Once Upon A Time … There Was Sultan
It’s easy to pick between good and bad, but it’s tough to pick among two bad ass. Sultan was bad ass against flaws in system, but was messiah for common. His evolution as a smuggler robin hood in Bombay was during three decades of independent India and country was struggling to recover from unemployment. Though Sultan earned the money by smuggling means, but eventually his black money was helping several youngsters from Bombay to earn their bread and butter. He became inspiration for youth. Despite being involved in illegal activities, Sultan was man of discipline. He smuggled the things for which govt. doesn’t permit, but he never do illegal import of things for which his soul doesn’t permit. 70’s was era of his evolution and there was someone else who was waiting to follow his footsteps. Shoaib was another bad ass who happened to be a cop’s son, was involved in criminal activities since his childhood. Shoaib was like Sultan in bravery and ambitions, but unlike sultan his ambitions was not bind to any protocols. Sultan never knew that he is seeding his bleak fortune when he gave shelter to Shoaib, initially in form of small shop and later on he became Sultan’s right hand to such an extent that one fine day sultan give Shoaib power of attorney to take care of his business during his visit to Delhi. Sultan somehow want to slow down his illegal activities and his Delhi visit was to serve this purpose. The time when he joined forces with politics , Shoaib, by attaining power of attorney, went many steps above and involved in activities which was never in books of Sultan, just for sake of money. He made many abrupt changes in sultan’s empire by breaking all his set of rules which was not in welfare of common man. On his return, Sultan couldn’t bear the topples of his business ethics by Shoaib and a friction evolve between duos which resulted in fall of sultan’s reign. Shoaib could easily be caught by cops, had ACP of Bombay never developed the idea to catch sultan by means of Shoaib. It leads to drastic changes in Bombay reign which was handed over to another bad ass, but difference lies in fact that this ass was bastard’s one. Bombay was secure during sultan’s supremacy, but now Bombay become hub of terror with reign switchover. This was drastic mistake by Bombay cops who couldn’t identify the difference between bad and bastard, but damage had done and couldn’t revert back.
Milan luthria’s earlier work was not bad. Kache Dhaage and Deewar was his best outings. I even liked Hattrick and Taxi No 9-2-11. But OUATIM goes many steps ahead. This is big leap by director from his earlier work. And I will not hesitate to say that this movie is my most satisfying experience among 2010 releases. Movie has soul, substance and style. It recreates the 70’s era which is treat to watch. Characters have references of well known 70’s smugglers in Bombay. Few critics has drawn parallels to bachchan’s smash hit Deewar, but similarity ends at references and execution style only. Movie has drawn consistent pace throughout first half, drags a bit in between of second half, but picks up in finale. There are many sequences which you take home and here’s lying the success of movie. Sultan’s first smuggling attempt where it was required to portray the varying characteristics of sultan, deftly executed and thrilling as well. Romances of both protagonists doesn’t look odd and forced, these parallel tracks blended well with story. Sultan’s idea of romance is likeable. The character difference between Sultan and Shoaib was clearly visible in the portrayal of their romances. While Shoaib was aggressive, possessive and cheat with ease kind of guy with loved ones. Sultan was man of words and he did everything with his heart and soul. Despite so many dark patches in Shoaib’s character, he got advantage of cop’s son and this is where ACP of Bombay had worst blunder ever which leads the Bombay to disastrous rout. This is Ajay devgan movie all the way, his portrayal of Sultan is one of his best performances ever, mark it as only award worthy among all 2010 performances[though I know he will not even get nomination ..:)]. Emraan hashmi is first rate. Devil character of Shoaib reflected well in mannerisms of Emraan. Both leading ladies are something to watch out for their beauties. Randeep Hooda as ACP Agnel Wilson bills perfect. His act of frustrated, guilty conscious and at the same time fearless police officer is something to watch out for. Songs are well placed, though I prefer this theme without songs or never mind in background, this movie could have been done effortlessly without songs. Background music is its USP which took the movie to another level. Kudos to Pritam for fine tunes and blasting BGM. Cinematography is another USP of movie. Recreating 70’s was not an easy job. Watching Bombay of 70’s is a treat to watch. Two thumbs up for cinematographer.
Overall, missing OUATIM in theater is serious crime in my books whose punishment will be nothing less than putting the accused in theater playing RGV’s Aag for whole day … 🙂