Why Salman Khan and ‘Sultan’ Ali Khan are similar

This is not an ode to Salman Khan nor I am a crazy Salman Khan fan.

As I watched a Friday first day show of Sultan miles away from India in Sydney, in a packed downtown theatre, I was amazed by the hysteria and whistles. Of course, those waiting outside to catch up an English movie wondered why there are so many Indians braving the cold weather for a late night show.

Sultan will go down as one of the biggest blockbusters of Salman and Yash Raj Films. The Times of India website reported that it has collected approx…400 crore in a week (AU$80 million). When it’s a Salman Khan film, little is said about the movie and it’s always about Mr. Khan :-)

I loved the movie and no one else could have played that role but Salman. Critically speaking, it seemed as if Salman was playing a version of himself, albeit more like a village bumpkin turned national hero. Here are my top reasons why Salman Khan and on-screen Sultan Khan are similar

1. The never give up attitude

“Wrestling is not a sport, it’s about fighting what lies within” – that was one of the quotable dialogues in the film. At 50, Salman played a dejected 40-year-old wrestler Sultan Ali Khan, who witnessed several highs and lows in personal and professional career.
A career over two decades, multiple successful films, widely known romantic liaisons, a loving and supporting family, two court cases – Salman’s life has been an open book.

Never to play by the rules, Salman has enjoyed invincible popularity, despite many pitfalls in his professional career in the 90s. Mr Khan always bounced back.

2. He’s got swag

In the film, Sultan Ali Khan has two left feet and can’t dance to save his life. But when he’s around, you can’t ignore him.

Pick any Salman starring film; it doesn’t matter whether it was a big or small role. Mr Khan manages to impress with his on-screen presence.


3. The charitable Salman and Sultan

The fallen wrestler, Sultan Ali Khan works hard to collect money to start a blood bank. Mr Khan in real life, has founded a charitable foundation Being Human, and contributes majority of his earnings to help those in need.

Salman Khan 5


4. The misunderstood man

The outspoken and confident wrestler Sultan Ali Khan is often mistaken for being arrogant in the film.
Mr. Khan in real life, always attract attention for his comments; his friends say he’s often misunderstood. Yet Salman, has never really gone out of his way to clarify any statement.
He recently said that candid remarks often land him in trouble, “It’s really sad. If I don’t say anything I am boring. If I say something then it becomes an issue and my people won’t like it.” Read the article here

5. A second chance at success

A glorifying wrestling career followed by failures and broken relationships, the character of Sultan Ali Khan gets another shot at success in the movie Sultan.
The movie’s plot is uncannily parallel to Salman Khan’s life, who nearly lost his reputation after the infamous black buck case and road accident. Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan….continued to have a good run in the mid 2000s while Salman somewhat struggled to find a life changing film, until Dabbangg in 2010. After that, Salman was back with a bang.

6. He’s idolised

In the movie, the villagers idolise their local hero Sultan Ali Khan, never mind the highs or lows.


The 20 or 30 something Bollywood actors idolise Salman Khan, and are always eager to win his praise. There are few like Salman who go out of their way to support young talent in Bollywood. Some examples, he opened his personal gym for Hrithik Roshan when he wanted to be an actor; Arjun Kapoor owes his weight loss and acting dreams to Salman; he spotted Sonakshi Sinha, Zarine Khan, Daisy Shah to name a few; he gave a musical launch pad to singer-composer Himesh Reshammiya. Many in Bollywood frat have a thank you story about Salman.

Go share if you loved watching Sultan or love Salman Khan.

Like or hate my view? Drop your comment below.

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