Director Ali Abbas Zafar knows his latest release Sultan, starring Salman Khan, would not just give him a standing as a filmmaker but also raise people’s expectations from him.
“The pressure, will Sultan touch Rs 400 crore… Will it cross Rs 500 crore, is mounting. It’s not getting to me. I know ‘Sultan’ gives me certain standing as a filmmaker. I also know what some great man said about success — that with power comes responsibility,” Zafar said.
“I’ll be expected to deliver an even bigger film after ‘Sultan’. I don’t want to think about this. I am just happy that the film has connected with the audience. And when a real life wrestler like Sangram Singh says Salman looks authentic doing the wrestling moves, I feel we have achieved what we set out to do,” he added.
Suddenly, the game of wrestling is the talking point in the national reacreational realm.
“When people say ‘Sultan’ will do to wrestling what ‘Chak De! India’ did to hockey, I feel elated. It takes a star like Salman or Shah Rukh Khan to get audiences into the theatre to watch a film about a game that isn’t cricket or football,” Zafar said.
He feels “Sultan” connects with equal vigour with audiences in both the non-urban and urban centres.
“There is that ‘mitti ki khushboo’ in the presentation. And audiences have sensed it. It’s embedded in the game of wrestling. If I had made a film about, say fencing or boxing, I don’t think it would have had the same impact. Every Indian identifies with wrestling. Kushti is a sport we all know.”