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89 Responses to “Sultan trailers (updated)”
the difference is really obvious here. Sultan is all about style and Dangal will be all out substance……basically Salman and Aamir are really about.
Ever since the announcement of Sultan all you’ve done is drag Dangal desperately into this…I can go back to the Sultan poster thread and you’ve said the same crap.
We get it bro…this is going to hurt Dangal…this is going to make Dangal an afterthought….blah blah blah. After the tenth time saying the same thing…we know what you are trying to do now…your point has been made clear. Let it go.
You must be smoking something to get this gyst from my posts! One must be crazy to expect Sultan will be a better movie than Dangal.. all I’m pointing out that how Sultan is lifting the ‘uniqueness’ unfairly from Dangal’s story. Obviously when they based Salman’s character on Aamir’s Haranyvi wrestler that was too much and now Aarfa’s intro video is a rip-off from Geeta Phogat’s original video. They are trying to damage and rip-off Dangal blatantly.. how are we not supposed to point that one out?
Go and find my comments on Dangal incase you haven’t read.. I mentioned signing Dangal movie is itself a success for Aamir.. even 150cr is huge and nothing else is needed from it. Aamir compared director to Raju Hirani and I expect it to be another Lagaan moment for him.
And it does not bother you and many Salman fans that YRF and Salman have been absolutely unethical in their Sultan venture? Sultan gets announced out of the blue, summer 2015, a good six months after Dangal prep has been announced; Aamir was said to have been upset; also a few Aamir fans. Salman announces that his is a commercial film, not a biopic…..and now one finds similarities between the two films. And Salman supporters actually condoning such thievery, cheering Sultan, unbothered by the ethical issue….
I’m certainly not worried as I think Aamir has always pulled it off. Every card is stacked against dangal except it’s got the Xmas release date. This will be a style vs substance clash … I know where I’d place my bet!
Looking good! At least better than poster which was released earlier. I think makers have smelled the coffee after getting brickbats on that poster and hence released the teaser immediately for face washing. This is a smart move and they seem to have succeeded in their efforts.
It was earlier being said that Salman Khan chose a cute little girl, ‘Suzy,’ to play Anushka Sharma’s younger version in ‘Sultan. Apparently, another girl was earlier cast to play the role, but was later replaced by Suzy. And now, we hear that Suzy too won’t be seen portraying Anushka’s younger version. No, she has not been replaced by anyone; the girl will instead be seen playing Salman’s daughter in the action-drama. Yes, you read that right! As per a report on Bollywoodlife.com, Salman, who plays an Akhada wrestler in the film, would also be seen as a father of a daughter which will be played by the adorable Sussanne Khan, aka Suzy. The report also suggests that she has an extremely pivotal role to play in the climax of the movie. Now those who have seen ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ can never forget the absolutely heart-melting climax where Harshaali Malhotra shouts out at Salman addressing him as “Maama” adding, “Jai Ram ji ki Maama.” It undoubtedly became the most loved scene of the film. Now, let’s wait and watch if ‘Sultan’s climax too manages to create as great an impact on the minds and hearts of the viwers as ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ did.
Bharti would have looked better than Anushka. this teaser loks ridiculous and a big joke to the real women wrestlers.
They are doing a great favour to Dangal by bringing in Anushka,
And Salman cant act.
people have been predicting disaster for lots of Aamir films. If they were gamblers they wouldn’t just be bankrupt, they’d have goons chasing them! At least Fan turned some folks into fans of Talaash (‘hey it didn’t do too bad’.. etc).
So, will she be his daughter or his girlfriend?
The one major flaw with PRDP was the incredulousity of pairing beti Sonam with baap Sallu. There was no physical chemsitry whatsoever. If they make the same mistake here, it will be another hilariousity repeating.
Been saying this for a while now: Khans have crossed 50. Pls do not insult audiences by pairing them with under-30 bachis. They can pull if off with Kareena, Katrina, Asin, etc. But its ridiculous to see Sonam, Anushka, Kriti, Shraddha, Alia etc paired with them.
loved it! It was great. I cannot still believe it was Salman’s voice…was it…please don’t tell me it was bad haryanvi etc. Nice work. Inspiring for women of India. Totally agree that future of humanity rests with Women. Girl Power.
to respond to your irate comment from the Teen thread here don’t get upset with me if this is yet another big Salman film that’s not going to get to PK’s number! Actually I don’t think it will get to Bajrangi’s either. Should do a whole lot otherwise.
suspect this is a film that will be much better in the first half. Think the rest of it isn’t really Salman’s scene.. winning the championship or doing so as a somewhat over the hill guy. There’s probably some inspiration from the later Rocky films here but in any case it might have been much better if the ‘championship’ had stayed local. You should either do Lagaan or CDI, not both. They didn’t have Bhuvan up at Lord’s or something!
I think both wrestler movies will disappoint. Dangal will lose out hugely as its novelty is trampled all-over with Sultan releasing before it and it’s been years since YRF delivered in a “big” film. No doubt about a huge opening, but I doubt we’re watching a Bajrangi or P.K here, even if we have Salman and Anushka as the leads! Another major opportunity to cast Deepika opposite Salman missed, her leggy posture in wrestling moves would have worked a treat.
I am not to sure on the release date of Kabaadi or Kabaali whatever that movie is coming on heels of this movie , but 450 cr toh pukka hai boss ! Salman in action mode may be a bit more !!!…..Waiting for soundtrack to peg it a bit higher !!
Amazing trailer and loved it !!!
Anushka Sharma @AnushkaSharma 16m16 minutes ago
Thoda Sa Dhobi-Pachad, Thoda Sa Pyaar
sabina lamba @SabinaLamba 19m
Outstanding! Maine pahelwani jarur chodi hai par ladna nai bhula!
taran adarsh @taran_adarsh 9m9 minutes ago
The #Sultan of BO arrives… Trailer of #Sultan is TOP NOTCH… #Eid2016 #BoxofficeHurricane #RecordSmasher
Girish Johar @girishjohar 3m3 minutes ago
#PowerPackedSULTANTrailer @BeingSalmanKhan @AnushkaSharma =>Yeh Dil Maange More !! !!!
Sultan trailer: 5 moments that prove Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma’s film could be the BEST BLOCKBUSTER of the year!
The wrestling drama is directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and produced by YRF.The trailer of the biggest blockbuster of the year (No competition there…since Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees moved to next year) is here!
Salman Khan’s Sultan entered our web stream thanks to a groovy trailer that is easily one of the best trailers edited in recent times. Salman Khan, of course, plays Sultan, a wrestler who has made India proud at national level. Anushka Sharma will be playing the leading lady in the film, and in a fantastic move on the behalf of the makers, she will also be seen playing a wrestler in the film. This is the first time, Salman and Anushka are paired opposite each other.
Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, who previously made Gunday and My Brother Ki Dulhan, and produced by YRF, this could be another blockbuster is Salman Khan’s recent golden run. ….
Trailer is giving a BROTHERS (Akhay’s movie) vibe for me. Again, this more of a Salman show (like any Salman movie these days). Dangal wouldn’t be an Aamir show. Also, that one will have more of a Hirani touch which will make a huge difference.
Salman Khan’s Sultan to BREAK box office records in 2016!
Sultan is going to go beyond expectations. Yes! Having watched the impressive trailer of Sultan, that’s what we feel!
Well, that’s what our in-house expert just told us after the trailer came out!
Every Salman Khan films is usually declared as a blockbuster. Blame it on his star power, the superstar has a massive fan following who make sure his film turns to become the Film Of The Year – best examples being Ek Tha Tiger, Kick, Bajrangi Bhaijaan or his last outing Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Well, but seems like his next film Sultan is going to go beyond expectations. Yes! Having watched the impressive trailer of Sultan, our in house aura reader Anu Gaur strongly predicts that this YRF venture is going to shatter ALL the box office records this time. She believes the energy in the film is going to be so contagious that it’ll easily translate into the box office figures. Also for the fact that the film is based on a wrestler’s life, Anu presumes how children will perhaps enjoy Salman’s act the most. Hmm.. interesting right?
Firstly Arijit should not have apologized and stood his ground since he is already a big star on his own merits. Some sort of dignity should be attached to your character esp if one is an artist of calibre and merit.
This so called incident happened way back in 2014, and he has done well in his own right to be the top singer among the median batch of singers (esp since sonu nigam is not singing anymore ), so this public apology / outburst reeks of desperation to sully / tarnish Salman’s image in his own ‘syaanpanti’ way.Was it an apology or an attempt to play the victim card in public to garner some attention?
Look at few of the lines – ” I don’t know why I am doing this , I know the consequences” and then the end – ” Ps. This whole thing will backfire at me I know. Prayers.”
Personally Arijit and Atif Aslam have the worst & most irritating and repetitive voice out there. He was okay until Wake Up Sid but since then its mostly same apart from that Tum Hi Ho gem.
Thoroughly unimpressed. Total hotchpotch. No style. No director’s signature. Doesn’t seem like an organically developed script. More like a paint by numbers. ‘ Doctor ka shaadi doctor se, engineer ks shadi engineer se, pehalwan ka shadi..’ Can’t imagine more lame writing. And the romance between two pehalwan seems contrived, and is not even such a great idea for romantic or emotional payoff. And I think seeing Salman’s beefcake for so long is a major turn off. All his physical training we have seen in Bhag Milkha bhag. And Salman’s scent and his simpleton act are hopelessly inadequate. And worst of all is Ali Abbas’s listless direction going all over the place. Looks like ‘ ‘Gunday’ with Salman kind of. Will get a great start. But that’s about it.
Agree Rahul content midway has to hold interest for it to have a long inning. Music is an integral part of Salman’s movie and this movie needs at least one chart buster for repeat viewing. Being an action-er, the movie will open huge and has somewhat of a 5 day weekend-holiday spree. I feel it is the opening which will push the final ceiling upwards of 300 cr in any way even if it is a mediocre fare.
Dangal may thump Sultan due to its longevity and prolonged open period in Christmas. Also family / female audience may connect in a big way. The only issue working against that movie is Aamir himself and the lost perception battle due to his uttering. Here the loss for him seems to be on both side of the aisle . There is a section which is determined to settle the issue on the irresponsible babble on nation publicly but now there is another equally vocal group which has seen him trying to double deal and gain favor back and see him weak for not standing up.
He is now also started to get bad press :
5 reasons why Aamir Khan FAILED as a host at the MAMI event with Ian Mckellen
Aamir Khan hammed at the session with Ian Mckellen at the MAMI event held yesterday! Here’s why we say so.
Aamir was struggling with names, ideas and was too engrossed in himself than the Lord Of The Rings’ actor and what he felt about Shakespeare. What could have been an enriching experience for the cinema lovers turned into a ham session, the later part mostly done by Mr Khan.
#No homework done on Ian Mckellen’s background and work
Aamir conveniently forgot to gather basic knowledge about the legendary actor, his work and films. With the result, his ignorance shone through. It was evident that Aamir (who has a usual sense of self assurance about himself) did not spend much time reading up on Ian’s work. He was seen fumbling and ran out of questions too.
#Self praise and gloating
#Lack of interest and a general sense of apathy
Even a novice could gauge that Aamir was a bit disinterested and not very passionate about the session. He hammed throughout and asked him cliched questions to Ian the actor which was far from what we were promised, ie – A discourse on how Shakespeare has influenced the culture and cinema.
Am I the only one who liked the trailor? I thought it was very good. Not an usual Salman movie but one where it gives him very good scope for performing…Anushka looks well cast too…Overall I am sure if even half decent this will be both a critical and commercial success. Also good to see Salman selecting performance oriented roles rather than Kick and Bodyguard types of masala roles…
Very ordinary by any standard but better by Salman’s. However, it is pretty clear now with the trailer that Cash Raj and Salman have been highly unethical in jumping ahead of Aamir’s Dangal as a strategy. [And that is quite unfathomable; Salman is usually a guy with a vengeance and he keeps it for life; howeverm having been pretty well-aware that Aamir was planning a film in the same milieu, went ahead with this one: And his rumored spat with Aamir hasn’t yet reached the Vivek Oberoi or John Abraham level. Cash Raj too of course played dirty, inspite of Aamir’s involvement in D3 [but Cash Raj has been a bully throughout, and that’s at least understandble ].
If you look at the trailer, there is nothing ‘unique’ here in terms of setting versus the content. This is a full-fledged masala movie with Salman, as usual, at the epi-center. The setting could have been anywhere rural [by translation – exotic]; and Salman would still have mouthed those one-liners.
It is pretty much a mish-mash of CDI, ROCKY, and to an extent, GRUDGE MATCH. And at the trailer launch, the director confirmed that it is all a ‘figment’ of his imagination. No biography, no ‘inspiration’ as such.
This will hit DANGAL at least in terms of the novelty of ‘setting.’ However, one satisfying thing still remains that Aamir’s films stay away from being ‘self-porn’ like that of Salman’s.
Lastly, this is directed by Ali or whatever he is called – to paraphrase Dhoni – who directed ‘GAYNDAY.’ That was a loud, ear-splattering, head-ache inducing, one of the WORST assaults to the tradition of masala movies ever – right next to Telugu [interchangeably – south] ‘maslala’ films. That movie could really pass-off as a movie with homo-erotic over-over-tones, and NO undertones..
Sultan (Music review), Hindi – Vishal-Shekhar
Posted by Karthik
Baby ko bass pasand hai starts off folk’ishly and makes good on the hook’s insanely catchy and dance-worthy techno promise! Mika’s 440 Volt is a templatized 90s-style masala track no doubt, but is infused with a lot of punchy sounds and an addictive foot-tapping rhythm. Nooran Sisters close the trio of rhythmic tracks with Tuk tuk – this one has the best punch, and wonderfully enthusiastic rendition by the sisters, while the composers layer everything from dubstep to folk sounds coherently! Rahat Fateh Ali Khan does his usual best in Jag ghoomeya, a pleasant melody with an extra spring in its rhythm, while the female version by Neha Bhasin is a beautiful contrast, with its melancholic feel. Mohit Chauhan and Harshdeep Kaur’s banter-style Sachi muchi is loaded with a lovely and highly enjoyable bluegrass’y feel, while Papon gets a delightful qawali in Bulleya that gains tremendously from his fantastic vocals. The title song is a pulsating guitar showcase, clubbed with Sukhvinder’s impactful singing and Rise of Sultan closes the soundtrack in a euphoric note, with its grand orchestration. Vishal and Shekhar’s comeback soundtrack—if you ignore the one-track Fan—offers and expansive range of songs and makes for a very good listen!
Sultan music review: Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma’s film has a SUPERHIT album!
Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma starrer film Sultan has HUGE expectations at the box office. But with the music out seems like their movie is already a BLOCKBUSTER at least as far as the music is concerned…
“….. We saw Anushka Sharma and Salman’s fun number Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai today and now Salman unveiled the music album of Sultan putting to rest all rumours about Mika Singh’s song being deleted from the film. Once you listen to Sultan‘s music score you will forget all controversies surrounding the film. And yes, the composer duo Vishal – Shekhar can take a bow too coz eight out of these nine tracks are really good. Irshad Kamil manages to keep Salman’s fun image intact and at the same time pens lyrics that will inspire you especially the title track that also doubles up as the background number in the trailer. Read Sultan music review…
Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai (Singers: Vishal Dadlani, Shalmali Kholgade, Ishita, Badshah)
We bet Salman fans have already relished and started grooving to this fun number. Badshah and Vishal’s power packed voice backs Salman’s starry presence in the song. Badshah proves that he’s soon becoming the new Yo Yo Honey Singh of Bollywood, his rap in fact manages to give Salman’s crazy antics the perfect sound of music. Lyrically too the song blends with Khan’s on screen persona and is quirky. So don’t be surprised if you will be hearing this track at pubs, parties, family functions and even at the pandals during Ganeshotsav and Dahi handi.
Jag Ghoomeya – Male (Singer: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan)
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s voice is magic and we bet that his fans will not be disappointed with Jag Ghoomeya. This song was to be originally crooned by Arijit Singh. However, Rahat makes this number his own and he transports you to a different zone with his vocals. The song however has a heard-it-before affect, blame it on Fateh Ali Khan’s choice of songs in the past. But one thing is for sure that when Rahat will playback for Salman there will be no two thoughts about the audience not enjoying this number.
440 Volt (Singer: Mika Singh)
This Mika Singh songs starts on a great note but falters as it progresses. A problem most recent peppy numbers face these days. Now we know that Mika singing a song means a guaranteed hit. This number too shows signs of Mika’s ability to pull off an absolutely average song and make it special, except that the tune ends up becoming a little too different from where it began. However, knowing both Salman and Mika’s popularity this song might also become a popular track from the movie, but we aren’t too impressed with this one.
Sultan title song (Singers: Sukhwinder Singh, Shadab Faridi)
Sukhwinder Singh has given many heroes that one anthem that is energetic and will just pump up the adrenaline and this Sultan track is exactly that. Singh manages to take you straight to Salman’s character and associate with his exact feelings. Shadab Faridi and Sukhwinder find the perfect musical notes in Vishal-Shekhar’s composition and Irshad manages to spin the magic with his words too. This is the song you would wanna have on your Ipod and playlist especially when you’re working out or running, it has the potential to just instigate you to push boundaries. So those seeking inspiration here’s your new anthem.
CUTE! Yes, that’s what this newest Mohit Chauhan song is best described. Harshdeep and Mohit’s rendition is easy on the ears and again an instant mood booster. There’s an element of Kishore Kumar music in this song, guess the mouth organ and bare minimum instruments kind of give this song that special feeling. The romantic number is one that will most definitely become one of the most downloaded tunes. The Silk Route singer manages to give you a feel-good song and we cannot wait to see Anushka-Salman in this one. This is one of the top three songs from the album.
Bulleya (Singer: Papon)
Take a bow Papon, you have rendered one of the most soulful tracks yet again. For those who love the typical Bollywood soothing number here’s our pick. This song manages to touch you and move you, it strikes a chord – Papon’s vocals, Vishal -Shekhar’s music and Irshad’s lyrics together are just perfect. Stop everything and listen to this number right away.
Tuk Tuk (Singers: Nooran Sisters, Vishal Dadlani)
Vishal raps to the Sufi singers – Jyoti Nooran and Sultana Nooran’s rustic voice and the outcome is beautiful. It has the Haryanvi feel that is common throughout the album, but more amplified than the rest of the numbers. The Nooran sisters voice is powerful and packs a punch, while Vishal is a true blue rockstar. This song will make you go Tuk Tuk!
Jag Ghoomeya – Female (Singer: Neha Bhasin)
While Rahat Fateh Ali Khan does full justice to his track, Neha Bhasin’s rendition of Jag Ghoomeya will give you goosebumps. It’s beautifully rendered and Neha manages to hold you with her passionate and heartfelt song.
Rise Of Sultan (Singer: Shekhar Ravjiani)
Shekhar Ravjiani and the chorus team gives a short and upbeat number. Again like Sukhwinder and Shadab’s song this is the high-energy song only the chorus just makes it more impactful.
What to do: Download Sultan songs right away! Yes, there’s a good mix of fun danceable songs and the soulful music. Not to forget there is also music that will inspire. Our top 3 picks are – Rise Of Sultan, Bulleya and Jag Ghoomeya.
Both Aamir and Salman Khan are set to feature as wrestlers in their next film – Dangal and Sultan respectively. The superstars have clarified that the movies however, are very different from each other. However, Sultan director Ali Abbas Zafar mentioned about an uncanny resemblence between the two films, in a recent interview.
He said, “It’s bizarre when I wrote this script, I had no idea that there was any other film that was ever going to get made on wrestling. I wrote this film in 2012, it’s almost four years since. And I can tell you now that the first draft of Sultan was called Dangal. The first 10 pages, which I mailed to Adi, was titled Dangal.”
He added though that Sultan is a much better title for the film. “Yes, because the character was called Sultan, but the journey was about fighting within. Also, the title Sultan was not with us. It was with Ramesh Taurani, and I thought, ‘Yaar, agar nahi milalega toh kya karenge?’ But Taurani gave the title rights up for Salman’s sake.”
He further added, “Dangal means a wrestling competition. When I travelled in Haryana for research in 2012, I would ask people about the matches and they would say, ‘Aaj dangal chaupal pe hai, aaj dangal nadi ke paas hai.’ I just thought ek jo charm tha uss title ka, bahut honest charm tha.”
Nice try by Ali Abbas Zafar. So easy to say — I thought of the idea and name first. Looks more like , YRF and Salman along with this Ali chap have jointly backstabbed Aamir — whose prepping for Dangal began in 2014, when he got the idea for a biopic while researching for the sports episode of Satyamev Jayate ( which featured the Phogat sisters). And Aamir went about the film and role in his slow steady fashion, putting on weight for the role, getting the right girls to play two different age versions of the sisters. Aamir’s physical preparation started in mid- 2014 — which is why his last schedule for PK ( at Nashik) showed him bulked up.
And while the media was talking about Aamir’s preparation for Dangal, early summer 2015, Sultan was suddenly announced with a poster — and not a shot had been canned, no heroine signed up,Salman not physically prepared…nothing, just an a quickly rushed up poster that announced Sultan, Eid 2016.
Except for a few Aamir supporters, nobody found it unethical.
And now this director Ali is trying to spin a righteous explanation that makes this unethical Sultan team look holy and good. What a crock, this Bollywood crowd , fans included.
Heard all the songs from Sultan and it may work with the movie track and Salman mouthing them but at the moment no songs stands out.
Was having high hopes, since Ali Abbas Zafar has a good sense of music going by tracks of both his Gunday and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan……and whatever box office numbers Gunday achieved was due to Tune Maari Entriyaan and Jashne e ishqa. Even MBKD had an instant classic Choomantar and Isq Risk….
Anyway never liked Vishal Shekhar combo and they should have gone with Sajid Wajid or even Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Highlights everything that is wrong with our society, especially as movie-goers. Even while other big stars continue to reinvent themselves like Aamir and Akki, and some like SRK who do it every now n then with varying degrees of success, Salman’s is a very baffling case. Here’s someone who has remained at the top with no talent, no notable skills to speak off, no, half decent flicks, is generally an asshole in real life, holding grudges and letting his massive ego affect people’s lives (Vivek oberoi and now Arijit Singh) while giving chances to someone like Sooraj Pancholi (!), but he’s still the most loved Hindi superstar.
Proves why we are going retard as a nation. We let Salman go off the hook after killing people and use harsh words for Aamir for airing a regular opinion while awaiting Sultan.
Somehow within all the lunacy on twitter, KRK coined a perfect phrase for opinion makers like the above piece – 2Rs. People!
As someone said – A negative judgment gives you more satisfaction than praise, provided it smacks of jealousy. As far as people like Salman are concerned, I am happy they never come out giving interviews to defend themselves for all the pettiness surrounding them or waste time clearing rubbish written about them.
Sometime one wonders what kind of people Iqbal had in mind while writing these lines
“Khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqder se pehle
Khuda bande se khud pooche bata teri raza kya hai.”
Opinion makers also have one thing in common. They believe their opinion to be the most sane while supposing everyone else is an idiot. So what they resort to is personal remarks instead of commenting on the topic under question with counterarguments.
And Just because Salman doesn’t care about what people say of him doesn’t make him an inspiration. Or a “dil ka acha” as the article says.
On a burning-hot afternoon last month, I found myself bawling my guts out in a Times Square movie theater. I was watching “Sultan,” a nearly three-hour-long Bollywood extravaganza that was released in July and is already one of the highest grossing Indian films ever.
I am forever second-guessing my relationship with Bollywood. The films are simultaneously operatic, commercial and jingoistic. I fancy myself a connoisseur of more subtle emotions, and so it’s natural that I recoil from these melodramas that try, as Salman Rushdie once said, “to contain the whole of life.” And yet there I was, swallowed up in the middle of the afternoon by this behemoth of a film — with rollicking dance numbers — about a former Olympic wrestler from a small town trying to make a comeback in the big city as a fighter on TV. …..”
“…There is something about a big, popular art form that dramatizes a society’s deepest tensions that I find desperately moving. In the West, this is the kind of heavy lifting that was once the preserve of the novel — think of Dickens and Balzac. But in India, Bollywood alone deals with our society’s inner tension, its fault lines and frictions.
Beneath the overlay of song and plot is the vein of something deadly serious. The place to look for this is not in the face of the hero but in the face of the villain. The Bollywood villain is the embodiment of what India believes ails India. Over the years, the cast of villains has included British colonizers with shaved heads and icy blue eyes; decadent feudal landlords; drug kingpins with amber-tinted sunglasses; corrupt politicians in starched white kurtas; and, naturally, terrorists of every stripe. But in a spate of recent films, the villain has taken the form of India’s own inner demons as the country negotiates an anguished transition to global modernity.”
[I agree with very little in this piece. In more general terms Taseer doesn’t really describe contemporary Bollywood. It would be better in this sense talking about Tamil or Telugu cinema or an older Hindi cinema. For some of Salman’s films this holds but this brand of masala is still mostly the exception when it comes to Hindi cinema. In other words Bollywood is precisely the industry that by and large does not reflect the ‘fault-lines’ of its society except for a very rarefied group of viewers. Sultan too is symptomatic in this sense. This is desi Rocky if you will. A poster film for the contradictions of Modi-fied India where the colonizer can be beaten at his game only by returning to a certain ‘nativism’ (the ‘chaiwala’ as ultimate ambassador for India’s globalization moment). Put differently within this globalized order various nativisms become the ultimate means of ‘belonging’. There is the Indian chapter, the Chinese chapter, the Turkish one and so on. These ‘traditions’ are preserved as various local exotica underlining a universal-triumphalist vision of global capital. All native traditions are welcome and confirm the original hypothesis. Now I certainly understand the potency of this move in popular culture. The Lagaan moment if you will. Beating the colonizer at his game without following necessarily all his ‘rules’ or certainly the ethical underpinnings of the same. But Lagaan is a poetic fairy tale whereas Sultan is about crude chest-beating. And here too Taseer is problematic. “civilizational anger” takes different forms in different cultures. Or the response to this sort of global cultural hegemony, the contradictory spaces occupied by the colonized one way or the other, these are differently framed in different contexts. It would be great if the manifestation of “civilizational anger” in contemporary India were restricted to the crude jingoisms of Sultan (it would be a pretty harmless phenomenon in that case) but (and unfortunately) that is hardly the case. Islamist violence is a category all its own because it’s so ‘global’. At the same time it is as colonized in its violence as any other form of resistance that Taseer presumably prefers. In much the same way Hindutva is another such totally colonized response and for instance the politics of Erdogan in Turkey is yet another. And one could go around the world in this sense. It would be an easy world if certain forms of civilizational anger could simply be released by way of popular entertainment. But the latter is always symptomatic. Much as in the 70s the ‘violence’ of those movies was equally a symptom of much greater unease and economies of violence in the nation. Finally I’d say Taseer almost offers a hopelessly seamless view of the processes of colonization (in his idealized version). This is a total fantasy. And surprising coming from this author given his work elsewhere. I can only surmise that he was moved enough by Sultan to engage in a rather spontaneous piece which offers some interesting ideas but isn’t really well thought out.]
Have not read the author’s other work, but do agree this seemed like a rushed piece and I had difficulties in understanding his point of view and seemed borne more out of nostalgia than anything else….which to be fair he did admit somewhere in the piece itself.
India as a country is extremely diverse both on a cultural & economical level for it to be captured within a single mode and be accurately reflected in hindi films. Mainstream cinema is more aspirational in nature than an exercise to potray reality. However to be fair except for last few years, bollywood has aptly reflected the transformation of the Indian psyche from a post-colonial medley of politeness to the confident global Indian of present century.
Further, I don’t think you can simply discard Sultan as crude chest beating when compared to Lagaan. There is such a contrast in the physicality of the sport itself and I guess that may have given you reasons to call it jingoist. The film is much more nuanced than anything Salman has done before and I am still disappointed with the film’s run at the box office.
On a different note what was pleasing to note which Rocky too had mentioned in his brief comment after watching the movie was it never even for a moment tried to type cast any Islamic symbol which bollywood does so very often with Muslim characters …..creating the stereotypical image of muslim characters replete with peculiar forms of cultural symbols like beard and caps besides portraying the muslims either as feudal landlords,villains and gangsters. Further Sultan goes a step ahead in showing Sultan’s character effortlessly blurting “Bharat Mata ki Jaye’ which is not only beyond the pale for certain sections of the society but is definitely unmentionable for some (going by internet chatter).
Something similar was also tried in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, a bollywood mainstream to very good effect without ruffling feathers, where characters on both sides of the borders were shown chanting Jai Shri Ram / Allah… vice versa. I have always felt if no outside meddling is done religion in India is very area specific and more seeped in nativity than anything else.