Salman Khan has been on a dream run since 2010 with only one film, Jai Ho, missing the bulls-eye (it was still one of the top grossers of 2014). Each year, his Eid release only gets bigger and 2016 is no different with Sultan.
Summing up the story of Sultan in one sentence, Sultan is a journey of a man who goes through life's ups and downs to overcome the fight that lies within. This was prominently showcased in the pre-release promotions so the audience knew what to expect. The treatment of the film was always going to be the key. Salman films tend to rely heavily on his screen presence and often, other elements of good cinema are overlooked (such as story-line, screenplay, editing to name a few). Fortunately, Sultan is very well made.
The film is well balanced with strong emotions, action and drama. Whilst the first half has light comic moments and an enjoyable romantic track, the second half brings out the soul of the film along with lots of emotions and action. At 2 hrs 50 mins, the film is slightly long but this is not a major concern. The film has some great songs (Baby Ko Bass, Sultan song and Jag Ghumiya) but other songs are mediocre. The mediocre songs are interwoven into the script so probably were difficult to get rid of at the editing table. Post the interval, Sultan's plot is quite predictable. However the audience shouldn't mind the drama unfolding and this is where the director has done a fine job. He ensures the audience is kept interested and connected to the movie.
Barring a couple of songs and the long duration, there are a few other small flaws with the story. Salman's journey from a villager to an international wrestler is rushed and some may find this difficult to digest. Also, the final fight is very predictable but it has been packaged extremely well to make it enjoyable.
The performances are top notch, moreover all the characters are relatable. The lead actors Salman and Anushka both excel in their roles and are perfectly cast. Cinematography and action is top notch.
In comparison to Salman's recent films, I found this film to be on par with Bajrangi Bhaijaan, which means business in all likelihood will be similar too. This is a landmark film for him. For Bollywood, it is a typical commercial film with a good dose of entertainment. Worth a watch.
My rating - 3.5/5
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