Sultan movie review: The Salman Khan-Anushka Sharma starrer packs all the ingredients of a blockbuster

Movie still from Sultan, Salman Khan pulling a road roller

Well, technically, it wasn't Eid yet but Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was already out with the best Eidi we could ever get. Yes, we are talking about Ali Abbas Zafar's 'Sultan' here. We usually don't expect much from the script in a Salman Khan film but our expectations have risen tremendously since 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'.

Surprisingly, 'Sultan' has turned out to be the best of 2016 so far. The 50-year-old superstar has made sure that even his detractors come out smiling after watching this flick. Yash Raj Films has kept in mind that no stone remains unturned when it comes to production. The film takes us on a virtual tour to Haryana.  Be it the sets or locations, you will find yourself lost in the amazing aura of the state.

When it is Salman Khan in the frame, you usually don't care much about the other actors. But, the casting of 'Sultan' is brilliantly done. The makers have let each and every character occupy the screen and justify the space with their performances.

First-half of the film is high on romance. Wait, not the typical Bollywood love. Instead, the director has put an uncanny feel to it. The dialect and accent of Haryana are the true winners. You will be amazed to know that, unlike the popular opinion, even Salman's accent isn't bad at all. Amalgamated with his performance, the portrayal of a pahalwan is pretty gripping in some of the scenes.

And, then enters Anushka Sharma. Her role has the potential to overshadow the titular character but, all thanks to Salman's stardom, the theatre will go crazy about 'Sultan Ali Khan'. Before the interval, the movie showcases how love motivates a person to become a better human.

The battle between confidence and arrogance continues as the screenplay progresses.

Second-half of 'Sultan' is powerful enough to give you an adrenaline rush. This is what we were expecting from the film. The old and rustic 'Sultan' struggling hard to make a point in his personal life by setting brand new professional goals.

Training scenes of Sultan movie, where Salman Khan training hard
Source: Pinkvilla

His training sequences, as well as the mixed martial arts moves, takes the audiences by storm. Moving over the usual suplex, Salman Khan introduces the new Sultan Slam here to make the crowd go nuts. Action sequences are what Salman does the best. And, in 'Sultan', you will get to see a whole new avatar of rowdy Salman.

In terms of acting, 'Sultan' will leave no doubt in your mind. 'Bigg Boss' fame Amit Sadh has garnished his career with this cinematic gem. Randeep Hooda as the MMA coach adds more intensity and vigour to 'Sultan'.

Trainer Randeep Hooda in Sultan riding on roads of Delhi with Salman Khan
Source: Indianexpress

Music isn't as good as Salman's earlier hits. Somehow, it succeeds to blend in as the story moves forward.

'Sultan' is an entertaining film, probably the best of 2016. But, don't expect it to be an entire sports drama. Salman-Anushka's Haryanvi chemistry remains the USP of this film and the action scenes will definitely make your heart pop out.

Sultan Movie Review: Salman Khan's 'Raging Bull' act is a blockbuster

Movie Name:Sultan
Movie Review: Salman Khan's 'Raging Bull' act is a blockbuster;
Critics Rating: 4 / 5
Release Date: July 06, 2016
Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Genre: Sports-Drama
Cast: Salman Khan, Anushka Sharma, Amit Sadh, Kumud Mishra, Anant Vidhaat, Randeep Hooda

Nope, you can’t touch this. Salman Khan’s super stardom is beyond the precincts of rationale or logic. To his credit, he is now finally surrendering to his characters.

After last year’s Eid’s heartwarming "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" act, this festive season Salman pushes himself physically and emotionally to a new level of commitment in "Sultan".

Dancing Salman Khan in song Baby ko bass pasand hai, from Sultan movie
Source: Deccan Chronicle

Playing the good hearted solidly dependable Haryanvi wrestler Salman brings a kind of feisty vulnerability along with a spiritual certainty to his instantly likable character.

He is no longer interested in being Salman Khan on screen. The physical and emotional transformation is so palpable and authentic as to remind us of what Robert de Niro achieved in and outside the boxing ring in Martin Scorcese’s "Raging Bull".

Salman’s accent is pitch-perfect. And that’s where the performance begins. While the actor takes himself dead seriously, the film is remarkably light-hearted and free-spirited even though the underlying message - sometimes to be a true hero you’ve got to fall hard on the ground before you pick yourself up again - is never squandered in the outward frivolity that grips the narrative as, for long stretches, Salman plays the super-smitten lover-boy who can’t get enough of Aarfa (Anushka Sharma).

Though their scenes of courtship and romance are unnecessarily stretched out and over cute, the pair works largely because Anushka is the first Salman co-star who doesn’t seem overwhelmed by his presence. Yup, she gives him tit for tat with such nifty nonchalance that we are soon rooting for them as a couple.
Anushka Sharma as seen in Sultan movie, when awarded medal at Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi
Source: Forbes

This is a funny engaging and satisfying film brimming with many moments of joie de vivre. The wrestling sequences, done with a choreographic candour, are outstanding. Salman slams his opponents with such intensity that you wonder if the ricocheting ruckus in the wrestling ring is a metaphor for what this film is sure to do at the box office.

All said and done, "Sultan" is a love story first, then a sports film. Director Ali Abbas Zafar doesn’t distil the drama with interpolations. Though lengthy, the characters never lose their plot. They are written into a tightly edited pastiche of pain and pleasure unleashed with honesty and charm.

Artur Zurawski, Director of Photography for Bollywood film Sultan

The film is shot by Artur Zurawski with the stress on capturing the glory and grandeur of the sport only in the context of the protagonist’s emotions. Nothing in "Sultan" stands out. It all blends in and merges into the very impressive larger picture.

Sultan movie director Ali Abbas Zafar, with Anushka Sharma
Source: Twitter @aliabbaszafar

Staggeringly engaging, remarkably rugged and unexpectedly romantic, "Sultan" is every bit the comprehensive blockbuster it promised to be. Watching the accomplished storytelling and the deft characterisations in "Sultan", it is hard to believe that this work comes from the director of "Mere Brother Ki Dulhan" and "Gunday". Quite a dizzying climb!

Sultan: Movie review; Salman Khan at maximum impact – romance, emotion, violence

Sultan: movie review: A megastar vehicle that blends the earthiness of the akhada with the flamboyance of the mixed martial arts ring, Ali Abbas Zafar’s ‘Sultan’ starring Salman Khan is certainly not the last word in the sports film genre. But it definitely is an entertainment package crafted for maximum mass impact.

But that’s what Salman Khan films are for? The Salman tones down his swagger just a tad to play an over-the-hill Haryanvi wrestler, who takes the blows of life on his chin and comes out of it unscathed and grinning.

But with Salman Khan leaving no stone unturned to give his fans their money’s worth, this wrestling epic is destined to go the distance at the box office.

Anushka Sharma wrestling with Salman Khan in Sultan movie
Source: Zee News
‘Sultan’ is about a man who finds his metier rather late in life, propelled by his love for a female wrestler (Anushka Sharma) who has no doubts about what she wants to do with herself.

They are both champs at the highest levels of the sport and, after a brief spell of hiccups, the duo hit it off so well with each other that they end up as husband and wife.

When all seems hunky-dory, fate intervenes, tragedy strikes and the couple is torn asunder. The end result is that Sultan turns his back on wrestling.

Eight years on, another opportunity comes knocking on his door. But is he ready to make the most of the second chance? The answer to that question forms the crux of ‘Sultan’.

But that is not where we will go and spoil your party. You would, in any case, be looking to check out Salman Khan at his best for yourself.

There is little in the story to set it apart from other underdog dramas, but the milieu in which it is set – Sultan belongs to Buroli village of Haryana’s Rewari district – lends it an air of authenticity.

Not that it makes a major difference to the film. ‘Sultan’ is after all designed to project Salman Khan in the best light. So liberties are liberally taken with logic and reality.

So, for example, even when the protagonist ends up with broken ribs after one particularly nasty bout, he and his team are not willing to pull out or seek medical attention.

There is an element of predictability about how things eventually pan out – every setback that Sultan suffers is followed by a triumph, every reverse that stops him in his track is rewarded with a turnaround.

Salman Khan seen as MMA Wrestler in Sultan movie

But for all the fantastical sweeps that Sultan resorts to in terms of plot details, it remains a reasonably engaging action film that blends romance, emotion and violence in a style that smacks of yore but manages to put the contrivances in what looks like a sparkling new bottle.

Salman is obviously the driving force and he throws his weight behind ‘Sultan’ with aplomb. In the fight sequences, some of which tend to overstay their welcome, he pulls off some cool moves.

He receives able support from a bunch of actors who know exactly what they are in this for – Anushka Sharma, Amit Sadh, Kumud Mishra, Anant Vidhaat and Randeep Hooda (in a special appearance). Nobody oversteps his or her brief, and that allows Salman to have a field day.

The uneven quality of ‘Sultan’ – the biggest undoing of the film is its inordinate length – robs the drama of some of its sheen.

However, Salman Khan’s ‘Sultan’, for all its warts, is none the worse for it.

Director: Ali Abbas Zafar;
Cast: Salman Khan, Anushka Sharma, Amit Sadh, Kumud Mishra, Anant Vidhaat, Randeep Hooda

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