Starring Karthi ,Rashmika Mandanna, Napoleon, Lal, Yogi Babu
Directed by Bakkiyaraj Kannan
Rating: * ½
Someone somewhere must have thought this to be a terrific idea for a masala movie featured one of the top Tamil actors. Karthi who incidentally is Suriya’s brother, showed great promise when he came 14 years ago. Sadly a staleness has crept into Karthi’s performances(barring that over-the-top hammy performance in Mani Ratnam’s Kaatru Veliyidai which went the other way).
In Sulthan, which in spite of its unbearable crassness is a hit,Karthi looks completely bored and aloof, as though he never quite believed in the script but went along because someone predicted it would be a hit.And who would believe in this outdated nonsense in this day and age when cinema in the South has moved so far ahead?
So we have the birth of a baby in a household teeming with fast-talking hoodlums who constitute a rogue family of violent sociopaths who should be locked away forever. Instead they are rendered ‘cute’ by the zonked-out screenplay. Writer-director Bakkiyaraj Kannan wants us to believe that all the khoon-kharaaba slaying and bloodshed that these goons indulge in, have a sense of justice attached to them at some point which the script will come to later.
It never does. All we see are a 100-odd goons running around while Sulthan(Karthi) tries to calm and control them. But his heart is clearly not in it. He scolds them, threatens and bullies them. They don’t take him seriously. We can’t blame them. Why would anyone be initimidated by a guy so bored and indifferent?
It is sad to see a big mainstream film with at least 25-30 people in almost every grame groaning for some intelligent lines and plot points. The entire 2 hours and 35 mimutes of fidgety action adds up to nothing except a neurotic numbing gathering of numskulls who deserve to be pushed collectively into the nearest sewage where they belong.
It is sad to see Yogi Babu, the comedian who recently gave a moving performance in Mandela back to doing what Tamil cinema loves him to do: playing the hero’s sidekick, making a nuisance of himself. There are rude politically incorrect comments on Yogi’s looks and skin colour.And when he is shown to be a suitor for the heroine Rukmani(Rashmika Mandanna) it’s is suggested that she is way too goodlooking for the match.
Karthi and Madannna(the latter making her Tamil debut) look ill-at-ease together,as if they both are wondering the same thing:what the hell are they doing in this corny concoction of the phony and cacophony with scarcely any room for even a moment of finesse in the presentation.? Speaking of cacophony there are scenes of peasant women shrieking at Karthi about their usurped land which will split your eardrums By the the time Sulthan sorts out his sociopath comrades we are so done with this monkey business.
There is not one performance or even a song that had me smiling in Sulthan.The exasperating premise that vicious killers can be funny , goofy and lovable like the gruff guy gang in Satte Pe Satta, is not to be entertained. Because it’s not entertaining at all.