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Friday, July 08, 2016 , , 4 Comments

"Khoon mein tere Dharti,
Dharti Mein tera khoon
Upar Allah, neeche dharti
beech mein tera junoon"

[You have the motherland in your blood and your blood is in the solemn soil. with the sky above and land beneath, your passion lies in between]

If you ask me about one thing that I loved about this movie, it would be these verses from the title song. Every time they popped up, the story got a new life and pumped up the energy. The lyrics, the music, the gusto..everything worked brilliantly making it a blockbuster anthem for the year, giving different businesses and entities in India, an absolute marvel of an anthem to prep up their employees, training videos and annual town halls.

However, if you ask me more of my favorite things from the movie, I will urge you to read this review.

The Story
A story in a Salman Khan movie is an irrelevant proposition or unchartered territory. Salman as a star grabs a bigger attention with his mere screen presence that overpowers everything around. Oh yes, I do like watching Salman Khan movies except for the Dabangg franchise.

Anyways, for the beginners- The movie is a story of a Haryanvi Happy Go Lucky chap who founds his true love via wrestling and wrestling via his true love.

The happy go lucky guy when not fixing "Mehboob and Mehboob"cables, runs for his life chasing the "kati patang" or stalking his wannabe Mehbooba over sugarcane juices. While you may wonder that why did he not chose running or steeplechase as his profession but I guess the other Khan and Akhtar already took first movers advantage in that space. tee hee

Dude if you were not tired of seeing Akshay Kumar's rooftop chases in Punjab, you can try Salman Khan doing obstacle race and high jump on Haryana rooftops. Neigh! if you think he is lambi race ka ghoda, he also sits on a donkey with "kaala mooh", baring an act that his other colleagues in Bollywood could not dare.

So he tells dadi his love story who gives him a dori and asks to tie it at the holy place, giving him another chanced encounter with the girl who cleverly picks the duct fallen laddoos on the floor and keeps them back on serving plate. While he wondered as to why she called him a "shit guy", I wonder how is bass related to bum that played the main dancer in the song?

Salman plays a young DTH connection seller guy from Rewari in Haryana who fell "love at first fight" with a state-level wrestler Arfa [who looks everything but a wrestler]. In spite of having a rare blood group O-, the lady seeks something different in her "wannabe husband" and that brings our guy next door hero to plowing field, train racing, truck pulling to wrestling ring to finally dropping the wedding ring in overall "dhai kilo" weighted Anushka Sharma aka Arfa that sounded like IIFA. 

source: ibtimes

Wondering if that was the "happy ending", well wait as you have a finer second half in a movie that will take you further through the life of the protagonist and his second innings. Off course, you would not love me for spoiling the plot for your favorite Bhai Jaan's movie. 

I found the movie over the top cinematic, predictable and cliched. Even that delight of watching Salman on screen was missing as I wanted to see more of Sultan Ali Khan on screen but I ended up seeing a mock-tail of Sultan- Dabangg Hoodie and Salman Bhaijaan struggling with botched up Haryanvi.

Acting and Screenplay: Acting is quite an invisible member of the film except for second half when you could sense pain in Salman's character and demeanor. For a change, there was some good prowess displayed by Salman Khan in a somewhat confused character sketching and improvising. However, you could sense a lot of hard work by the actor, especially in second half. You can sense his grief or his bereavement over his lost child. One fact that I cannot ignore is that the star looked old and weary, which could have been bettered or his physique could have been made look more realistic. Anushka Sharma looked pretty and everything but a wrestler, and did her usual "mouth twisting", attitude stint, looking more like a DU babe than the Haryanvi wrestler or girl in her "better than Salman Khan's Haryanvi dialogue" role. Randeep Hooda did a good cameo without getting loud and smartly whisking through his role without having to shoot any impactful fight scenes. 

Source: NDTV
Parikshit Sahni is among my favorite actors who holds a great screen presence with unquestionable acting talents. He was as usual a delight to watch. Amit Sadh as Akash was convincing but Anant Sharma who played Govind, Salman's Best friend in the movie walked with the cake with his humble stance and role. 

The movie also has Tyron Woodley, the wrestler, Meiyang Chang and Kubra Sait playing themselves effortlessly. 

I was glad to see, rather not see any unwanted cameos by other Bollywood stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar or anyone from Salman's Camp, as is the trend these days. It would have diluted it further. Overall, the casting was good.

The Movie as Numerounity finds it:The first half had Salman in a split personality kind of role trying to field with otherwise delectable Haryanvi language, a boy next door demeanor with a buffy body and then breaking into disco music flaunting his signature "star like" steps and irrelevant dream song sequence with designer dressing straight from two year old Lakme Fashion Week ramp walk. Hence, diluting the screenplay  and story building to "charo khane chit" [knockdown]. Having Haryanvi roots, I felt bad at the state of language every time the leading stars tried to break its bones with their confused dialect. Arfa's Haryanvi was neither convincing and what we saw on screen was more of Anushka Sharma than Arfa who loved Bass and Base with equal fervent. Baby ko Bass pasand hai! but manne toh Bulleya and Sultaan title song jyada hi bhayi

The songs and music of the movie are good, chartbuster and cash registers ringing material. 

I am not getting into finer aspects of a storytelling that how an amateur guy builds an impeccable wrestling career, not just body, stance, strength, and candor within a month to take up on state level championship or how after winning his last trophy in 2010, he leaves wrestling for years and lands up in 2016 with 3 weeks of training to combat the best in business in "globally warmed" rings. No, no.. I am more concerned about the "entertainment quotient" of the film as I saw no great reasoning in story telling but that is ah so forgivable in Salman's movie. This is not to say that I do not believe in a human capability to rise above his limitations or the importance of right coaching in life. However, the unavoidable glitches in screenplay did make this movie somewhat drag for me in between, leaving me hoping for a better second half. Salman's physique looked unreal and even though the fact that he was playing a wrestler, his "on film" persona did not go well with me except for the scenes where he played a helpless father.

Favorites: One of my favorite scene from the film was the one where Salman's Sultan faces an emotional turbulence when he opens his shirt to see his flatulent self and battles with his sleeve in an attempt to escape it by covering himself up behind buttons. 

Another one is when he is mocked- "Bada Saahrookh Khan samjhe se" [You think you are Shah Rukh Khan] where he retorts that being Shah Rukh Khan is romance ultimate as the star could make anyone, even a blind fall in love by looking in their eyes. That was sweet and true. Shahrukh has that charm :)

"Dhobi Patak/Pachaad" is my favorite wrestling stunts and they were brilliantly filmed. Watching them on the screen including other rustic wrestling scenes was more delightful than Arfa-Sultan's  indigestible Romance or truce.

This movie is definitely going to make crores on box office. Just hoping that if it could help revive wrestling as the sports in India, more in true sense than branding brouhaha.

What could have added to make it better/ relevant: The movie should have started with One Pro Wrestling match apart from other things. 

Sultanate of Salman Khan, the controversial Bhaijaan

In this whole review, you must have noticed me talking repetitively about Salman all the time. Well, that is what the film was all about. The film was more about Salman than Sultan or anyone else. Irrespective of the fact that how much we love the actor, we would have loved to see the characters more on screen than the actor. This held true for almost all the Indian films except Chakde India where for a change the actor looked more of the character than his usual "Raj-Rahul-SRK" self. The movie would have gone several notches higher if the makers could have given the screenplay and character more focus than encashing on Salman Khan.

Coming to the controversy surrounding "Salman- the Bhai Jaan"

Did someone mention he is controversy's favorite kid? Off course, we all hallucinated how he dragged his ladylove in public, beaten few, killed endangered species to woo his co-stars, ran over pavement dwellers, gave cheeky tweets or made Big Boss worthwhile with his undisputed hosting.

While this post is highly meant for the movie review, I guess my brief perspective on Salman Khan deserves another spot. You may call it Salman bashing or playing Salman advocate [suit yourself up], will need another spot altogether. So hope to get Bhai' blessing [he is better as Bhai than Jaan] that I have not irked him enough with this review, to ban/ block my blog, we shall come up with another post on our, yours and masses' favorite actor Salman Bhaijaan -Khan. Stay Tuned.

Salman will ride away smoothly to box office success with this movie [pic source: Bollywood Mantra]
Verdict: Off course, criticism comes easier than craftsmanship. However, watching a movie on wrestling was refreshing. If like me, you found wrestling scenes more interesting than the mixed martial act format than it is time to revive this rustic Indian sport. Except for the weaker first half which was quintessential in building the storyline and engaging the larger audience [other than mere masses], the movie fared well. There were certain loopholes that weakened the story telling and could have been better to make it an impeccable craft. Let's see what Aamir Khan's forthcoming Dangal has in store. As for now, am happy with the fact that someone is embarking on sports like wrestling and bringing it to a larger audience. Now whether that helps in reviving these lost gems or mere an opportunist attempt to bask in their glories for production economic benefits. Only time will tell. 

Music rating: 4/5
Acting: 2.5/5
Story: 2/5
Action: 3.5/5
Movie Rating: 3.5/5

The autor is half Human, half machine. Go Figure or just revel in what I write


  1. Aha!! I haven't yet watched Sultan and need to since it's been years that I haven't missed Bhaijaan films. He is entertaining and has such an endearing relating aspect with fans.

    1. He was very endearing in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, but that was missing in this flick of cliches. :(

  2. LOL! Your review was better than the movie itself.

  3. i have not watched the movie till now, but your review made me more interested in the movie.


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