After an interesting film like Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Abbas Ali Zafar came directed Gunday with an 80’s script. The movie created an impression that his handling of action-based scripts can range anywhere from worse to suicidal. The fact that Sultan is a wrestling-backed film scares before we enter the hall. Moreover for this film, the dialogues, screenplay and direction are singlehandedly headed by Abbas. Contrary to the expectations, Abbas seemed to have a very good script in his hands which to an extent has been let down by Bhai aka Salman Khan. Bhai contributed only the needed physique but seemed to have put zero efforts to reflect the wonderful underlying emotion that was on the paper.
The story is set in a town in Haryana. Sultan Ali Khan (Salman Khan), who is initially a seedha-saadha cable Tv guy. He falls in heads over heels in love with Aarfa who is a wrestler. Aarfa aspires to be a gold-medalist in Olympics and is trained by her father. Sultan becomes a wrestler to marry Aarfa as that’s the only way he can win her. However, his undying fighting spirit takes him places and he is just unstoppable. After a tragic incident, Aarfa separates from Sultan and he gives up wrestling. The rest of the film is about how he fights the battle against himself to be free of guilt.
The story has a lot of soul in it. The conflict point however comes very late in the film. Until that time, lot of the film duration is wasted with unwanted songs and a love story with zero charm. In fact till 15 minutes prior to interval, the film triggers endless yawns except for the portions of Anushka. The second half, however is way better than the first. The training episode by Randeep Hooda is the best part of the film. A sports film like this is expected to have a bare minimum of goose-bumpy scenes to give a high. Unfortunately, Sultan had only one such scene and that happens when he gives the ‘Sultan slam’ to an international wrestler in a tournament. Most of the blame shall go to Bhai for being such a life-less robot throughout the film. There were many wonderful moments which went utterly wasted just because of Bhai’s bland body language.
On the other hand, the movie has a great supporting cast. Anushka was phenomenal. She played Aarfa with great panache. The actor who played Govind, was so real and entertaining. Kumud Mishra has never disappointed. Amit Sadh was a treat to watch. He was impressive and should do more films. Randeep as the badass coach was fantastic. Despite a cameo, he made sure, he just nails it like no other.
Music of the film is a let-down except Jag Ghoomeya. The background track of “Mitthi mein Khoon” was used several times in the film, but was good.
With an almost 3hour length plus Salman’s lacklusture acting on side and a soulful script plus supporting cast on other side, Sultan turns out to be average.
Sadly, “Sultan” is Har”yaaaawn”a ka Sher.