Cinema

Sultan: A sports film without an underdog?

The newly-released Sultan trailer seems to borrow from Rocky IV’s training montage, but the plot appears closer to Rocky Balboa, the sixth film.

In Rocky IV, Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa travels to Russia to Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). In the training montage, a must-have in the film series, the filmmakers show a contrast between Drago’s training — high-tech equipment, steroids, a whole team of doctors and trainers, and Rocky’s homegrown training system, which happens in a barn in Russia, where with almost little or no medical assistance, Rocky climbs a mountain, jogs in calf-deep snow, and chops down a tree.

The newly-released Sultan trailer seems to borrow from Rocky IV’s training montage, but the plot appears closer to Rocky Balboa, the sixth film’s plot. We first see a (relatively) young Salman Khan, a pehelwan who is at the prime of his career. It’s obvious he is going to fall in love with Anushka Sharma’s character, for she is the leading lady, and also, as he opines, a wrestler too — a perfect match, he says. Speaking in a thick Haryanvi dialect, Sultan says that he wants to compete in the Olympics and win the gold for India. This is no spoiler alert, but he does that. And that doesn’t seem to be the central conflict of this film.

This is where the Rocky Balboa influence is obvious. Sultan wants to join a wrestling league, he is already a has-been, though there is no clear indication of what happened. He is 40 years old, and we know this because he has grown a beard, and because they say so, in case you missed it. The organisers clearly seem to think he is too old. His new coach, played by Randeep Hooda, seems to take a page out of every book followed by surly coaches we have seen in sports films so far. The trailer ends with Sultan in the ring, in a cage match, WWE-style.

Watch the trailer:





A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 3:14:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/sultan-trailer-watch-a-sports-film-without-an-underdog/article8641431.ece

Next Story