A Middling Mass Action Fare
2h 38m, ‘UA’ Certified.
What Is the Film About?
Sethupathi (Nepolean) is a local don with a son Sulthan (Karthi). Mansoor (lal) is his right-hand man. They have a hundred henchmen staying together as a family.
Alternatively, Velagapadu village is rich in iron ore. A businessman who wants to own the land gives the task to Jayadev (KGF Ram), a ruthless criminal who warns to kills anyone who does farming.
The village people come to Sethupathy and request him to kill Jayadev, offering him a bounty from whatever they have. Sathupathi promises to fulfil their request. How Sulthan reluctantly is involved in the issue and later champions it and fights for the village is what the movie is all about?
How Is Karthi’s Performance?
Karthi is sincere and terrific like he is in every film. He gives an earnest performance as Sulthan that offers him to showcase various emotional turns and also do a lot of action.
The actor’s range, without going overboard anywhere, can be seen in the subtle transformation of the character. It goes from a city-bred guy to a hardened and strong-willed leader of the group. Karthi portrays it neatly. The emotional scenes are always his trump card, and he does well in them.
Direction by Bakkiyaraj Kannan ?
Bakkiyaraj Kannan directs Sulthan. To put things in simpler terms, Sulthan is Godfather meets Seven Samurai. It is no doubt an exciting idea, but bringing those two iconic storylines together is where the problem also lies.
The film is two narratives merged into one from the start. The gangster, father track with an ode to Godfather, is a so in the face. It is, however, tweaked a little bit to bring freshness, which is not all that remarkable. But, it nonetheless keeps the narrative moving.
The twist in the tale, and also the core drama is centred on The Seven Samurai kind of setting. Sulthan, along with his hundred brothers, come to the village to save them. The director cleverly weaves comedy and drama into the narrative using this track.
The problem that comes here is the shift in the tone. There is unevenness in the proceedings. Some high scenes are followed by mundane and boring stuff. Still, one doesn’t mind it in the first half. Everything leads to a terrific interval raising the expectation on the second half.
The second half is much more even but is weaker on the conflict and story front. The extension of the farming angle and the thread involving the heroine only add to the length with their predictableness. The threats are also not on par as it was built in the first half.
Again some emotional scenes and action blocks hold the narrative together amidst the boring and falling graph. The only thing consistent throughout is the unevenness of the proceedings.
The excellent background score elevates the climax. The action is also conceived well.
Overall, Sulthan is a popcorn mass entertainer which gets it’s mass moments right. However, it lacks a smooth narrative and a solid opponent to root for the hero’s cause. It ends up as a strictly average fare that is meant only for mass movie lovers.
Rashmika and Others?
Rashmika Mandanna, who has been seen in urban roles, appears as a village belle in Sulthan. She is not weak and doesn’t fall for the hero. In that sense, it works well initially, but as the narrative progresses, it is relegated to the backseat. Rashmika has done decently.
Lal plays a crucial role and is superb in it. He is the backbone of the hero and does that part with ease and authority. The entire gang of goons is selected well for the respective roles. Three actors among them stand out due to their characterisations. Yogi Babu’s comedy is on expected lines. KGF fame Ram is wasted after an excellent build-up. The rest of the actors, Hareesh Peradi. Nawab Shah etc., look good but aren’t utilised.
Music and Other Departments?
The music by Vivek Mervin is alright. The little appeal is ruined in the dubbing. The background score by Yuvan Shankar Raja is sensational. It is what stays in our mind even coming out of the cinema. Many ordinary-looking scenes are elevated due to the excellent re-recording by Yuvan Shankar Raja.
The cinematography by Sathyan Sooryan is good. The action scenes are well lit and shot. The editing by Ruben could have been better. The narrative lacks smoothness. The writing is okay.
A couple Of Fights
Involving the villains into the narrative earlier and in an impactful way in the second half would have been better to some extent.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, in Parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But With Reservations
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