The Common Man Speaks

25Sep/160

Uri Attack Reactions: 7 questions for Social Media Warriors

By: Keyur Seta

More than a week ago, we experienced a mix of tragedy and anger when 17 Indian soldiers were martyred at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir during a cross border attack by terrorists belonging to Pakistan. Needless to say, it is infuriating to see such news and the people behind this should be punished. It is high time Pakistan’s government, especially Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif come out openly against these cowardly acts and stop giving shelter to 26/11 attack mastermind, Hafeez Saeed.

However, this has given rise to demands from the aam junta that range from weird to extremely outrageous. Here are 6 questions to these Deshbhakts who seem to know everything as to how to handle this situation.

 

Picture: Stylewhack.com

Picture: Stylewhack.com

How can you ‘demand’ war?

We have seen people demanding food, clothing, shelter, justice, elimination of corruption, etc. But these days there has been a rising demand for war. In fact, a lot of people have been threatening the government on the issue. I have also read posts where people are giving deadlines to Indian government to wage a war. Seriously? People should understand that waging a war against a nation is not as simple as Bichhoo gang attacking Eagles gang like they did in Josh (1998).

I remember how some leaders from the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, went too far in making some sweeping statements of teaching Pakistan a lesson when they were in the opposition. But that doesn’t mean you force them to attack Pakistan just because you are against BJP.

I don’t have any knowledge on how to deal with the situation. But I personally feel that the way other countries, including Afghanistan and Russia, are openly backing India against Pakistan sponsored terrorists is a positive sign.

Will you join the army?

It is easy to sit in your air-conditioned homes and post messages on social media with hashtags like #AttackPakistan. I have only one question to these people – Will you or any of your family members be joining the army to stop bullets from the other side? Some of you would give daily soap reactions even if asked to take the local train to central suburbs during peak hours. The question also goes out to ‘journalists’ like Arnab Goswami.

Waging a war would also mean that thousands of our soldiers would lose their lives. A war victory is a result of such extreme sacrifices. If you love our army, why haven’t you thought of this point?

Ever considered monetary factor?

Do you even know the amount of money we have spent in war? In 1971, it was Rs 200 crore. In the years to follow, the price of war artillery shot up to such an extent that the 1999 Kargil war cost us a staggering Rs 5000 crore PER WEEK. So, it is anybody’s guess as to how much it would cost us in 2016. Are we in a position to spend such unthinkable amount on war? You can imagine the increase in taxes if this happens. See more info HERE.

Fawad Khan (Picture: Dnaindia.com)

Fawad Khan (Picture: Dnaindia.com)

Will war solve the problem?

We won the 1999 Kargil War. But did it stop cross-border terrorism? It resumed after the war and we are still suffering. So, how can you guarantee that waging a war against Pakistan will solve the problem? More importantly, if the war takes place, our army would be fighting against Pakistan Army. The terrorists won’t take part, so finishing them off in the war is out of question. They would resume their activities once the war is over. What difference would it make to them if Pakistan loses the war? They are carrying out guerilla war, for God’s sake.

How is Award Wapsi issue related to this?

A message has gone viral on social media and What's App asking where is the Award Wapsi Brigade. Why no awards are returned as a reaction to the Uri attack? Well, the question itself is laughable. People returned their awards to protest against the government for the intolerance by Right Wing and BJP members. Nobody is returning their awards right now because they don't believe our government has any hand in carrying out the attacks. Do you really feel they are behind Uri attacks? Funnily enough, the question is raised by BJP supporters.

How is Fawad Khan responsible?

Imagine this – We boycott Pakistani artists from performing in India to ‘send across a message’ to Pakistani government. Do you think they would even care? Would they rethink their strategy by this move? The artists are earning here through legal means and it is not against the law to employ Pakistani actors. If you have the guts, try changing the law if you are so sure that it would affect the anti-India forces.

There is a demand for the banning of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees since the film involves Pakistani actors. This is to remind all those people that Happy Bhag Jayegi is still playing in theatres. Nobody has demanded a ban on this film although it has a Pakistani playing one of the leads. This easily proves how they target only films with big stars to earn their 15 minutes of fame.

How different is your mind than that of the terrorists?

I am quite shocked to see well-educated people demanding to kill each and every Pakistani. What are you smoking these days? Terrorists kill innocents. And in reply, you wish to do the same. So, basically there is no difference in the content of your mind and that of the terrorists. I am not at all sorry to say that you aren’t fit to be called human if you feel good to see innocents die. And if you believe each and every person in Pakistan is a terrorist, you seriously need a reality check.

A family mourns the death of a kid killed in the terrorist attack in Pakistan in December 2014. (Picture: America.aljezeera.com)

A family mourns the death of a kid killed in the terrorist attack in Pakistan in December 2014. (Picture: America.aljezeera.com)

9Sep/160

From Khiladi to Rustom: Akshay Kumar’s road to versatility

By: Keyur Seta

When we think of biggest Bollywood superstars, we think of Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. But now, it is slowly becoming evident that this elite list would be incomplete without the mention of Akshay Kumar. The Khiladi, as he is known, has slowly gained support even of the sensible audience through his choice of films and performances. While doing this, Akshay has also transformed into a versatile actor.

On his 49th Birthday, let’s have a look at his road to versatility starting from the start of his career.

akshay-khiladiArrival of Khiladi:

Akshay Kumar entered the Hindi film arena with Mahesh Bhatt’s Aaj (1987), where he made an appearance as a Karate instructor. His full-fledged debut happened with Saugandh (1991). But he hasted success for the first time with Abbas-Mustan’s Khiladi (1992). He wouldn’t have expected then that the title would stay with him for the rest of his career. From here onwards, he came to be known as Bollywood’s action hero. While Sunny Deol too shares this title, Akshay is much more than physical fight sequences. He is also known for performing dangerous stunts all by himself.

Funnily enough, after Khiladi, there has been only two occasions where a film with ‘Khiladi’ in the title has worked for him – Sameer Malkan’s Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994) and David Dhawan’s Mr & Mrs Khiladi (1997). Even Khiladi 786, which released when he was an established superstar in 2012, didn’t work at the box-office. But somehow, the Khiladi tag is always attached to him with respect.

The romantic phase:

During Akshay’s Khiladi phase, very few would have related him with romantic characters. But he ventured in this territory with a considerable amount of success. It all started with Yash Chopra’s production, Yeh Dillagi (1994). But nobody would have expected him to appear in Yash Chopra’s romantic blockbuster, Dil Toh Pagal Hai (1997). In fact, he also got the honour of singing the title song of the film.

But it was in 2000 that his biggest success as a romantic hero came with Dharmesh Darshan’s Dhadkan. His love affair (literally) continued with films like Ek Rishtaa – The Bond Of Love (2001), Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya (2002), Bewafa (2005), Waqt – The Race Against Time (2005), Jaan-E-Mann (2006), Namastey London (2007), etc.

Interest in conflict:

Akshay also kept getting opportunities to act in the drama genre. These are films about conflict basically, sometimes based on some social issue. He quietly made a mark in this genre in the late 1990s and early 2000s with, Angaaray (1998), Sangharsh (1999), Jaanwar (1999), Ek Rishtaa (2001), etc. But what can be considered a landmark film in this genre, not only for Akshay but for commercial Hindi cinema, was Abbas-Mustan’s Aitraaz (2004). Films with such bold themes were unheard of in that era. Perhaps it would have done even better had it not released with Yash Chopra’s directorial, Veer-Zaara.

Picture: Pinterest.com

Picture: Pinterest.com

King of comedy:

Although Akshay had displayed his comic timing in a large number of films, his first full-fledged comedy was Priyadarshan’s Hera Pheri (2000). But his proper comedy phase began in 2007 when he did Heyy Baby and Welcome. This was followed with Singh Kinng (2008), Kambakkht Ishq (2009), De Dana Dan (2009) and Housefull (2010) in the coming years. Hence, he became the torch bearer of this whacky comedy genre that had emerged then.

Silent patriotism:

In the modern era, Sunny Deol became the king of patriotic films with his hardcore and loud actions films like Gadar – Ek Prem Katha (2001), Indian (2001) and Maa Tujhe Salaam (2002). In the last few years, he has been replaced by Akshay. But there is a huge difference between the patriotism of both actors. While Sunny replied on loud monologues and rhetoric, Akshay is a cool-minded patriot. He creates the effect through his mature acting skills and the content of his films.

This phase arrived simply out-of-the-blue. His hero-centric masala entertainers weren’t scoring high at the box-office [(Joker, 2012), (Khiladi 786, 2012), (Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara, 2013) and (Boss, 2013)], although his thriller Special 26 (2013) succeeded. But A R Murugadoss’ Holiday – A Soldier Is Never Off Duty (2014) brought a positive change for him. He acquired an image of patriotic star with, Baby (2015), Gabbar Is Back (2015), Airlift (2016) and last month’s Rustom (2016).

These films also succeeded in overtaking some average box-office performers like, It’s Entertainment (2014), The Shaukeens (2014), Brothers (2015) and Singh Is Bliing (2015).

28Aug/160

Lonavala, monsoon and mountains…

By: Keyur Seta

For a Mumbai resident, visiting Lonavala is no big deal as the hill station is close by. But I had never visited the place in monsoon, although I have heard plenty of times about the magic the place creates during that time of the year. It's just that it never happened, until a couple of days ago when our office took us to that place for a picnic.

As soon as we even reached the outskirts of Lonavala, I was amazed by the scenic beauty of the place which went few notches higher due to the monsoons. Thankfully it was raining throughout our stay of two days. Despite visiting the place quite a few times in my life, it appeared different this time due to the rains. The scenes of fog on mountain peaks is something I can't stop thinking.

Do see the pictures yourself (Click to enlarge the pictures).

 

IMG_20160827_124455286

Lonavala 2016

Lonavala in monsoon

Lonavala in rains

Lonavala mountains

Lonavala photos

Lonavala

20Aug/161

These are the people P V Sindhu and Sakshi Malik defeated indirectly

By: Keyur Seta

Badminton player P V Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik have managed to save the face of the country at the ongoing Rio Olympics 2016 by winning a Silver and Bronze medal respectively. They came to India’s rescue when its medal tally was 0.

P V Sindhu (Picture: Hindustan Times)

P V Sindhu (Picture: Hindustan Times)

But what makes their feat more special is that it has come at a time when people from our political class and people from some ‘social’ organizations have been openly endorsing sexist views. So, in my opinion, they have defeated these bigots in such a way that now they have no place to hide their faces.

Just like the list of winners, here is a list of losers (quite literally) and the statements that ensured their rise to fame (read: shame).

 

“A girl should be married off after she turns 18. By the time they turn 25, they become so mature that they don’t listen to anyone… Girls’ feet are not on the ground due to education. Is it necessary for a girl to be adamant and run after her career? People talk about men-women equality. But is it possible to hide the weakness provided by nature?” - A leader of the group DURGA VAHINI (an arm of Vishwa Hindu Parishad)

(Watch from 3:50 onwards)

“Women’s duty is to carry out household chores.” - MOHAN BHAGWAT, RSS Chief

“If you want freedom, why don’t they just roam around naked? Freedom has to be limited. These short clothes are western influences. Our country's tradition asks girls to dress decently.” - MANOHAR LAL KHATTAR, Chief Minister of Haryana

“Women should dress in a way that earns them respect.” - KAILASH VIJAYVARGIYA, National General Secretary, BJP

“Girls night out is against Indian culture.” - MAHESH SHARMA, India’s Culture (???) Minister

“A girl should go out either with her husband or brother.” - ABU AZMI, Samajwadi Party Maharashtra President

(Feel free to add more if you come across any)

Sakshi Malik (Picture: Indian Express)

Sakshi Malik (Picture: Indian Express)

P V SINDHU Interview

14Aug/162

Short story: The Anti-National

By: Keyur Seta

The early sunrise succeeded in making its way in an otherwise cloudy month of August. The day marked the arrival of India’s 69th Independence Day. It seemed that the energetic group of people at Shiv Shakti Society in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park area was just waiting for the first rays to commence preparations for the Independence Day celebrations.

The group consisted people from all age groups and both genders. The only common factor that united them was their traditional attire neatly worn.

The folded national flag was slowly getting tied on the pole amid the playing of patriotic songs like ‘Mere Desh Ki Dharti,’ ‘Jai Janani Jai Bharat Ma,’ ‘Mera Rang De Basanti Chola,’ ‘Aye Watan Aye Watan,’ etc.

A figure emerged from the building oblivious to the events around him. He was in his early 20s wearing three-fourths and a T-shirt. This, along with long hair and unshaven face easily made him the odd man out. He looked disinterested in the proceedings around him as he listened to ‘Kala Chashma’ in his earphones. This didn’t go down well with the crowd present, which gave him a look of contempt. Some were also offended by the absence of tricolor on his T-shirt.

Indian FlagAn uncle in his 50s emerged in front of him greeting him through a hand gesture. The boy removed his earphones and smiled. The man said, “Come, join us for the Independence Day celebrations. Almost everyone from the society is here.” The youngster simply said, “Sorry, but I need to go somewhere.”

A middle-aged woman added, “Come on beta, it’s our country’s independence day!” The boy, now uncomfortable, replied, “I know aunty. But I have some other plans.” A couple of people also tried convincing him but in vain. Finally, he walked away out of the compound plugging his earphones.

This enraged most of the people in the group as they started criticizing him among themselves. “Well, these are today’s youngsters. What else do you expect?” “No respect for the country.” “He must have gone to meet his girlfriend.” “Did you see how he was dressed?”

The uncle, who had stopped him, added thunderously, “Such people are anti-nationals!” Everyone present agreed with him wholeheartedly.

The atmosphere cooled down in few minutes and they got ready for flag hoisting. Everyone present passionately sung India’s national anthem after the eldest member of the society unfurled the flag. Chants of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ followed. They chit-chatted for some time after wishing ‘Happy Independence Day’ to each other.

Some 30 kilometers away at an orphanage in Andheri, a group of kids were eagerly awaiting Krishna bhaiya and his friends. They visited every August 15 and January 26 to serve them delicious meals and donate some amount to the trustees of the orphanage. The kids didn’t need to wait long as they could see Krishna, along with few others, crossing the road outside their gate. He was still listening to ‘Kala Chashma.’

Back at Shiv Shakti Society, the group of patriots retired to their respective flats after the function. They spent the rest of the day doing activities like watching TV, surfing the net, going for shopping, watching movies, eating at a nearby restaurants, meeting friends over drinks, etc.

Just before midnight, Krishna, the odd man from the society, smiled as he thought about the events of the day. As he closed his eyes satisfactorily, he remembered the words of his late father, “Never announce or publicize charity. If you do, it no longer remains charity.”

Do not stand on a high pedestal and take five cents in your hand and say, “Here, my poor man”; but be grateful that the poor man is there, so that by making a gift to him you are able to help yourself. It is not the receiver that is blessed, but it is the giver. Be thankful that you are allowed to exercise your power of benevolence and mercy in the world, and thus become pure and perfect.

- Swami Vivekananda

14Aug/162

Mohenjo Daro Review

By: Keyur Seta

The title Mohenjo Daro gives an indication of the film to be an ancient historical saga. However, even before the interval point, you realize that the name is misleading. But having said this, the Ashutosh Gowariker film has few things that make it an average fare, more so for the lovers of formulaic Hindi films.

Story (without spoilers): The story takes place in 2016 BC. Sarman (Hrithik Roshan) is a brave and adventurous farmer living in the northwest region of India with his aunt and uncle. He is eager to visit the land beyond the mountain – the city of Mohenjo Daro. But he is never allowed by his aunt and uncle due to some reason. They don’t succeed in stopping him much though and hesitantly allow him to visit the place to sell their produce.

Sarman is mesmerized by Mohenjo Daro. But he gets a strange déjà vu feeling. He soon realizes the dark underbelly of the city ruled by the evil Mahaam (Kabir Bedi). Sarman feels like returning but his liking towards a young girl, Chaani (Pooja Hegde) and his gut feeling ask him to stay back.

Mohenjo-Daro-posterPlusses:

- The fast screenplay doesn’t give you much time to think much. The story is narrated quite smartly.

- For the first time, Govariker has tried such raw fight scenes and has managed to pull them off pretty well. He is ably supported by the stunt choreographer. The fight scene in the second half deserves special mention for the seeti-bajao effect it produces.

- The hugely difficult task of recreating a period as old as this one is carried out with some degree of conviction, although few sets don’t suit the era at all.

- The camerawork falls in the good category while the background score succeeds in producing the effect.

- The justification for using Hindi as the language and the manner of justifying it is intelligently done.

- The film is relevant in today’s era as it touches topics like power hunger, hypocrite leaders of state, corruption, democracy, free speech and people power.

- Mohenjo Daro rides high on Hrithik Roshan’s shoulders and he delivers a convincing act. He keeps the film alive. Manish Chaudhary, Naina Trivedi (Chaani’s friend), Suhasini Mulay, Narendra Jha, Sharad Kelkar and few others offer good support. Kabir Bedi is decent as the bad guy while Arunoday Singh, as his son, is average.

Minuses:

- The biggest problem with Mohenjo Daro is the title. The film is like a typical cliché-ridden Hindi potboiler with hardly any relevance to that era. In other words, the story could have taken place anywhere and in any time zone.

- The climax tries justifying the title and the scenes are overwhelming too. However, the idea turns out to be silly.

- The events in the second half are too convenient.

- The basic plot is a mixture of Baahubali and Agneepath.

- Quite a few times the behavior of the characters is illogical and silly.

- A R Rahman’s music produces a couple of hummable tracks but that’s it.

- Pooja Hegde is a disappointment as she lacks acting skills. Her weird attire makes it worse.

Overall: Mohenjo Daro can be seen once if you enjoy Bollywood masala films. It has some chance of earning decent in the first weekend at the box-office. But the budget of over Rs 100 crore and tough competition from Rustom will ensure it faces huge losses.

Rating: * * ½

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker

Producers: UTV Motion Pictures and AGPPL

Writers: Ashutosh Gowariker

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Kabir Bedi, Pooja Hegde, Arunoday Singh, Manish Chaudhary, Naina Trivedi

Music: A R Rahman

Genre: Period drama

Runtime: 155 minutes

7Aug/160

Box-Office Prediction: Will Rustom outsmart Mohenjo Daro?

By: Keyur Seta

The biggest box-office clash of 2016 is here – Rustom vs Mohenjo Daro. The big question on people’s minds is as to which film will outsmart the other at the box office. The prediction, going by the buzz created by the trailers, is that Akshay Kumar’s Rustom will emerge victorious.

The reasons for this are follows:-

Rustom-Mohenjo-Daro-- Over the last few years, Akshay Kumar has gained a lot of respect from the lovers of sensible cinema as well after doing films like Special 26, Holiday – A Soldier Is Never Off Duty, Baby, Gabbar Is Back and Airlift.

-- There has been keen anticipation for Rustom as this is yet another tie-up between Akshay and Neeraj Pandey after Special 26 and Baby (although Pandey is only the producer here).

-- The eagerness, due to the above mentioned points, has gone many notches higher after the trailer of Rustom released. It has instantly received thumbs-up from the audience. Hence, half the battle is won.

-- On the other hand, there was keen anticipation for Mohenjo Daro due to the re-teaming of Ashutosh Gowariker, Hrithik Roshan and A R Rahman. But the first trailer of the film has given rise to negative buzz (although personally I have liked it). The subsequent songs, which aren’t bad, haven’t helped the cause.

-- The film is already being panned for getting its facts and costumes wrong.

Due to all these factors, it would have been wise for the makers of Mohejo Daro to postpone the film. Now, the only hope for it to emerge victorious at the box-office is to super impress with its content and receive positive word-of-mouth. Else the film is doomed.

Going by few scenes in the trailers, there seems to be a punar janam (reincarnation) angle in the film. Such surprise elements can be the trump card.

Although Rustom is expected to earn very well if it gets a positive response, don’t even think of comparing its collections with Sultan, the year’s biggest box-office hit so far. The only film that can prove to be a threat for the Salman Khan starrer is Aamir Khan’s Dangal.

23Jul/160

Half Ticket (Marathi movie) Review

The last decade has seen a number of Marathi films that can be relished by a PAN India audience. But there have also been some with international appeal. Director Samit Kakkad’s Half Ticket clearly belongs to the latter category. It has the potential of bringing a smile to anyone who has a heart.

Half Ticket is the official remake of the Tamil film, Kakka Muttai. It follows the story of two kids (Shubham More and Vinayak Potdar) from Dharavi, Mumbai’s slum hub. With their father languishing in jail and mother (Priyanka Bose) earning a paltry sum from her sewing job, they literally live from hand-to-mouth.

As the kids get their nourishment from eating crow eggs, they are nicknamed, Motha Kawlyacha Anda and Chhota Kawlyacha Anda. They try to make ends meet by selling coal from railway tracks. An incident introduces them with pizza, a variety they were unaware of before. Besotted by its look and smell, relishing pizza becomes the sole aim of their life. But how will they afford a dish which is luxurious by their standards?

Half-Ticket-Marathi-movieA large number of Mumbai population lives in slums. The living condition over their will give a sad shock to people from the outside world. The film provides this feeling by bringing a truly realistic depiction of the life in slum. This is an enormous achievement for the director since shooting a feature film in such conditions can be a nightmare for those not accustomed to it.

But for a film to work it is mandatory for it to be high on storytelling and this is exactly what Half Ticket achieves. As the kids go about their daily activities and chasing their desires, you can’t help but root for them. This was also possible since the screenplay doesn’t go off-track whatsoever. This ensures that the film says a lot without saying much, more so during the heart-warming climax.

Half Ticket does come with a few issues. A couple of incidents don't seem completely convincing and the length could have been a bit shorter. On few occasions in the first half, the roadside noise in the background overpowers the dialogues. Thankfully, these points are overshadowed by the plusses.

The technical has department played a large role in making the final product of international caliber. It is difficult to ignore Sanjay Memame’s (DoP) creative shots. The songs, used in the background, go well with the theme. But it is the pleasurable background score that stays with you for long.

The film rides high on performances, which is vital for such subjects. Shubham More and Vinayak Potdar have surrendered to their characters with utmost dedication. Lest not forget the conditions in which they shot.

Priyanka Bose, who makes her Marathi film debut, also gets into the skin of her character. Despite being a non-Marathi, she shows conviction while speaking the language. Usha Naik, as the grandmother, Bhalchandra Kadam, as the kids' friend, also chip in with earnest performances.

Overall:Half Ticket is an honestly made film about kids, which will appeal to grown-ups as well. It has a chance of doing well at the box-office provided it receives word-of-mouth. The only danger it faces is Rajinikanth’s Kabali.

Director: Samit Kakkad

Producers: Video Palace

Writers: M Manikandan (original story), Dnyanesh Zoting,

Cast: Shubham More, Vinayak Potdar, Priyanka Bose, Usha Naik, Bhalchandra Kadam

Music: G V Prakash Kumar

Genre: Drama

Release date: July 22, 2016

Runtime: 114 minutes

Rating: * * * ½

By: Keyur Seta

7Jul/160

Sultan Review

The story of a fallen hero who fights back can be predictable. This is more applicable in the case of Ali Abbas Zafar’s Sultan since the makers revealed almost everything in the trailer. However, this doesn’t turn out to be a hindrance since the predictability is enjoyable and moving due to various factors.

Sultan revolves around Sultan (Salman Khan), who lives a happy-go-lucky life in Rewari, Haryana while working as a dish TV operator. His eyes fall on Arfa (Anushka Sharma), a wrestler, and he instantly falls for her. In order to win her love, he learns wrestling and goes onto become an Olympic Gold Medalist for India. But one incident ensures he loses everything. How will Sultan fight back?

Sultan-posterThere is no doubt that Sultan is about wrestling. But it’s more about various internal battles the protagonist is fighting against himself. And the film rises to a high level because this aspect is taken care of very smartly. Hence, you start rooting for Sultan, even if you are not a Salman fan. These factors ensure you don’t mind the predictability, even in the climax, which produces a deep impact.

But Sultan satisfies more in the second half. This doesn’t mean that the first half is bad. It’s just that the important turns in the tale aren’t justified completely. For example, Sultan’s love track is hugely important but the manner in which he falls in love is quite immature. The typical 90s method of the hero stalking and troubling the girl is passed off as romance. A couple of other important incidents too are not fully convincing. Thankfully, the various plus points of the second half won’t let you think much of these points.

Music wise (Vishal-Shekhar), Sultan is a rare case of all songs being impressive. As they are placed as per the situation, none of them appear forced. The title song and ‘Jag ghoomeya’ are the best of the lot. Sultan also impresses in the technical department (camerawork, background score and editing). The stunt director deserves high praise for the high number of wrestling scenes.

Lastly, it is Salman Khan’s dedicated performance that plays a large role in creating the heartwarming effect. This character would have been challenging for any actor, both in terms of acting skills and the physical exertion. The hard-work he put in is clearly visible. Although not his best but clearly one of his best acts.

To highly impress in a film that celebrates Salman is a big feat and this is exactly what Anushka Sharma achieves with a powerful act. Although she doesn’t quite appear like a wrestler, she doesn’t let it show. As Salman’s best friend Govind, Anant Sharma is highly impressive. He is sure to become famous in the coming days. Amit Sadh too is likeable as the owner of Pro Wrestling Federation. Kumud Mishra, as Sultan’s coach, delivers yet another skilful act. The various other supporting actors, including Randeep Hooda, too play their part well.

Overall: Sultan is a powerfully moving saga. It is sure to earn huge collections at the box-office. On the first day itself the film has earned around Rs 38 crore, despite the day not turning out to be Eid.

Rating: * * * 1/2

Director: Ali Abbas Zafar

Producers: Yash Raj Films

Writer: Ali Abbas Zafar

Cast: Salman Khan, Anushka Sharma, Anant Sharma, Amit Sadh, Kumud Mishra, Randeep Hooda

Music: Vishal Shekhar

Genre: Drama

Runtime/ Length: 170 minutes

3Jul/160

Sultan Box-Office: How many records will the Salman Khan starrer break?

Salman Khan’s Sultan is just three days away from release. The excitement for the film is phenomenal to say the least. In fact, the anticipation is simply crazy. This can be seen from the terrific advance booking sales today, the day when the booking started. The online booking too is going the remarkable way.

So, the basic question shouldn’t be whether the film will be a blockbuster. It should rather be as to how many box-office records (in India) Sultan would set. Let’s explore the prediction.

Sultan-posterHighest first day collection: This record is in the name of Shah Rukh Khan’s Happy New Year, which earned Rs 44 crore on the opening day. Going by the sheer excitement, the Eid holiday and the fact that it’s releasing in more than 3500 screens, Sultan is likely to beat this record.

Highest opening weekend: Salman’s own Prem Ratan Dhan Payo holds this record as it amassed Rs 129 crore in its first weekend. But the film was released on Friday while Sultan will see the light of day on Wednesday. Hence, there is every possibility of it setting a new record in this category too. Trade pundits have predicted the film to gather Rs 150 crore in the first weekend.

Salman’s biggest box-office hit: Bajrangi Bhaijaan tops the list here with Rs 319 crore. Although Sultan is all set to become a blockbuster, the prediction whether or not it will beat BB can be made only after knowing its word-of-mouth.

Biggest box-office hit of all time: Aamir Khan’s PK currently relishes this position with Rs 338 crore. Over here too content will solely decide whether Sultan will become a film with the highest box-office collections ever. The prediction over here depends only on the content.

So, all eyes are set on Wednesday July 6, 2016 to see whether history will be created at the Indian box-office.