Sultan Ali Khan – The Character, The Scriptwriter and The Star
Yesterday Sultan ‘happened’ to us. More than a sports based film, it turned out to be a story of a love deprived wrestler. After the film got over our heads were spinning with ‘Rey sultan’ and we wanted to do a ‘Jag Ghumiya’ step with our pens. Thus, we decided to vent it out in this write-up.
THE ACTORS (He)
“The film is a love story of two wrestlers. Without spilling the beans, I would say that the film’s script follows a three-act structure.
1st Act- Sultan is a desi Kite-runner
2nd Act- Sultan is a desi wrestler
3rd Act- Sultan is a desi MMA wrestler
The bottom line is that he is desi. Though, towards the end he is a swagger using words like ‘bro’. That’s his graph from pronouncing ‘Shit guy’ as ‘Sit guy’ to graduating to a bro. Not to mention his antics that you expect in any of the Salman Khan films. He looks vulnerable in some scenes and that is remarkable as an actor. The film feels like an extension of Bajrangi Bhaijaan where you get a feeling that Bhaijaan is doing more than just playing a Bhagwaan. He acts!
Anushka’s character is well-defined and she plays it with an ease.
The chemistry between both the leads is lovable and striking.
Randeep Hooda manages to deliver what was expected out of the character of a trainer. He is Master Shifu to our Sultan. Kumud Mishra as Oogway is also very well-defined. Mishra pumps life into his character and he has taken a realistic path to the otherwise larger-than-life canvas. What else is expected of an actor of that stature!
Anant Sharma who plays Salman’s friend has a terrific sense of timing, delivering his lines with natural flair.
THE STORY (She)
The film does look great and some superb actors are well placed to support Sultan.
Otherwise it’s the same old storytelling. Telling me as a woman that when a sperm wins, I am at fault, I should control myself. Also that if I eat a Puri more than a man or can ride a bike I can compete with a man (Woah !! I can drive a car, probably am a superwoman?!); then when I get pregnant I don’t have the option of an abortion because my husband wants a child, so my Olympic medal and my dad’s dream for me goes for a toss (The scene where Aarfa talks about her father and her dreams actually got me teary eyed, but then later… Sigh!). They eventually kill the child in the story but after the woman loses the Olympic opportunity and endures nine months of pain and sacrifices her marriage, life etc. And is left being nothing more than a ‘Masterni’ (The same old, BEST profession for a woman)
How about spreading a message regarding using ‘a condom’ or say a ‘progressive’ thought or two of contemplating an abortion?
But then on second thoughts, a mainstream Bollywood film can’t take such a major step. The characters talk about ‘Girls and Progress’ though. We should be happy with just that? I guess.
I prefer Anand L Rai’s Datto over Ali Abbas Zafar’s Aarfa. The women from the same land.
Ohh Sorry! But Aarfa ‘just’ happens to be there right? To lend support? Then what a commendable job at writing that part! And performing too. Anushka Sharma shows commitment. Superb!
Sultan .. Sultan ..!!! Yo Yo!
THE TREATMENT (We)
Artur’s camera work is appropriate. The camera literally wrestles through the ring. Salman’s introductory body-shots give the fans a perfect whistle moment.
Anushka’s entry with the foregrounding of fire is quite suggestive of what can be expected out of that character through the film.
There is heavy art direction in the film. The complete Haryana village shots have been taken in Film City but it hardly shows. The detail in production design was arguably the most ‘detailed’ aspect of the film.
The sound design smells of heroism. The loud thumps in Salman’s entry sequence make him look like King Kong. But the background music gels with the theme.
The choreography of the wrestling scenes is to the point. Editing plays a major role there. It’s crisp and highlights only what is needed.
Overall, the film is a perfect serving of seviyan on this Eid. So, Eid Mubarak! Go savour it yourself.
Gentle request: For best results please play the track ‘Rey Sultan’ while reading all the sub headings in this piece.
-Manoj Sharma and Khushboo Upadhyay
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