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Verified Member MouthShut Verified Member  
Bangalore India
Well balanced entertainment!
Jul 24, 2016 09:14 PM 6494 Views





Going by Abbas Ali Zafar's previous two ventures as director and the lack of similar themed films in Bollywood in general, I was initially quite sceptical about this film's prospects. Not to mention the possibility of this being turned into a typical Salman Khan star vehicle, but I was pleasantly surprised by how this turned out to be.


Salman Khan. aka Sultan

Anushka Sharma. aka Aarfa

Randeep Hooda. aka Fateh Singh


The plot is more like a story within another story. Apparently a story about how a famous wrestler from Haryana(Sultan) helped the commercialization of free style wrestling in India at a time there seemed little to draw people to the sport, it also has to significantly dwell upon what are the circumstances which made him give up wrestling and then eventually reclaim some aspect of it in a different form. In the process of doing so, we come to realize it is as much Sultan's story as it is of Aarfa, another female wrestling prodigy who is trying to make it big in what is mostly a male sport at that point of time. There is also a love story involving the two of them, which is integral to the sporting aspect of the story and is directly impacted by highs and lows of their lives.


1) About the originality of the film, one could say that it is not often that we come across this type of film in Bollywood, and definitely not ones involving the life of a 'wrestler' .

2) It has similarities to the first few films of the 'Rocky' series in Hollywood in the manner the film progresses in the rise of a new star who makes it big in a physical sport, challenging the existing champion etc. sans the romantic angle which is only somewhat similar towards the end. Arfaa is a major motivating force for majority of Sultan's successes as was Rocky's wife.

It also has slight similarities in feel to the lesser known TV Series'Spartacus' set during the times of'Roman Empire', in portraying work ethics of a "wrestlers and their akhara" vis-a-vis "gladiators and their ludus", their motto and their understanding of their relationship between their blood and the sands they fight on. Also, that Spartacus's actual fight is with himself as is Sultan's.

3) But having talked of about similarities to other films, the thing that I liked most about this film is that neither was it portrayed to be as idealistic as the 'Rocky' films in Hollywood, nor was it as 'practical' as recently released 'Southpaw' last year in the sense one doesn't feel the results are very obvious. It was somewhere in between and made for good balance.

4) As far as the feel of the film's tempo, it does not really feel overtly slow or fast at any point of time, given that it had some significant running time and overall a well directed piece by Abbas Ali Zafar.

5) As far as acting performances go, Salman is very well suited to this role. I think the role plays to his strengths as an artist and he pulls off his part with aplomb, without indulging too much in the star aspect of the protagonist except in portions where it is absolutely necessary. One of the better performances of the year.

6) Anushka has scored a very meaty role with this one, and not merely that of a love interest. Her character is integral to the happenings of the film and she also has the opportunity to go through a character arc of a different sort. She does a her part pretty well.

7) The delineation of the fights in the film are also not too "over the top" . Sultan figuring out opponents to eventually overcome them is done very well. Somewhat like a video game with some practical limitations where applicable. And he isn't portrayed to be some unstoppable juggernaut, if that is what your initial fears were:).

His adaptation to "freestyle" wrestling compared to his earlier bread and butter "traditional wrestling" is also shown well. He retains his strengths and uses them wisely while figuring out better ways to succeed in the new form of wrestling.

8) The visual effects of the film are also quite good. It doesn't really disappoint much in any department. One can see that it scores high on production values.

9) There aren't too many songs to unnecessarily bring the film to a standstill. The ones that are there suited to the milieu and are nice.

10) It also touches a bit upon how a sportsperson coming from a rural background may come across challenges outside of his sporting world, the additional things that a sportsman from such a background may face.

11) One doesn't necessarily have to know much about wrestling to enjoy the film. It's a hypothetical story devoid of any real history. Whatever history is there is fictitious.

All in all, a good watch! I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone except those too young to watch some violence.:) "Well balanced entertainment" would be a nice way to put it.

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