What’s the problem with watching a sports saga on the big screen you ask? Well it’s predictable every step of the way and you can guess what the outcome will be from a mile away. That’s true in director Ali Abbas Zafar’s latest film Sultan. Fortunately, that’s not a problem because Salman Khan is here to save the day.
With his business Pro-Take Down a MMA Premiere League faltering his dad recommends Aakash Oberoi (Amit Sadh) to meet Sultan Ali Khan (Salman Khan) a former wrestling world champion. Interested to know why Sultan won’t wrestle anymore Aaskash meets Govind (Anant Sharma) Sultan’s best friend who explains that he took up wrestling to impress Aarfa (Anushka Sharma) who’s also a wrestler. However, after marrying the love of his life and becoming world champion, Sultan’s pride gets in the way as tragedy strikes. Convinced to wrestle again Sultan has a chance at redemption and conquer the ring once again.
What doesn’t help the film is that Sultan uses every single sports cliché possible from the rise of a champion to an underdog story. Since this is a Bollywood movie there are a heavy dose of songs that are thrown into the film and the overblown running time of 2 hours and 50 minutes doesn’t help matters either.
However, what works in the film are wrestling portions from the beautifully shot training montages to the fight scenes in the octagon. As the punches, kicks, and grapples sound, feel, and looks so real and brutal. Of course, there is also the eardrum shattering background music of the Sultan theme which adds more drama to the fight scenes.
To the performances, Randeep Hooda does a fine job as the cynical gym trainer whose goal is to get Sultan in fighting shape. Amit Sadh stands out as the business owner of Pro-Take Down and Anant Sharma is charming as Govind.
Anushka Sharma does a terrific job as the progressive forward-thinking feminist and wrestling champion. She stands up well and doesn’t get overshadowed by Salman’s onscreen presence. Her chemistry with Salman is nice with some sweet moments.
But don’t be mistaken for even one second as this film belongs completely to Salman Khan and he delivers a sensational performance. From wrestling in mud, to perfecting every move, he puts his energy in his training.
Overall Sultan is worth a watch because it’s a film that has its heart in the right place and of course Salman Khan is a superstar. I’m giving Sultan three-and-half-stars.
After watching Sultan there’s just one question that I want to ask? What are you going to do when Salman Khan Mania runs wild on you?