Sultan…….Means Salman!

The name Sultan fits Salman like a T but the tag of underdog? When was the last time the actor essayed the role of an underdog? Sultan is about wrestling and romance where romance is the cause for wrestling as well as the cause to put an end to it.

Salman Khan has been the reigning superstar of Hindi cinema since his second film, Maine Pyar KIya, but neither he nor people around him took that status seriously as a result of which, nor did his fans. It is since Wanted (2009) that he has reasserted his status as the top draw which his flowing films consolidated. However, the films so far had Salman fighting others’ wars; for example, Ek Tha Tiger was about patriotism, Bajrangi Bhajan had Being Human as the theme. Sultan is purely personal story and cause for which the hero fights.

Salman is a waster and romps around his small town of Rewari in Haryana with boys much younger than him. If he is good at anything, it is chasing kites floating towards earth after having lost a dual of survival with another kite. His occupation as such is installing TV discs for his decent clients whose dirty minds extend only till Fashion TV and not porn! As would happen with such lads, he is his father’s main worry and grandmother’s apple of her eye! Salman while chasing a kite has his first encounter with Anushka Sharma and, for him, it is love at first sight. She has studied in Delhi, is a state level women’s wrestling champion and aspires to win an Olympic Gold someday. She finds Salman simple and a fun person and accepts his friendship. His dream is soon shattered when Anushka cuts him down to size making him realize that he did not amount to anything and she was only being friendly to him. As all such lads do, Salman decides to amount to something. Seems like in his town, where every second block houses an Akhada, wrestling is the only source or opportunity for a boy to amount to something. He joins one run by Anushka’s father. Thereafter, Salman’s strides are huge and soon is the champ. Now, Anushka is ready to accept him. While both, Salman and Anushka, are preparing to go to the Olympics, Anushka’s dream ends due to her pregnancy. Salman earns the Olympic medal but loses his head in the bargain. He behaves like a star, become arrogant and also misbehaves with people. While Salman is busy pocketing medals, Anushka delivers and loses her baby. The baby was anemic, needed blood of a very rare group which only Salman had. But, he was away, is blamed for baby’s death and Anushka decides to part ways with him. This is strange as Anushka herself is a sportsperson and would be expected to understand why Salman was away. Here onwards, the film tries to incorporate some commercial ingredients for the love story has lost its shine. Anushka has sulked permanently while Salman has a job and raises money to launch a blood bank in memory of his lost child. This is when Amit Sadh approaches him. He runs pro-fighting, a sort of free style, no holds barred fighting which has little to do with wrestling. However, Salman is talked into joining it. Randeep Hooda, a coach with a hangover of being an American coach shown in such boxing movies first refuses and then, seeing that Salman is the hero of the film, agrees to train him. After initial hurdles and taking some punches, Salman masters this fight genre. The last fight is tough so Anushka decides that Salman needs her support and breaks the ice.

Sultan is a routine story showing passable scripting. The film sags for a long while at places. Direction complies with the script offering no flash of genius. It is only Salman all the way because of whom, the weak aspects are overlooked by enthusiastic initial audience. The film has good music which blends with the subject. For popular appeal, it has a romantic number, Jag ghoomeya…. Dialogue penned for Salman is claptrap. Editing is slack. Cinematography is good. This a Salman film all the way and his very presence is the savior. He has only Anushka to share his burden with as rest of the cast consists of unfamiliar faces. With the Eid week- Salman combine striking once again, Sultan has drawn unprecedented advance booking in a long time. Having opened today (Wednesday) the film should cash in on the festive period till Sunday.

Producer: Aditya Chopra.

Director: Ali Abbas Zafar.

Cast: Salman Khan, Anushka Sharma, Amit Sadh, Randeep Hooda, Parikshat Sahni.

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