Bakkiyaraj Kannan’s Sulthan: Karthi and Rashmika Mandanna star in a generic ‘mass movie’ that could have been so much more

Posted on April 2, 2021



In a very ordinary film, you’d sigh and accept all this without batting an eyelid because it’s just another excuse for hero-worship. But when you see potential not being exploited…

Spoilers ahead…

The first half-hour of Bakkiyaraj Kannan’s Sulthan – starring Karthi and Rashmika Mandanna – is pretty promising. (Let’s ignore the mandatory hero-intro song!) It’s like a mashup of Thevar Magan and the Mahabharata. From the latter, we get a bloodthirsty Kaurava-like clan that does all the rowdy-ism and goonda-ism in Chennai. Napoleon plays the Duryodhana equivalent, the leader – and Karthi (i.e., Sulthan) is the Kamal Haasan-equivalent from Thevar Magan. He does a posh job in a posh city and when he returns, he is disgusted by the bloodlust that’s such a part of his family. The mythical element runs right through: from Sathyan Sooryan’s shadow-rich cinematography to Sulthan’s birth, amidst rain and bloodshed. And around the thirty-minute mark, we get the “knot”: what Sulthan has to do, what his mission is. It’s perfectly placed.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil