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Sulthan Imbecilic Absurd Bombastic & Crass Yet Successful

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Sulthan Imbecilic Absurd Bombastic & Crass Yet Successful 6

Sulthan(Tamil, Disney-Hotstar)

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believed in the  script but went along because someone  predicted it would be  a hit.And who would believe in this  outdated nonsense  in this day and age when cinema in the South has  moved so far ahead?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?

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 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.

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