"Sultan:" A Review

“Sultan” is a 2016 Bollywood romance drama. This film was directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and stars Salman Khan (one of the biggest names in Bollywood these days) and Anushka Sharma.

The plot follows Sultan Ali Khan (Salman Khan), a man who falls in love at first sight with a woman named Aarfa (Anushka Sharma). When Sultan discovers Aarfa’s love for wrestling, he aims to impress her by requesting a membership to her father’s gym and training relentlessly for a month before signing up to compete in the local championship. He is cautiously accepted into the tournament, being a complete novice to the scene, but ends up tearing through his opponents with skill and finesse. With a championship under his belt, he makes wakes across India as he fights (and beats) any challengers.

After Aarfa and Sultan become married, Aarfa’s dream of becoming a gold medalist in the Olympics is halted by an untimely pregnancy. Sultan carries on in her place and misses his own son’s birth to take home an Olympic gold medal. Crushed by heartbreaking circumstances that put an emotional wedge between Sultan and his wife, he leaves the wrestling life for good and begins working at a local business. But when an entrepreneur by the name of Akash Oberoi (Amit Sadh) is faced with the task of revitalizing wrestling and MMA in India, he turns to Sultan for help. Sultan has no interest in wrestling ever again, but eventually sees that it is a mutually beneficial endeavor and trains furiously for 6 weeks to be able to win the MMA ‘Pro-Take Down’ World Series Championship.

“Sultan” is the only Bollywood movie I have ever seen. If you don’t speak Hindi, then you will have to read the subtitles for about 90% of what is spoken, but it is worth it. The film is a hefty 2 hours and 50 minutes long, but still manages to keep you watching (and likely reading) the entire way through. I recommend this to any movie lover with a 6th grade reading level or higher who is looking for a foreign drama with a dash of classy romance and a balanced amount of Indian culture throughout. The characters in this film are so relatable that you will think the movie is based on a true story, but from what I can tell through research, it is not. There are a few spontaneous dance scenes, but that’s Bollywood for you.

In short, whether you are looking for something new that you will be pleasantly surprised by or you are a devoted fan of Bollywood films (or even both; especially if you are both) then you should definitely watch “Sultan." You will not be disappointed.

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