Love Him Or Hate Him; You Can’t Ignore Salman, The Sultan
Sultan ko sirf Sultan hara sakta hai… this diaogue from the film, which opened to packed houses and a lot of fan mania today, would hold true for Salman Khan, the actor and the man as well. Sultan is tailor-made for the troubled hero, who also happens to be one of the biggest stars in the Hindi film industry today. Yet the film manages to touch your heart in a way not expected of a Salman Khan film.
No Obstacle Is Great Enough
Salman Khan as Sultan the wrestler on screen is a common man who loses his way but fights back heroically for redemption. Even though the film runs along the familiar template of an underdog overcoming all odds, literally and metaphorically thrashing everyone and everything that comes in the way of his love - it is Salman ‘unbeatable’ Khan, who picks up the pieces, mends them in a way that would make his fans happy, and emerges a winner.
A Flawed Hero
Unlike most of his roles till date - and Salman has gone on record to say he would like to play only positive characters on screen - Sultan stands out with his portrayal of a flawed, human character. There are moments in the film that show the star in a weak or unflattering light - definitely a first. Redemption follows soon of course, but one can’t but appreciate these tender moments.
Sultan however snaps out of it soon, holds his head high and says, “Asli Pehlawan ki pehchaan akhade mein nahi, zindagi mein hoye… taaki jab zindagi tumhe patkey, tum phir khade ho aur aisa dau maaro ki zindagi chit ho jaye” - to piercing whistles and cheers in the audience.
Sultan , surprisingly, is not the usual Salman Khan money-churner. It plays to the gallery but with a certain restraint and sensitivity, which is new for Khan’s fans.
Winner All The Way
However, no matter how much close-to-real a role he plays, Salman and his directors and producers never forget his stature as a star. And with it comes greatness and goodness in equal proportions.
And of course, he wins in the end.
You may love him or hate him, but when Bhai looks deep into Anushka’s eyes and says, “Madam Main Bada Rare Hoon…”, the audience, and me amongst them, can’t help but cheer.
(The Quint is now available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)