The 300 crore plus juggernaut of Yash Raj Films’ epic blockbuster Sultan has won hearts and minds in South Korea. Screened at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival, often dubbed as Asia’s own Cannes, the film was screened at the Open Cinema Section, to a magnificent turn out. It made tremendous impact with its universal story of the ups and downs of a classic underdog. A sports film around wrestling, audiences found the film easy to relate to for it’s values and core message.
Filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar was overwhelmed by the warm response to the film. This was the second screening for Sultan at Busan, with the first screening also drawing in wide interactivity from a local audience of movie lovers and peers. Speaking here, he said, ‘Sultan’ is a sports film, but it is also talking about all of other things. It’s talking about the husband-wife relationship, it’s talking about an underdog story and it’s talking about a loser. And it gives you hope. Sports is just a metaphor for life.”
Sultan, starring Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma and a host of stellar character performers, is an inherently Indian tale. Loved by audiences across the world, it’s success at Busan once again reiterates it’s universal appeal. Going forward, Yash Raj Films plans to release Dum Laga Ke Haisha in November, Shah Rukh Khan starrer Fan in December and Sultan in February 2017. With word of mouth support for Fan and Sultan at Busan after their screenings, these films will be presented to a native South Korean audience in theatres. With varied cinema from across Asia screened at this prestigious film jamboree, the acceptance that Sultan has found establishes that mainstream Hindi cinema, when made well, can resonate with movie lovers everywhere.