I have always had a healthy regard for personalities, who have constantly attempted to reinvent and reposition themselves keeping in mind the changing environment. This becomes very relevant in the show business and the Big B is an outstanding example. Such an effort calls for a lot of courage and discernment to be able to say NO to scripts which don’t go with the grain of repositioning. The higher your star status, the bigger is the risk. It is not merely ageing that is part of the changing environment; along with it are public perceptions and the star’s actual behavioral patterns. Salman Khan attempted that make over in last year’s Eid release BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN, which proved that a movie providing wholesome entertainment can also be a super duper hit. There was a message to be conveyed, but, the movie was far from a sermonizing bore. In this year’s Eid release, SULTAN, a Yash Raj Films Production, Salman Khan carries on in the same vein, with a difference: he portrays what he was in real life (arrogant, dismissive of critics, getting physical with scribes), and paints the transformation to a person he wants to be seen as in a fairly convincing manner. There can be nothing more apt than one of the dialogues in the movie: He has to fight with his inner demons rather than outsiders!
Adroitly and pleasantly packaged by the director Ali Abbas Zafar, SULTAN is grounded in reality for most of the time. Even the blows in the free style wrestling matches don’t look as violent as Anurag Kashyap would have made it look, the romance between Salman and Anushka Sharma is fleetingly beautiful and the music by Vishal Sekhar varies from the mellifluously sung Jag Ghoomeya (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan) to the ludicrous (but which will haunt the next wedding season Sangeet sessions) Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai!
Salman’s Haryanvi accent is not fluent (remember how outstandingly Kangna did it in TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS?), but that does not detract him from delivering a good performance; the rest are adequate. There are no double entendre dialogues, no crude scenes and the two hours and fifty minutes of running time doesn’t feel all that long. A recommended watch; a PPV ( Poora Paisa Vasool) film! Just the new dance moment of Salman Khan in the Jag Ghoomeya number is bound to bring in repeated viewing by all his fans.
RATING: 4 out of 5
July 7th, 2016