Thursday, July 7, 2016

Review of Sultan

Image Courtesy: Facebook Page of Sultan
Cast: Salman Khan (Sultan), Anushka Sharma (Aarfa), Amit Sadh (Akash Oberoi), Anant Vidhat Sharma (Govind), Randeep Hooda (Fateh Singh), Parikshit (Gyan Oberoi - Akash Oberoi’s father), Kumud Mishra (Barkat) 
Directed by: Ali Abbas Zafar
Produced by: Aditya Chopra
Written by: Ali Abbas Zafar
Screenplay: Aditya Chopra
Production Company: Yash Raj Films
Distributed by: Yash Raj Films
Music by: Vishal-Shekhar
Cinematography: Artur Zurawski
Edited by: Rameshwar S Bhagat
Release date: 6th July, 2016
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hours 50 minutes

Sultan, a film by Ali Abbas Zafar, is an awesome gift to Salman Khan fans on the occasion of Eid. Last year Eid, it was Bajrangi Bhaijan which won people’s hearts with the backdrop of Indo-Pak relationship. After doing many not so good films like Ready, Kick, Jai Ho, it was a welcome break to have Salman in Bajrangi Bhaijan. And this year on Eid, Sultan releases, which is indeed an entertainer. Salman Khan’s efforts to portray the character of Sultan are remarkable. There are four shades to Salman’s character in this film, and Salman does complete justice, be it the innocence, arrogance, self-pity due to guilt or never-to-quit attitude. Sultan, a love story set up in the backdrop of wrestling, prompts you to win over self and also conveys that there is only person who can defeat us in the game of life and that is one’s own self. Ali Abbas Zafar certainly knows the pulse of the audience, and he has ingrained the film with the right mix of emotions, action, music, fun, drama (a bit of melodrama too), and of course the star power of Salman Khan as the titular character. Although, one cannot expect any unpredictable twists and turns in the plot, Sultan is a clear-cut winner at box-office as well as in people’s hearts.

Akash Oberoi (Amit Sadh), a young businessman, is requesting other board members and investors of his venture Pro-Take Down to give him one more chance to revive the same. His idea of bringing mixed Martial Arts contests to India through Pro-Take Down is not working out. Two seasons of Pro-Take Down was a loss and investors and the market writes it off, but Akash is determined to move ahead for the third season. Pro-Take Down brings wrestlers, boxers to the ring. He needs investors to trust him and put the money. His father (Parikshit Sahni) asks him to get Sultan (Salman Khan) in the ring. Akash travels to a village Baroli in Rewari to get Sultan. Frames move to Rewari, where Sultan is shown to be leading a very monotonous life. He works in Water Authority. He collects donations from his colleagues on Salary-day. Akash meets him and asks him to enter into wrestling ring. Sultan turns down Akash’s offer saying that he has left wrestling. Akash was also determined to have Sultan as one of his wrestler, he gets in touch with Sultan’s friend Govind (Anant Sharma). It is Govind, who narrates the much-talked about love story of Sultan and Aarfa (Anushka Sharma), and their fall-out.

Image Courtesy: Facebook Page of Sultan
Sultan, a fun-loving guy in 30s, runs a Mehbooba-Mehbooba cable company, loves to take up challenges to be a kite-runner. During one of such kite-running exercise, he encounters Aarfa (Anusha Sharma) with whom, it was love-at-first-sight for Sultan. Aarfa herself is a wrestler, state level winner, has done her education in Delhi, and runs a wrestling training school along with her father Barkat (Kumud Mishra) in the village. Barkat and Aarfa are very passionate of wrestling and their dream is of Aarfa winning Olympic Gold Medal. To win over Aarfa, Sultan decides to be a wrestler and reaches Barkat with the request to train him. It was not easy for Sultan to win Aarfa’s heart. Sultan ends up challenging himself and ultimately does win over Aarfa.


How does a non-wrestler train himself to be a world-class wrestler? How does Sultan persuade Aarfa to marry him? What happens to Aarfa’s dream of winning Olympic Gold Medal? What actually transpires between Sultan and Aarfa that they are no more together? What made Sultan leave wrestling ? Once an ordinary lad, is Sultan able to handle adulations, success? Yes, it is predictable that Sultan would accept Akash’s offer of Pro-Take Down so as to earn money too, but what was the real objective of Sultan ? Why he is collecting donations from his colleagues on the salary day? How does Sultan, who is now 40, able to survive the physical challenges of stamina, strength, form etc. ? What happens when Sultan is pitched against all international wrestlers, boxers in the contest ? Does Aarfa come back in Sultan’s life ? How does Randeep Hooda’s character Fateh Singh fit the screenplay? Watch the film to unravel the answers yourself.

Image Courtesy: Facebook Page of Sultan

Salman Khan as Sultan is indeed very good. He is able to win people’s hearts with his performance. Anushka as Aarfa has given a very convincing performance. Both Salman and Anushka have picked up Haryanvi accent well. Anant Sharma as Govind is very good, he is effortless in portraying his very much affable character. Kumud Mishra as Barkat and Amit Sadh as Akash Oberoi are also very good. Randeep Hooda as Fateh Singh enters the film as a coach for athletes, and his cameo is a significant part of the film. Randeep, as always, has given a great performance as a tough coach. Farrukh Jaffar as Sultan’s grandmother has a small but very amiable role. Parikshit as Akash’s father is also good.

Music by Vishal-Shekhar is very good. The song ‘Jag Ghoomeya’ by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is excellent. Background score is also very nice.

One scene, I would like to specially mention, which probably missed editor’s precision (although mentioning this point is a spoiler). Soon after pregnancy confirmation of Aarfa, in a dialogue with her father Barkat, she says that they would train Sultan to win Olympic Gold Medal. But immediately after that, she is shown to be training with Sultan, rather running with him. A pregnant lady running, that too in the early pregnancy stage, isn't it unlikely ?

A scene, where Sultan breaks down looking at his out of shape physique, fights with his guilt, pain, is very beautifully portrayed. There are many scenes in Sultan, which would inspire us, evoke the fighter’s attitude in our mind. Sultan inspires us to fight with our inner demons and emerge victorious, since nobody on this earth can defeat us, unless and until, we surrender, yield and accept our defeat. It also tells us that it is not necessary to always win, but it is also important to fail, since failures will lead us to appreciate success and winning. Sultan conveys that it is important to be humiliated at times to understand the importance of self-respect, prestige. It also tells us that in order to fulfill dreams, we must not move ahead so much that our people are left behind; relationships are equally important.  

Sultan, a love story set up in the backdrop of wrestling, inspires us to fight with our inner demons and emerge victorious. “Winners don’t quit and Quitters don’t win”, that is what Sultan believes and makes us believe too. Although, devoid of any unpredictable twists and turns in the plot, Sultan is a clear-cut winner at box-office as well as in people’s hearts.


Rating : 4 / 5 (Very Good)