Wrestling with love


Genre: Romantic sports-drama

Director: Ali Abbas Zafar

Cast: Salman Khan, Anushka Sharma, Amit Sadh, Randeep Hooda, Kumud Mishra, Parikshat Sahni, Anant Sharma

Being screened at QFX Cinemas


Sultan, yet another sheer Salman Khan movie, packed with action, emotion and romance, is a treat for Bhai fans, and an entertaining watch for everyone else.

It is first a love story, and then a sport drama that tells the story of a Haryana lad Sultan Ali Khan (Salman Khan), who falls for a feisty girl from the same place Aarfa (Anushka Sharma), a wrestling champion. Rejected in love by Aarfa, this cable installer, trains under Aarfa’s father (Kumud Mishra) to become the local wrestling champion. The two passionate wrestlers get married and set off on more victorious journey in the rings. However, Aarfa gives up her wrestling dream after she gets pregnant; she instead supports her husband on his journey to the world championship. With every victory, Sultan gets arrogant and a sudden twist in his path of glory causes the fall of the champion. It is the story of the rise and fall of a star — both in life and ring — who must fight for his life to win.

Salman has probably given one of his most authentic performances in Sultan — from an immature and aimless guy to a focused and passionate wrestler to a dejected man and fallen star to a mature man and a wrestler, the actor has undergone impressive transformation. The director has quite well restrained the actor from overdoing anything. Salman must be lauded for getting that fit physique at the age of 50, and all the action he delivers — from powerful punches to cool wrestling moves. If only the fact that he plays a 30-year-old (in the first half) is overlooked, Salman shines as Sultan. And there is no way Salman would let anyone else shine in his film!

That does not mean other actors are bad — Aarfa is an important character and Sharma gives life to the role with zeal. She does not let Salman’s stardom overshadow her part in the film. Randeep Hooda as a coach who trains Sultan to bring him back to shape and prepare for a new match is as impressive as always, and you would want more screen space for him. Anant Sharma as Sultan’s friend Govind seamlessly delivers his part.

The tongue-in-cheek humour and local Haryanvi accent are other things that make Sultan authentic.

Despite good performances, the classic underdog tale about a wrestler’s journey that tries to keep you engaged most of the time loses it grips occasionally due to the stretched 170-minute runtime. The songs and dances are placed forcibly in between the scenes, and the repetition of certain scenes (like of training sessions) makes one impatient. Overall, the music is okay with a few catchy numbers.

Nonetheless, from the beautiful mustard fields of Haryana to Delhi’s urban landscape, the journey of Sultan is mostly a smooth one. Watch this wrestling romance with love and enjoy your weekend.