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MouthShut Score

97%
4.40 

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Sultan
Sep 30, 2017 08:50 PM 905 Views
(Updated Sep 30, 2017 08:48 PM)

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Even though this is a film painted largely in broad strokes, there are certain small decisions that are unusual and encouraging. Take, for instance, the film’s treatment of Aarfa. At one point, she seems like she’s going to be just another good Bollywood wife, sacrificing her career for her husband’s. Yet, though she does quit wrestling when she becomes pregnant(the film implies it may be accidental), Aarfa is allowed the space to be resentful about this. Sharma plays these scenes beautifully, her bitterness and regret frustrated by Khan’s stolid responses.


It’s also worth noting how, in a film about the ultimate desi jock, machismo is curiously absent. It’s not just the presence of female wrestlers throughout the film—even Sultan’s motivation to join the akhara isn’t to prove his manliness to Aarfa but to gain respect in her eyes. In other words, he wants to be like her. To put such thoughts in the mind of a Salman Khan character—which isn’t where one usually looks for female empowerment—strikes me as a very enlightened attitude on the part of the film.


Everyone does their job with a degree of professionalism befitting a Yash Raj Films production. There’s too much slo-mo as usual, but Artur Zurawski’s camerawork is nimble. Vishal-Shekhar’s title song is played something like a dozen times in the film and is catchy enough to withstand this overuse(credit, also, to Irshad Kamil’s lyrics). Zafar’s writing is simplistic but rousing; one could say the same of his direction too. There’s no Nawazuddin Siddiqui to partner Khan this time, but Anant Sharma is very funny as Govind. Anushka Sharma’s anger was, for me, the best thing in the film. And Khan, for once, seems to grapple with the material, occasionally finding in the older Sultan the world-weariness of an ageing gunfighter.


should go!.


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