After Bajrangi Bhaijan and Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo, Salman Khan once again comes up with a terrific performance and surprises with a ‘hatke’ role which does not conform to his typical ‘superhero’ image. Though he plays a wrestler and there are some brilliantly choreographed fight sequences in the film, Sultan at its heart is a love story which tugs our heart with a see-saw of emotions which we experience along with the protagonists.
Set in the Rewari district of Haryana, the story traces the life of a happy-go-lucky simpleton who takes to wrestling to win over his lady-love and goes through various ups and downs in life making him confront some unexpected situations. Apart from the physical fight in the arena or the ‘akhada’, Salman Khan’s character is shown fighting an inner battle with his own self and he does complete justice to his role delivering a heartening performance which remains with us long after the film is over.
Anushka Sharma in the role of the feisty wrestler (yes, she also plays a champion wrestler) comes up with an excellent performance and her pairing with Salman Khan is both refreshing and fun to watch. Randeep Hooda in a small role as Salman’s coach is perfectly cast and so are Anant Sharma as Salman Khan’s best friend and Kumud Mishra as Anushka’s father. Amit Sadh also looked very good in his role and it would be good to see more of him in future films…
Direction by Abbas Ali Zafar is top-notch and so are the dialogues written by him. The ‘akhada’ scenes pre-interval are very well done and it sure required a lot of guts on Salman’s part to don the wrestling costume at his age but to his credit he looks fit and carries it off with aplomb. The fight sequences in the MMA league competition post-interval have been directed superbly and with utmost authenticity. With a lot of nail-biting moments and a flow of emotions the fight scenes in the last 45 minutes raise the bar of the film by several notches and definitely form the highlight of the film.
Two of the songs ‘Jag Ghoomeya …’ by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and the theme song ‘Sultan…’ by Sukhwinder Singh are really good. The other songs could have been easily avoided as neither the tune nor the picturization are worth a mention.
At a running time of almost 3 hours, the film is definitely long and some in the audience may find a few scenes a tad repetitive. Also for those who just don’t like to see fight sequences, no point in venturing but for all Salman fans the film is a sure treat.
The recent releases are certainly indicating a change in Salman Khan’s outlook towards the characters he wishes to play in the future befitting his age and maturity. He also seems to be confidently delving into his histrionic side which not many directors have had the guts to exploit and remained always overshadowed by his overpowering ‘superstar’ and ‘Bhai’ image. Hopefully he will surprise us with a few more aces in the future…
Meanwhile, give this film a dekko… you won’t regret it !