Karthi is one of the few Tamil actors who have good market in Telugu. Paired opposite him in the film was Rashmika Mandanna who is one of the most sought after actress in Telugu and the film marks her debut in Tamil. Karthi’s last film Donga was a flop, though there were good expectations on Sulthan as trailer got good response.
A Robotics Engineer Vikram aka Sulthan (Karthi), son of a gangster Sethupathi (Napolean) wishes to setup his own firm. He is raised by a group of ruthless henchmen, after the demise of his mother. He decides to transform and teach them to live as civilized people, after his father’s death. Police commissioner warns to encounter, if any police case is filed against them in next 6 months. Karthi leaves from Vizag to Amaravathi where he falls in love with Rukmini (Rashmika Mandanna). Karthi has other challenge that he needs to fulfill his father’s last wish of protecting the villagers from a local rowdy (KGF fame Ramachandra Raju).
Inspired by the Hindu Epic Mahabharata, the film has shades of several Telugu films such as Srimanthudu, Baahubali etc. What if Lord Krishna stands by Kaurava’s side, there would be no war. That’s the line of the film. Leaving all his luxuries aside, protagonist goes all the way to a small time village which is similar to Srimanthudu’s story. Differences between brothers for the power remind us of Baahubali. The rowdy batch coming to save the lives of villagers and doing farming is lifted from Akira Kurosowa’s Seven Samurai. Still, the film is watchable because of commercial style of making. There is scope to do more as the storyline offers to include fun and commercial elements. Director Bakkiyaraj Kannan took cinematic liberty in many places. However, it’s pleasing to eyes to see 100 rowdies standing behind Karthi who appears like 100 heads of Ravana.
Sathyan Sooryan’s cinematography is a big asset, while Yuvan Shankar Raja takes the film to next level with his background score. Vivek-Mervin scored songs and a romantic melody is treat to watch on screen. Editing by Ruben adds to negatives. Production values of Dream Warrior Pictures are high in standard.
Coming to performances, Karthi is too good in the role of a youngster who is on a mission to bring change in his rowdy brothers. He steals the show with action-packed performance. Rashmika Mandanna is cool as a village belle. She played a de-glamorous role and looks apt in it. Napolean and Lal played their parts efficiently. Ramachandra Raju of KGF fame gets another powerful role and he did a fantastic job. Yogi Babu gives comic relief here and there.
Too Many Inspirations
Weak Romantic Track
The Hindu Epic Mahabharata is the inspiration for many star directors to make commercial films. Still, there is enough scope to make numerous commercial films based on the epic. Director Bakkiyaraj Kannan definitely penned the story based on Mahabharat, but he altered it to give a fresh feel. While in Mahabharata, Krishna gives his support to Pandavas, wherein in Sulthan Krishna stands by Kaurava’s side. Apparently, the director intends to say that there wouldn’t be a Kurukshetram had Krishna brought change in Kauravas.
The film begins with introduction of Napolean as a gangster and his henchmen as all they have dinner together. After giving birth to Karthi, Napolean’s wife passes away. The childhood episodes show how Karthi becomes a prince for all the henchmen. An attack in house where many of the rowdy batch gets injured, followed by his father’s sudden demise, bring change in Karthi who decides to reform his rowdy brothers. They leave to a small time village and the romantic track of Karthi and Rashmika is not so charming. After high drama in vegetable market, interval is bang on with Karthi himself taking on the villain with his rowdy brothers behind him in ecstasy to see him in action. This is the best scene in the film.
The latter half begins on tedious note with forced drama of Karthi trying to convince his brothers to do farming. It turns out a regular affair with a corporate company making efforts to make the villagers to leave the place. The night fight will surely enthrall masses. Karthi’s fight with one of his brothers doesn’t look convincing. Then, the last action sequence is hugely inspired by Seven Samurai’s epic action sequence. Finally, the movie ends on happy note.
All in all, Sulthan is a pucca mass masala entertainer with predictable narration and forced emotions. A better screenplay with crisp runtime would have worked wonders for the film. The director indeed didn’t fully utilize the scope the story offers. CJ goes with 2.25 star rating and masses will somehow enjoy this one.