They are two of the three Khans of Bollywood, they both have amazing clout and a formidable fan following, and everything that they do; professionally or otherwise immediately becomes news. Salman Khan and Aamir Khan are also the same age (both born in 1965) and both have upcoming releases that feature the Khans as wrestlers from Haryana who overcome tremendous odds; with the stories culminating in medals won at international fora.
Sultan’s teaser trailer is very much like the Geeta Phogat story
The above video features Geeta Poghat, the first female wrestler from India to win a Commonwealth medal in wrestling when she won the gold medal in 2010. Aamir Khan’s film Dangal is based on Geeta’s story; he plays Mahavir Singh Phogat who trained his daughters Babita Kumari and Geeta Phogat to be wrestlers and to do what women in Haryana don’t ordinarily do.
Now look at the second teaser trailer of Sultan featuring Anushka Sharma that was released a couple of days ago:
See the similarity? The unmistakable Haryanwi twang, the gritty, determined, strong young woman, the arena of wrestling where women are the exception and not the rule? So is Sultan imitating Dangal and should Team Aamir be worried? Some commentators felt that the similarities of the trailer to the Phogat ad film could mean that some of the story of Geeta’s life may be divulged by Sultan and that Dangal may lose out.
Sultan and Dangal – Similarities but differences too
Both films have clear similarities: they are set in Haryana and tell stories about achievements in the wrestling arena; stories that speak of overcoming personal and other difficulties. However Sultan is going to be a love story. Though it is about the wrestler battling personal and professional odds to emerge triumphant, it is far likelier to be a masala potboiler than Dangal which is based on the lives of real people. Also one is a Salman film, the other will be an Aamir film; this fact itself speaks volumes about the sort of films these will be and the kind of audiences that will be attracted to the films.
Sultan releases on 6th July 2016 (Eid day) whereas Dangal will release on 23 December 2016 just before Christmas. Six months is a long time and the audience has short memories. Will it Be Sultan at Eid or Dangal at Christmas for you? Tell us in the comments
Author – Reena Daruwalla