Sulthan is an action commercial film written and directed by Bakkiyaraj Kannan, produced by SR Prabhu and SR Prakash Babu under the banner Dream Warrior Pictures. It has Karthi and Rashmika Mandanna in the lead roles while Yogi Babu, Lal, Napoleon, and Ramachandra Raju form the supporting cast.
Karthi plays the titular role of Sulthan, who takes over as the leader of his father’s gang of henchmen and vows to reform them, make their lives better, and erase the rowdy tag behind their names. As an alternative he wishes to transform them into farmers. He faces a lot of resistance from various quarters. How he manages to overcome them form the rest of the story.
Karthi has a naturally rugged look and his casting looks on point. A lot has been said about Karthi’s acting and he once again proves why he’s one of the best performers in the industry. His character has two different shades and he juggles between both with ease. Among the supporting actors Yogi Babu scores well in the comedy scenes and Sendrayan shines in parts. While Rashmika Mandanna has a good screen time, her character could have been written better.
But the writing cannot be dismissed altogether. Writer – Director Bakkiyaraj Kannan tries something very interesting here. Rather than showing the henchmen as ruthless people with no heart, he wants us to empathize with them. And instead of banking on the underprivileged nature of their families and evoking sympathy, he shows us that they can be reformed, if treated in the right way.
The intent of the film is in the right place, but not always does good intent translate into a great film. The screenplay has more lags in the second half and Vivek Mervin’s songs doesn’t help the cause as well. The songs work well individually but serve as speed breakers to an already slow paced film in the second half mainly.
Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background score, however, tries to resuscitate the film for a chunk of its runtime. The score during the action scenes offer great energy and is also enjoyable. On the other hand, Sathyan Sooryan’s cinematography complements the film well.
Ramachandra Raju plays one of the antagonists, and here too, the cinematography reminds us of his previous film, KGF, that shot him to fame. Another factor that bogs down the film is the predictability of the narrative. Barring the new perspective in which the henchmen are shown, the film has a lot of clichés which result in the engagement taking a hit.
Sulthan could have been a lot better if the characters other than Karthi had been fleshed out well. It could have also done away with the clichés because of the potential the premise held. Overall, Sulthan will appeal to the mass audiences who enjoy solid commercial flicks.