Sultan Reviews by Critics

Sultan has received fantastic reviews so far. The film currently averages 3.7 stars, which is what films like Airlift and Kapoor & Sons received. We’ll be adding more reviews to this page, it’ll be updated once every hour.

Average Rating of All 'Sultan' Review - 3.3 stars

Sultan Review by Indicine

Rating: ★★★★☆

The first half of Sultan is replete with character building and building the life of Sultan, and Ali Abbas Zafar is smart enough to show that Sultan reaches the zenith of success before tasting the mud of failure. This way, the redemption is a lot more effective and meaningful. Sultan flows freely through the first half, and after slight hiccups in the second half finally comes into its own. The screenplay manages to capture the local dialect of Haryana but makes it difficult for the rest of India to grasp the words. We wished the characters spoke a bit slower. Ali Abbas Zafar shows his true commercial cinema acumen with Sultan and this could mark his entry into the big league. The makers did well by hiring a cinematographer like Artur Zurawski, who is a famous Polish cinematographer, to shoot Sultan. He sees things which probably an Indian wouldn’t have seen. Sultan is beautifully shot, both the rustic rural settings and the urban arena settings where most of the action takes place. The editing of Sultan is a bit average as a few scenes which slow down the movie could have been cut. The production design and costume design give it a big movie feel without losing the realism angle. The background score is a bit too loud and overdone.

Sultan Review by Bollywood Hungama

Rating: ★★★★½

The story grabs your attention since the start and thanks to the perfect blend of emotions and action, SULTAN turns out to be a quintessential potboiler that packs the right punches that will keep you glued. Here we would like to mention the introduction scene of Salman Khan that will prove to be a treat for his fans. The first half that explores the rise of the wrestler has a blend of humour that keeps you highly entertained. Besides the powerful ‘kushti’ matches that often leave you wanting for more, it also has a sweet love story that focuses on the romantic side of Sultan. On the other hand, the second half is serious and emotional comparatively. While we must give it to director Ali Abbas Zafar for exploring the deeper emotions of failure, losing his fame and Sultan’s aggressive and desperate attempts to get back into the sport in the second half, too many emotional scenes slows the pace of the film. However, Ali Abbas Zafar’s directorial skills seem to have grown by leaps and bounds since his last film. A special mention to the way the wrestling matches have been shot in the second half, which are crisp and impactful.

Sultan Review by Tushar P Joshi on Bollywood Life

Rating: ★★★★☆

The way Salman and Anushka execute the dramatic scene leading to the interval showcases Ali’s brilliance. Anushka might not have been the first choice to play Aarfa (Kangana Ranaut, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone were considered) but she goes for the kill and makes the most of this role. She shines in every single scene with Salman. Amit Sadh is a natural and commands attention even when standing opposite Salman in some heavy duty scenes. That brings us to the questions, how good is Salman Khan in Sultan ? The obvious comparison will be with Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and for me his act in Sultan aces that by miles. It’s not just the physical transformation but the mental prowess and technique that he uses to bring Sultan Ali Khan alive which impresses you. This is the messiah of the box-office and favourite of the front benchers, yet Salman strips off all those adjectives and gives an unplugged acoustic performance without the bells and whistles. There are ample paisa-vasool lines and moments that remind us of his super stardom but for the larger part of the film we get to see a restrained side of Salman we haven’t watched in a very long time

Sultan Review by Ananya Bhattacharya on India Today

Rating: ★★★½☆

Director Ali Abbas Zafar crafts an interesting and emotional tale out of the most-used tropes in the history of Hindi cinema. Even after employing every run-of-the-mill cliche in the book, Sultan doesn’t fall flat. The story entertains, largely because of the invested performances by the actors. Salman Khan’s hard work is more than visible in every frame when the man is in the wrestling pit. From the dhobi-pachhads to slamming his opponents on the ground, this desi pehelwan uses technique to flatten anyone who crosses him in the ring. And the viewer. Wolf-whistles and claps greet every minute of Salman’s time in the pit. In the akhada, Sultan is the man to watch out for. Anushka Sharma’s Aarfa is the result of months of training, and the actor nails it. Sharma turns wrestlers over with equal ease as telling a pestering Sultan to bugger off. The post-NH10 Anushka Sharma is a delight to watch on screen. There are moments when she tears your heart apart with her pain; and others, when you want to cheer for her when she is in the pit. Amit Sadh, along with the rest of the supporting cast, does a commendable job of steering Sultan forward.

Review by Rohit Vats on Hindustan Times

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Aditya Chopra’s screenplay ensures Sultan has all the popular ingredients and Khan’s superstardom is the cherry on the cake. His fans wouldn’t mind if his accent is not up to the mark and other characters are not given the chance to spread their wings because the heavy dose of popular mainstream Bollywood is enough to do the tricks. Then there are some UFC fighters and wrestler Kurt Angle, who will more or less quench the thirst of the audience looking for a thorough entertainer.

Review by Raghav Jaitly on Zeenews

Rating: ★★★½☆

First-half of the film is high on romance. Wait, not the typical Bollywood love. Instead, the director has put an uncanny feel to it. The dialect and accent of Haryana are the true winners. You will be amazed to know that, unlike the popular opinion, even Salman’s accent isn’t bad at all. Amalgamated with his performance, the portrayal of a pahalwan is pretty gripping in some of the scenes. And, then enters Anushka Sharma. Her role has the potential to overshadow the titular character but, all thanks to Salman’s stardom, the theatre will go crazy about ‘Sultan Ali Khan’. Before the interval, the movie showcases how love motivates a person to become a better human. The battle between confidence and arrogance continues as the screenplay progresses. Second-half of ‘Sultan’ is powerful enough to give you an adrenaline rush. This is what we were expecting from the film. The old and rustic ‘Sultan’ struggling hard to make a point in his personal life by setting brand new professional goals.

Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Sultan, written and directed by Abbas Ali Zafar, may have been designed to pull Salman Khan away from his comfort zone, but, in the ultimate analysis, it is just another bloated affair that rides on the bluster and bombast typical of a film featuring the superstar. Salman Khan is after all a genre unto himself. It matters little whether he is in a sports drama or in a mish-mash of flighty romance and high-voltage action – Sultan is a bit of both. In the end, Sultan remains a Salman Khan vehicle, pure and simple, gift-wrapped for his constituency of filmgoers.So those that manage to set aside the misgivings about the excesses that come with this form of storytelling might actually enjoy the film, at least some parts of it.

Review by Sarita A Tanwar on DNA India

Rating: ★★★★☆

The last 30 minutes of the film within the MMA ring will have you on the edge of your seats. To Ali’s credit, he’s also managed to get both Salman and Anushka deliver remarkable performances. Anushka is outstanding as Aarfa and lights up every frame she’s a part of. It’s her nuances that make the love story so solid. Salman Khan continues to better himself with every film – this is one of his career-best portrayals. Ten minutes into the film and you’re into Sultan Ali Khan’s world – it’s Salman’s performance that makes the character so multi-dimensional. This is indeed his crowning glory as a performer. His masterstroke is a scene where Sultan is looking at his body in the mirror when it’s out of shape. It’s just the placement of a couple of songs that is slightly erratic – it disturbs the screenplay for that brief period. Also, the film could have been shorter by a few minutes.

Review by Shubhra Gupta on Indian Express

Rating: ★★★☆☆

The support is able, but the star holds firm at the centre. Swelling background music threatens to mar even the most effective parts, which is something most films should watch out for, especially when their lead is willing to go down and dirty. Salman has perfected these rough-hewn, heart-of-gold, man-child parts (Anushka even has a line citing his ‘bachpana’) which coast on his ability to boost ‘desi’, flag-waving patriots who can beat smooth English-speaking rivals to a pulp. Here he takes it further, gets grizzled and grey, and admits to being has-been forty plus. And comes out on top, battered, bloody, but unbent. It is a full-bodied, fully-earned performance, and Salman Khan aces it.

Review by Srijana Mitra Das on The Times Of India

Rating: ★★★½☆

Salman gives a fighting performance, his character graph moving plausibly from a cheery, everyday “loojer” to a determined athlete, an arrogant star, a crushed, depressed, lonely guy. Anushka plays her familiar feisty girl, with a rustic twang and self-control, but fairly little change. The performance which really impresses is Sultan’s friend Govind (Anant), who stands by his buddy through broken heart and crushed rib, charming throughout. Amit Sadh presents an attractive persona while Kumud Mishra, as Anushka’s father and Sultan’s guru, adds noticeable subtlety to the drama. Sultan’s dialogues also “oopher” a Haryanvi kick while its visuals are fresh and attractive, swaying with Rewari’s eucalyptus trees and gushing canals. The trouble is its length. At nearly three hours of runtime, Sultan gets heavy and repetitive – only so many training sequences can look sharp and by the time Randeep Hooda shows up as MMA coach Fateh Singh, resembling a perennially eating Brad Pitt from Ocean’s Eleven, but overacting as he gets senti about Sultan, you become restive. By cutting 30 minutes of flab – running commentaries, kite-running, taalas, taalis – Sultan could’ve been a leaner, meaner movie. As it is, it’s more a large lassi, not an espresso shot.

Review by Sukanya Verma on Rediff

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Make no mistake. Sultan is a classic Salman Khan vehicle in the skin of a sports drama imagining itself to be more profound than it really is. Doesn’t mean it’s not engaging, a lot of it is but, despite the possibilities, writer-director Ali Abbas Zafar relies solely on its main star’s drawing power and offers nothing novel in terms of storytelling.

Review by Rohit Bhatnagar on Deccan Chronicle

Rating: ★★★½☆

Director Ail Abbas Zafar has finally added a feather of a well made film on his cap. His debut ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’ went unnoticed at the box office and his second directorial ‘Gunday’ sank without a trace. But Ali’s ‘Sultan’ comes out as a champion. Though he had too much to do in just one film, the filmmaker managed to make a film that wins in every aspect. His narrative is engaging to the core. Though the film is pretty long, the emotions and humour quotient in the film will succeed in keeping you on the edge of your seat. Few dialogues where we see Salman expressing his liking for Shah Rukh Khan or Randeep Hooda calling Salman a true Jatt, are realistically humorous. The best part of the film is its easy flow. With ‘Sultan’, one can easily say that Ali has made a mark for himself in the industry. Helming a film with huge star cast and appropriate narrative is commendable. Cinematography by Artur Zurawski is praise worthy as he has shot such beautiful locations in Rewari district.

Review by Shomini Sen on News18

Rating: ★★★☆☆

The only flaw that the film has is that it is long. With almost 3 hour-run time, the film uses a lot commercial aspects to make it a mass entertainment which are not so relevant for the story. Like the song ‘Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai’ is absolutely unnecessary for the film. The film could have been easily half an hour shorter. Despite a few glaring flaws, the film is worth your time and money mainly because of the coherent, good story and performances by its actors. It’s a film that has Salman Khan playing a character whose career graph has seen similar ups and downs that the actor has seen in real life. Perhaps, that’s why Khan appears this convincing.

Review by Aastha Atray Banan on Mid-Day India

Rating: ★★★★☆

‘Sultan’ is a fun watch, offering the perfect fix to lift a not-so-great day. It’s about love and the will to do anything that comes with protecting it. It’s also about bringing yourself back from the dead, and saying, ‘I am not going anywhere’ — something that Sultan and Salman Khan, the man, have in common, despite their disparate destinies. The ‘public’ is going to lap this one up.

Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror

Rating: ★★★½☆

Khan’s Sultan is an uncertain, vulnerable simpleton, and he serves his character well by not seeming like a village idiot. His performance can be best described in words his character uses to reflect on his love: “pheel hain usme”. Anushka Sharma manages the Haryanvi accent and the athletic locks and grips with commitment. Anant Sharma, playing Sultan’s friend, is a great find and deserves a mention for his natural performance. Hooda, in a prominent cameo as Sultan’s MMA coach, is dependable. Sadh, though a bit theatrical in parts, is largely bearable if not laudable.

Review by Vishal Verma on Glamsham

Rating: ★★★☆☆

SULTAN sees Salman Khan staying at the top of his game delivering another knockout punch after BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN. The actor as the Haryanvi hunk pleasingly invests in his known swagger with that winning Haryanvi accent ensuring the expected commercial expectations to a winning result and gets good one-liners. Anushka Sharma as Aarfa outstandingly holds her own in her determined brilliance. The actress has meat in her role and is much beyond a mere show piece that is normally seen in such commercial format. For Amit Sadh it’s a career-reviving role and he justifies it.

Sultan Review by Sify

Rating: ★★★★☆

All said and done, Sultan is a love story first, then a sports film. Director Ali Abbas Zafar doesn’t distil the drama with interpolations. Though lengthy, the characters never lose their plot. They are written into a tightly edited pastiche of pain and pleasure unleashed with honesty and charm. The film is shot by Artur Zurawski with the stress on capturing the glory and grandeur of the sport only in the context of the protagonist’s emotions. Nothing in Sultan stands out. It all blends in and merges into the very impressive larger picture. Staggeringly engaging, remarkably rugged and unexpectedly romantic, Sultan is every bit the comprehensive blockbuster it promised to be. Watching the accomplished storytelling and the deft characterisations in Sultan, it is hard to believe that this work comes from the director of Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Gunday. Quite a dizzying climb!

Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Anyway, the MMA matches are horrendously long and predictable. Yes, there are some beautiful touches like Sultan wanting to call his wife but hesitates and so on, but there’s not a thing new in the entire second half. Even the most enthusiastic fans seemed to have lost their collective ability to whistle and clap. After 170 minutes of graphically designed muscles, you emerge exhausted, and hope you will find a re-run of Chak De! India on cable when you return. Give me the ‘Tumhare paas sattar minutes hain to prove yourself’ any day over this protracted ‘It’s Salman Khan, so he will win’ pro wrestling story.

Review by Meeta on Wogma

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Despite being a sports film, at its heart Sultan is romantic. But it is very conscious about being romantic. So, a boy woos a girl – twice. Each time, the boy is willing to go to any extent to win her love but of course he is too macho to accept it. Instead he calls it a fight with himself. eyeroll That and dialogue you would find in any coach-prodigy film like, “I see myself in you.” make Sultan even more predictable. The only surprises then, can come from individual situations or performances. Individual situations try hard to seem progressive in the form of the lead lady giving a lecture on a woman’s rightful place in this new age. Unfortunately, it cannot hold its own for too long and falls prey to putting the man on a pedestal despite his faults. So be it. Anyway, so is it in real life. With a pinch of salt, we can applaud a Salman Khan film to be close to reality.

Sultan Review by Indiaglitz

Rating: ★★★½☆

The biggest negative part in the movie is that everything is shown with total ease. Salman learns wrestling and MMA very easily within a short span. He also excels in these sports and emerges as undefeatable winner.The finale fight should have been more entertaining and energetic. Also, the drama in that part was totally forced. The conviction factor in these important part of the film was very low and was totally impractical. The movie should have been trimmed down by ten to fifteen minutes, especially in the middle part of the film. The movie could have been much better only if the screenplay in several parts would have been a bit crisp and convincing. The finale part needed bit more masala.

Review by Lokesh Dharmani on Masala

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Anushka Sharma is always extremely earnest and puts some life into a half-heartedly written character of Aarfa. The supporting cast: Kumud Mishra (as Aarfa’s father) and Anant Sharma (as Sultan’s best friend Govind) are brilliant as well. And, of course, my favourite Amit Sadh. He is not only earnest but extremely endearing as the franchise owner of an MMA premier league. There are a couple of scenes where Salman shines too. Besides his commendable body language in the ring, watch him in a scene where he breaks down. A vulnerable Salman is something we want to watch more often.

Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies

Rating: ★★★½☆

Salman, who had impressed the hell out of us in Kabir Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan is in top form as Sultan Ali Khan. Unlike his roles in Dabangg or Kick, Salman doesn’t play to the gallery here and instead focuses on becoming the character, a raw ‘son of the soil’ wrestler, burdened down by the weight of a tragedy, but unwilling to throw in the towel. Salman’s Sultan is one of the best wrestlers that India has produced, but that doesn’t make him invincible. Indeed, his humility and his vulnerability makes the character more endearing and even if you are not a Salman fan, you might be tempted to cheer for the underdog here. Anushka Sharma deserves a pat on her back for not being a typical ‘Salman Khan heroine’, who gets nothing to do but look pretty opposite the Bhaijaan. The actress has put her heart and soul in the film and there are scenes where she totally overpowers the Dabangg dude. Sharma’s Aarfa is no shrinking violet, but a strong woman, who is sure about what she wants and doesn’t need a man to tell her this, even if it is none other than her husband Sultan Ali Khan. The film also stars Amit Sadh and Randeep Hooda in less meaty roles, but both the actors, especially Hooda, who plays Sultan’s crusty coach for the MMA championship, put in a solid and decent performance. Anant Sharma, who plays Sultan’s loyal sidekick Govind, makes you sit and take notice. Kumud Mishra, who plays Aarfa’s father and Sultan’s wrestling coach, is dependable as ever.

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