153 Min | Action – Drama – Romance | March 1986
IMDB Rating: 6.6
Director: Mukul Anand, John Philip Dayton
Starring: Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Sridevi
Sultanat Review: In Sultanat, the late Mukul Anand and Philip Dayton had directed what can be described as a typical 80s Masala-type-epic-trash. The good thing about such movies is for the (unintentional) comic relief they provide. But even otherwise, this film is entertaining because it’s one of those ‘bad that it’s funny’ – type movies. The male characters are the typical macho-type Arab-Indians who don’t mind shedding blood as long as there’s a heroic excuse but another positive aspect is that both Sridevi and Juhi’s characters are very strong (albeit they’re not so smart) and while the men pretty much treat the women like their inferiors, Princess Yasmin and Zarina know how to hold their ground. The story of Sultanat, is the usual revenge/ patriotic/ separated -at-birth- and-reunite-after-20+ years/happy-ending-with-dad’s-death etc. It’s got all the ingredients of a campy 80s flick, like: forcing the heroine to dance (yes, we get to see some great dances by Sridevi), hero kidnaps arrogant princess and humiliates her in order to win her love, dishum-dishum, many villains, songs appearing out of nowhere and what not.
In Sultanat, some examples of the unintentionally funny scenes, Sameer and Zarina jump from a plane with a parachute. They’re to land on a desert but, as fate would have it, they fall right into a 50cm diameter pit of quicksand and they are already sucked in immediately. Poor princess Yasmine is kidnapped by goons and ‘inadvertently’ slapped around as the goons fight amongst themselves over who gets the babe. Then there’s a love story, that’s only two dialogues – translated through dictionary, between Dharmendra and an overweight white chick. This poor white chick, who is an atrocious actress, is playing a character who doesn’t understand Hindi and every time her beloved Khalid recites a cliched dialogue, she has to browse through the dictionary in order to understand his blabbering and to express her stupidity.
As expected, the camera-work is dull. The action sequences, background score, sound effects and lighting are abysmal. Where the acting is concerned, Amrish Puri and Shakti Kapoor play the over the top villains quite well. Sunny Deol and Dharmendra are quite bad but also amusing. Karan Kapoor is terrible but equally amusing. Sridevi and Juhi Chawla manage to shine in spite of poorly written characters. Sridevi carries off the ‘princess flair’ quite well and Chawla is confident in her debut role. Overall, Sultanat is watchable.