar
Casting Director: Shanoo Sharma
Visual Effects Studio: YFX
Sultan, movie review