Meet our own desi Rocky Balboa!! He’s a Haryanvi dude who joins the akhaada just to patao his fellow mate Aarfa (Anushka Sharma). After an initial blissful marriage with her and a successful wrestling stint at Olympic level no less, Sultan Ali Khan (Bhaijaan, who else?) loses his way due to his arrogance. Now, he needs to take up a mega Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) tournament to prove a couple of points – personal as well as professional.
Sultan is a perfect blend of adrenaline pumping action and heart tugging emotional drama which makes it a fairly engaging watch despite its predictability and near three hours of run time – something writer- director Ali Abbas Zafar should be commended for. Yea, he’s the same guy who made the intolerable ‘Gunday’ Undoubtedly, this is a significant leap for him!
Besides the strong message of “Never give up..”, the writing even seamlessly weaves in women equality in a scene where Sultan and Aarfa discuss over a glass of ganne ka juice. Pertinent point driven subtly without heavy duty preaching. Bravo!
Obviously, the film belongs to Salman Khan and he doesn’t disappoint on both fronts – usual histrionics (shirtless and casual one liners) aimed at his fans as well as an effectively restrained act to please the harshest of critics. He even gets the haryanvi accent right. After Bajrangi Bhaijaan last year, this is another sterling performance from Salman. In fact, I would rate this one a notch higher.
Anushka Sharma plays the strong willed pehelwaan with élan. She stands tall (pun intended) besides superstar Salman delivering a knock out performance. Randeep Hooda takes forward his ‘Do Lafzon Ki Kahaani’ (2016) character to play Bhai’s coach. He’s earnest as ever. Amit Sadh as the MMA event organiser is alrite.
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On the tech front, editing (Rameshwar Bhagat) could have been more crisp and the second half appears stretched by at least 15 minutes. Vishal – Shekhar’s music disappoints except for the zingy “Baby ko Bass pasand hai” song. On the other hand, cinematography by Artur Zurawski is first rate. The sound design also deserves a special mention.
Overall, Sultan is definitely recommended. It’s a complete family entertainer for all ages.
Ratings on some of the technical aspects :
1. Acting : 4/5
2. Direction : 4/5
3. Music : 2.5/5
4. Story, Screenplay and Dialogue : 3.5/5
5. Cinematography : 4/5
6. Production Quality : 4/5