Movie Review: Salman Khan Shines But Sultan is Predictable
Bhai Bhakts can now finally celebrate their annual Salman festival with the release of Sultan. The film is about a middle aged wrestler and traces his meteoric rise and abysmal fall.
Salman flexes his muscles, decimates his opponents, is at his charming best with his lady love and basically ensures that before we break for the interval, loyalists and discerning film goers alike; everyone has a smile on their face.
It is most heartening to see that unlike a typical Salman fest, this film allows his female lead to come into her own without merely existing as a tool to help the hero flourish! Aarfa (Anushka Sharma) is a wrestler herself, dreams of an Olympic gold and is to a large extent, a far better-sketched character than Sultan, who roams around the dusty by lanes of Rewari in gay abandon until circumstances contrive to catapult him to significance!
It’s another matter that after the interval, Director Ali Abbas Zafar sows seeds of very predictable fruit which result in plenty of “I know what is going to happen next” moments. Anushka–Salman share crackling chemistry but the contrived plot twists and a run time of 170 mins make it a tiring journey for a non-Salman fan!
In a scene in the second half, Randeep Hooda asks “asli jat hai na?” The irony is hard to miss. While the real Haryanvi Hooda is relegated to the margins, Salman and Anushka speak inconsistent versions of Haryanvi that have now shamelessly been appropriated by Bollywood. No surprise then, that instead of Salman’s Sultan, it is Hooda who comes across as the underdog we want to cheer for.
My final verdict: if you are a sachha Salman bhakt then Sultan does a good job of pandering to your fancies, but for the rest; remember, this is no Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Keep your expectations strictly in check.
I give it 3 QUINTS out of 5!
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