“What if we get the best MMA fighters in India to review Sultan?” I said.
“Why don't you go with them?” they said.
Salman Khan shares his birthday with my kid brother; I hate my brother for it. I am not a Salman Khan fan.
Imagine my what-the-fuck when I was told to accompany some of India's best MMA fighters to watch Bhai’s latest film. “Go with them, be there, make sure it happens right," they said. Whatever right means.
How hard is it to watch a Salman Khan movie and say it sucks? That's right, right?
Let's get ready to rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreview...
In this corner: Jitendra 'Vicky Sir' Khare, Co-founder and Head-coach at Evolution Combat Sports Academy; Sushovan Ghosh, Pro-MMA fighter; Yadvinder ' The Beast' Singh – our headliner.
In the other corner: Sultan
And in that other, 101, corner: Dominic 'The Cornered' S
Round 1: I meet the MMA fighters at their gym
There was a dampness in the air at the Evolution Combat Sports gym. I'm pretty sure I'll never get used it. It was sweat. Sweat all around. The practice mat was a sweaty slip-n-slide. The AC condensation, the little drip into the bucket, was sweat too. There were sweaty men, sweating, and fighting each other, swapping sweat. Oh, the manliness. It would have emasculated most men. But not me. I know what I'm about. I'm the escort for today.
Unfortunately, Jitendra Khare, the head coach, didn't seem to care much about our movie date.
Round 2: Pleading
“Sir, we should leave.”
Sir didn't care. Sir had to train Yadvinder 'The Beast' Singh for a bout in three weeks. It was practice. Yes, we talkin' about practice. And there's nothing wrong with it. Except, we didn't Book-my-Show the tickets! My fault: “I think they should go buy tickets from the counter. It just gives it a more going-to-the-movies feel. Plus, no internet handling fees!"
Somehow, I managed (begged) to get Yadvinder 'The Beast' Singh to convince Sir we needed to leave for the movie.
“Sir, Sultan slam, sir,” he alliterated.
Round 3: They watched a movie, I watched three hours of my life go by; a life I'm not sure I want to live anymore
India's #1 MMA team reviews Salman Khan's Sultan
So what do I think of the movie? I don't. I don't think of this movie. I've conveniently forgotten all about it.
But seriously? It didn't suck. Wait, let me clarify. The movie sucked. The experience of watching the movie at at Gaiety -Galaxy, with howling Salman fans who were watching the movie for the third time that day, and MMA Team Relentless – that didn't suck.
The movie was everything a fan would expect from a Salman flick. It's also every sports movie ever. A man who loses everything, somehow, against all odds, finds his way back to the top. Insert Rocky montage somewhere. The end. The way I see it, every Salman movie is a tribute film to every other Salman movie. The fans aren't there for the movie itself, they're there to pay their respects. They're there to touch their God.
Watching Sultan isn't very rewarding. It's not supposed to be. Watching Sultan is a labour of love. And thankfully, for me, this burden was shared with MMA Team Relentless.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101India.com.
By Dominic S.
Cover photo credit: sultanreview