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‘Pehlwaan’ Movie Review: Kichcha Sudeep-Suniel Shetty come up with a hotchpotch version of Salman Khan’s ‘Sultan’
Sudeep, Suniel Shetty, Aakanksha Singh, Sushant Singh, Kabir Duhan Singh, Sharath Lohitashwa
Bollywood Bubble Rating
What’s It About:
A desi wrestler (Kichcha Sudeep) from a small town in India has grown up all his life trying to stay away from the pleasures of life and only focussing on one goal of becoming a National Level wrestler. His values have been instilled in him by his father-like figure, Sarkar (Suniel Shetty). Despite promising Suneil Shetty that he would single-mindedly focus on his wrestling career, he ends up falling in love with a rich man’s daughter. He ends up getting hitched to her against the wishes of her father and of Suniel Shetty. This results in Suniel Shetty banishing him from his house and forbidding him to wrestle ever again. Will Kichcha Sudeep ever get back to fight? Will he ever prove that he’s the best wrestler to have been born? Will Suniel Shetty ever forgive Kichcha Sudeep? Will Kichcha be able to fulfill Suniel Shetty’s dream of becoming a National Level wrestler? Well, for all these questions, you will have to watch the movie.
Kichcha Sudeep has a swag much like Rajinikanth and Salman Khan, which is the something that will make you want to whistle every time he shows off his quirk. He carries the film on his shoulders and, by Jove, he does a mighty good job at it. The way he has learnt the tricks of wrestling for the film shows how much hard work Kichcha Sudeep has put into the film. The lunges and punches look oh-so-real when he is wresting in the mud.
Suniel Shetty has little screen space, but he stands tall coming up with a superb performance. It’s high time we start seeing him more in character roles like these rather than waiting to see him play the quintessential leading man in a movie. As a father, a grandfather and a wrestling coach, Suniel Shetty proves his mettle as an able character artiste.
Aakanksha Singh as the bubbly good looking actress does her damsel in distress act pretty well.
The action sequences are definitely over the top, but it was evident from the trailers as to what I was getting into. So no complaints on that part, as it was totally expected and the makers delivered on it.
Well, the story is no ‘Sultan’. The trailers surely made us think that this will be a new-age take on ‘Sultan’, but it’s rather a hotchpotch of familiar characters. It seems that when the makers of the movie decided to write the screenplay, they just tried to include everything that would appeal to the masses.
For example, the whole of the first half is based around the romantic angle of the leading man trying to woo the leading lady – a concept that was totally not required if you’re trying to make a sports drama. Then, in the second half, you have this whole sequence with a song playing in the backdrop where Kichcha Sudeep comes up and tells that he wants to get into the boxing ring just in order to try and help the under-privileged kids who aren’t able to afford for their sports education. The whole sequence seems like an after-thought, as there was not even an iota of that being mentioned in the first half or even till the middle of the second half. It was just put in to make the audience emotional and grab some tears. There are many such sequences.
Sushant Singh as a king-cum-wrestler is a good choice, but his screen space as the villain was too less to justify his great acting skills.
Kichcha Sudeep’s fighting in the wrestling akhada was praise-worthy, but the moment he steps into a boxing ring, he seems uncomfortable, and his body doesn’t seem to move with as much ease as it should have.
The end slate of the movie showed Kichcha Sudeep going to the National Wrestling Championships to fulfill Suniel Shetty’s dreams. However, that should have been a sequence in the film, as we are left wondering whether or not he excelled in that. The romantic scenes in the first half could have been chopped so that the end could have been at the National Wrestling Championships. Or maybe, the makers are thinking of making a sequel to show that angle – who knows?! I wouldn’t put my hopes on seeing a sequel.
Lastly, when Salman Khan went from being a desi wrestler to becoming an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) champion in ‘Sultan’, it was understandable. After all, MMA incorporates wrestling as one of its components. However, boxing and wrestling are two totally different sports, and therefore when Kichcha Sudeep makes the transition from a desi wrestler to a boxing champ it seems quite unreal.
This is no ‘Sultan’. Rather, it’s a botched up version of the same, and therefore would cater to only the massy audiences who live for this over the top action films. The classes of the multiplexes can surely let it pass by. I am going with 2 stars simply for the two stars in the film – Kichcha Sudeep and Suniel Shetty.
The film will find it tough to make its mark in the northern half of the country. The film is made for the masses of southern India and those of the rural belts who enjoy this type of high-flying action just for Entertainment. Therefore, at the ticket windows in the big cities, the film might find it difficult to sustain after the first weekend.
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