Monthly Archives: April 2016

Baaghi’ review: As plastic as Tiger Shroff’s over-bronzed body in the posters

Baaghi is a slickly packaged empty vessel. The action choreography is striking, the locations are exquisite, the camerawork polished, the art design impressive, the cast well dressed. Scratch the attractive surface though, and you get a dated, cliched storyline that compartmentalises hero, heroine, villains and comedians in the way Hindi films of the 1970s and 1980s did.

The story begins in the menacing Bangkok den of a rogue called Raghav Shetty, who is on the lookout for Sia Khurana. Cut to Hyderabad, where she is shooting for a film directed by her Daddy, when the numero uno baddie’s goons abduct her. Martial arts expert Ronnie Singh is called in to rescue the damsel in distress. Ronnie and Sia have a past. Time for explanatory flashback.

Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor in Baaghi

Cut to Kollam railway station in Kerala where boy and girl met, girl pretended to resist boy, they fell in love, fate split them up, reunited them, Raghav split them up again and so on. It is a formula that is so dull and dusted that even Sunny Deol has stopped revisiting it.

Baaghi’s writer Sanjeev Dutta seems to have a thing for antiquity though. This is the sort of film where the hero is omnipotent and successfully bashes up dozens of men single-handedly, as did male leads of pre-1990s Hindi cinema who sought to replicate and cash in on the success of Amitabh Bachchan’s Angry Young Man formula. Here, like it was back then, the heroine’s only role is to be good-looking, charming and if possible dance sweetly/sexily enough to make the hero fall in love with her, thus providing him with a motivation to bash the bad guys in the end.

The villains here too are uni-dimensional cardboard cut-outs. Comedians are slotted in to relieve tension even in the middle of a hectic chase. Love happens at the first sight of a pretty face who fakes disinterest in the hero though of course she is keen on him because, well, you know, after all he is the hero. What else was she created for but to fall for him?

Besides, do we not also know that when a woman says “no” she means “maybe”? Ronnie, an absolute stranger who just met Sia a few minutes back on a train, blows a kiss to her from a station platform. She shows irritation but turns away to hide a smile. This film may not be as aggressive or overt as the song Koi haseena jab rootth jaati hai from Sholay, Jumma chumma de de from Hum, Jumme ki raat from Kick or Tu hi to hai from Holiday, but it does make that regressive point all the same.

The film’s only selling points are its only novelties. First, it is set almost entirely in Kerala, which translates into an eyeful of stunning locales, the famed snake boat race (vallam kali) in scenic backwaters and miles of greenery all around. Second, Ronnie is in Kerala to learn the state’s traditional martial arts form Kalaripayattu, which has a way of transforming men into Rudolf Nureyev and Birju Maharaj while they smash and slice other human beings to bits.

Tiger Shroff as Ronnie gets the bulk of the film’s fights and has clearly worked hard to learn Kalari. Many points to him for that and what he has achieved with his body. He must, however, control the tendency to pose about, which is never more evident than in scenes where he replicates his Guru’s moves and comes across as a mannequin, while the old man looks like a battle axe and a ballet dancer rolled into one.

In terms of acting, Tiger’s exaggerated expressions are one with the film’s penchant for overstatement. To be fair, he seems like he would do better with better direction, even if it is hard to ignore the fact that his Caucasian facial features make him a bit of a misfit in Indian cinema. He absolutely does not look Punjabi, although that is what he is meant to be in this film; he looks European. Perhaps he will figure a way around that.

And while I’m all for men showing off their beautiful bodies on screen, could someone explain why so many Hindi film heroes these days make it a point to rip off their shirts before a fight? Sure they look good, but is there a scientific logic here that has escaped me? Just asking.

Shraddha Kapoor as Sia is well turned out and gets a couple of fight scenes of her own. It is nice to see the actress throwing punches and kicks with such elan. Her acting in the early scenes though, is over-cutesified. Time to cross over into the adult world, girl. You are too good to waste yourself playing and replaying a child-like innocent who is an appendage to the hero. Of the remaining performers, Sudheer Babu Posani merits a mention for his Kalari moves as Ronnie’s bête noir Raghav Shetty. It is curious though that Sudheer, who is a Telugu actor, manages his Malayalam diction so poorly in the film. He keeps addressing his father as “Aachan” when it should be “Achchan”, a word that even a north Indian might easily get right if you point out that the “chch” is pronounced precisely as it is in Bachchan. Simple, no?

Veteran Sanjay Mishra and Sumit Gulati (who we saw last year in Talvar) enter the picture at one point to provide what is conventionally called “comic relief”. If a blind man bumping into things or mistakenly feeling up a woman’s legs makes you laugh, then the director has got what he wants. Some people, hopefully, have better taste.

Director Sabbir Khan made his debut with Kambakkht Ishq in 2009 starring Kareena Kapoor and Akshay Kumar, which he followed up with Tiger and Kriti Sanon’s debut Hindi film Heropanti in 2014. Both films revealed his love for bombast.

In Baaghi, he adds to his shoulders the burden of targeting Salman Khan and Akshay’s traditional audience. And so, Tiger is given an old-style punchline to repeat through the film: “Itni bhi jaldi kya hai? Abhi toh maine start kiya hai.” (What’s the rush? I’ve only just begun.) It is hard to imagine why the producers thought this ordinary writing would be as memorable as, say, Salman’s “Ek baar jo maine commitment ki, toh apne aap ki bhi nahin sunta” (Once I make a commitment, I do not allow myself to hold me back) or that Tiger has the panache to elevate it.

More triteness comes in the form of Baaghi’s effort to cash in on the prevailing tension between India and our neighbour China, as Hindi cinema once did with Chinese-looking villains around the time of the 1962 war or before that in the just-post- Independence era when seemingly Western Roberts were the bad people. Here, Raghav’s henchman Yong tells Ronnie: “You killed my brother, you Indian. You think you can fight? We fight. Chinese fight.” Ronnie beats him to pulp before replying grandly, “Sorry, China ka maal zyaada tikta nahin hai (Chinese goods do not last long).

Might as well have gone a step further with a crowd-pleasing, sarkar-pleasing “Bharat Mata ki jai!” yelled out by the hero. The chest-thumping suits the film’s emptiness. Gloss sans substance tends to make a lot of noise.

Shah Rukh Khan subtly disses obsessive fans in ‘Fan': Your turn, Rajini Sir?

She came up to me as I waited for my car at a Mumbai hotel a few years back, the real-life person behind a social media ID with which I had exchanged a handful of tweets over time. She (let us call her X) was disappointed when she discovered that I had just finished recording a TV interview with John Abraham.

Bumping into John as he left the set of my show would have meant notching up two stars in one day for her. As the winner of a contest run by a film producer in collaboration with a corporate house, X had just spent some time with a major actor as her prize. An unplanned encounter with another would have been a windfall, she explained.

It was a routine polite conversation with a random star-crazed stranger that will sound familiar to any journalist who has covered films. The tone changed though when X decided to confide in me. Being a huge fan of Ranbir Kapoor, she was furious with Deepika Padukone for splitting up with him, she said. So she sent multiple entries to a contest where the prize was a chance to dance with DP. She won.

“There were others there, but I made sure I was standing next to Deepika,” said X, “and while we were dancing, I stepped hard on her feet to hurt her, then I pretended it happened by accident. How dare she break my Ranbir’s heart.”

I have no clue whether such an event actually took place or was a fiction created by X, but the pride with which this creepy youngster narrated it to me was disturbing.

That chance meeting popped back into my mind as I watched Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan last week. Some analysts have called the film a risk for SRK because it is songless and, in comparison with most of his blockbusters, understated. To my mind though, the risk of the project lies in another of its elements.

Imagine Ranbir Kapoor telling X to get a life. That is pretty much what Khan does in Fan in which he plays movie star Aryan Khanna and his lookalike Gaurav Chandna who calls himself Junior Aryan Khanna, impersonates the actor on stage and at one point, when his idol snubs him, turns into a psychopathic stalker. In short, Chandna is a nut.

In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theseus says: “The lunatic, the lover, and the poet / Are of imagination all compact.” You could add another creature to his list: the fanatic. All-consuming fandom is, and perhaps always will be, completely incomprehensible to those who have never felt such passion for distant figures they are unlikely to ever meet in person.

For the record, possessed fans do not necessarily see their deity as a far-away being, assuming instead that s/he is reading their words or hearing them somehow and imagining that some day they will indeed meet.

A reporter colleague recalls interviewing Rajinikanth fans outside a theatre after the first day first show of a new Rajini film in Delhi. Off camera they admitted to being highly disappointed, on camera on a live show they praised the film to the heavens. Why did you not speak the truth, the journalist later asked? Because we cannot upset Thalaivar, they replied in all seriousness, as if they were genuinely convinced that Rajinikanth was glued to that particular news programme on that particular channel to see what they in particular had to say about Kuselan.

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Bizarre? Inexplicable? Perhaps that is why Gaurav Chandna in Fan dispenses this punchline to explain it away to Aryan Khanna: “Rehne de, tu nahi samjhega” (Forget it, you will not understand).

Khanna, who is furious at the intrusion into his life and clearly does not want to understand, offers Chandna this advice that could well be seen as coming from Shah Rukh Khan himself: establish an identity for yourself beyond me, make something of yourself instead of being just a fan.

It is natural to wonder if SRK maniacs are pleased to hear these words from their hero. Is it not suicidal for a star not to pander to even his most maniacal fans?

Without fandom, can there be stardom? Chandna, who seems not to recognise the role of Khanna’s talent and hard work in his success, offers this answer in the film: “Main hoon toh tu hai” (I am, therefore you are). And: “Gaurav hai toh Aryan hai, Gaurav nahin toh Aryan kucch bhi nahin” (Aryan is who he is because Gaurav exists; without Gaurav, Aryan is nothing).

Curiously enough then, Fan seems to be gently chiding the leading man’s core constituency: not sane supporters who respect his art and are drawn to his charisma, not mere admirers, but devotees. This then is the risk the film holds.

It is a risk worth taking. After all, extreme fandom can pretty quickly turn from a non-aggressive fixation to verbal or even physical violence. Fans who watch the same film 25 times in the week of its release, deem it their duty to ‘make’ it a hit and build shrines within their homes, are just a hop, a skip and a jump away from the ones who take it upon themselves to spew venom at a star’s rivals online, who try to intimidate critics before a release and afterwards troll those who wrote negative reviews.

They are so mired in their own infatuation that earlier this week they lacked the discernment to realise that Ram Gopal Varma was, in all probability, having a lark at their expense with his tweets mocking Rajinikanth’s looks, posted possibly after more than a couple of shots of whatever it is RGV consumes before he tweets.

Offline, they have built actual physical temples to Amitabh Bachchan and Khushboo, and bathe giant likenesses of Rajini in milk on the morning of each new release. They sent letters written in their own blood to Rajesh Khanna and threw themselves at the Beatles’ cars. They weep at concerts and faint at premieres. And when it gets worse, they are that stalker claiming to be Taylor Swift’s husband, against whom she had to get a restraining order from a Los Angeles court; that woman who scratched John Abraham and told him with satisfaction that she now had his blood and skin under her nails; that man who allegedly followed Shruti Haasan around, finally turned up at her Mumbai home and assaulted her.

This is not admiration, it is obsession to the exclusion of sense, sanity and self-respect. Psychologists say such people see the star as an extension of their own selves, and derive their self-worth from her/his achievements. Witness their excited online chatter, for instance, about how “our film is a hit” and “we did it”.

As mediapersons we often end up being abused, praised, harangued and harassed by such people. To be honest, the word that comes to mind for them is “loser”. The problem with that label though is that it is a casual expression of irritation that fails to consider the dangerous aspects of fandom.

‘Now I want to do more biopics': Emraan Hashmi, on his ‘Azhar’ experience

Emraan Hashmi plays the role of legendary cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin in the upcoming biopic Azhar. The 37-year-old actor has trained extensively to get Azharuddin’s signature moves right, with none other than the former Indian skipper, for his part in the movie.

Some of the cricketer’s traits and quirks stayed with Emraan for a long time even after the film was done.

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“Some of his mannerisms lingered on to my next film Raaz 4. I did face slight problem while shooting for my next and my director would keep telling me – ‘Please get out of Azhar right now’. I had copied his style for so long. The small things he does like he shakes his head, his gait, walking like him with one shoulder up, head tilted on one side. I would constantly do that on the sets and it consciously became part of my style when I was playing the other character. It took me some time to get out of Azhar,” laughs Emraan, in an chat with Firstpost.

“But,” he continues, “It is not focussed in the film. Probably you won’t see that in the film as we didn’t want to take your attention to small specific things. There were other things that I had to imbibe like the way he eats. Azhar bhai has a very peculiar way of eating with his fork and spoon. We took videos when we would go out for dinner together to record the way he is eating.”

However, Emraan is surprised that Azharuddin, who is a guarded person and doesn’t open up easily, shared quite a bit from his life with him. “Obviously, he opened up to us because the film was being made on his life but I wasn’t expecting that. I had heard about Azhar bhai that he doesn’t share too many things but he opened up quite a bit and we were quite happy with the kind of stuff we got from him. To make this a personal journey I had to get stories, moments and experiences of him that is not just media stories you have read about. I had to spend time with him and get all of this first hand,” says Emraan.

He also admitted that shooting for the biopic was a very satisfying and fulfilling journey.

Baaghi’ is a Hollywood film with Indian emotions, says Telegu actor Sudheer Babu

Telegu actor Sudheer Babu, who is making his debut in the Hindi film industry with Sabbir Khan’s Baaghi, was happy as a popular actor in the Telugu film industry and had never dreamt of venturing into Bollywood.

In fact, he was apprehensive about the film, and had made-up his mind to decline the offer. Until he heard the whole script.

“I couldn’t believe that such a big production house (UTV) would come to me and I didn’t believe they would give me a role with a scope of performance. I was expecting a small scene, and a small fight with Tiger. Honestly, I have a lot of work in the Telugu film industry. But once I heard the script of Baaghi, I found it very interesting,” Babu told Firstpost in an interview.

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The actor, who plays the villain in the film, further reveals that he now has two-film contract with filmmaker Sajid Nadiadwala, who produced Baaghi.

Being a popular hero, how much did Babu have to convince himself to debut with a negative role in Bollywood? “I want to be recognised as a very good actor. Being a hero or a villain doesn’t matter for me. For this film, if they had given me a choice, I would have chosen to do the villain’s role. Even in my Telugu debut, I played a small role of a villain. From there on, I got lead role offers,” said Babu.

He admits that now it’s difficult for him to play a villain’s role in Telugu films.

“In Andhra Pradesh, people worship heroes. They put their pictures right next to God and worship them. So to make the audiences accept me in a negative role is tougher,” he said.

Working in both the industries simultaneously will be a bigger challenge for Babu.

“I am doing only two to three films in a year over there. I will see if I can shoot in both the places simultaneously,” he admitted.

Babu is the brother-in-law of Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu. Being related to such a big superstar, he too had his share of difficulties.

“People had a negative mind-set before my first film released.  But once you prove yourself, you grow really fast. Star kids, like Chiranjeevi’s son or any one else for that matter, have certain advantages. They would come with a set fan following,” he said.

We asked him if he thinks Baaghi will do equally well in the south, and he said, “Baaghi is a Hollywood film with Indian emotions. Bollywood films have emotions, songs and dances but the stunts are not at par with Hollywood. So Baaghi will work everywhere as it has everything in it.”

Hrithik, Govinda are great dancers, says Madhuri Dixit

Mumbai: Actress Madhuri Dixit-Nene, known for her graceful dance moves, says primarily she is a stage dancer but has a bit of street dancing in her as well.

“I have stage (dancing) in me, because I learned Kathak which is a stage thing, but there is a bit of street (dancing) in me also, because when you do Bollywood dancing it is an amalgamation of all styles,” Madhuri said, when asked which form of dance she preferred — stage dancing or street dancing.

She was present at the unveiling of the Indian version of popular show So You Think You Can Dance, where she is one of the judges along with choreographers Terence Lewis and Bosco Martis of Bosco-Caeser.

Madhuri is known for her dancing skills and for being capable of carrying off a mujra like Maar Dala as well as dance numbers like Ek Do Teen at the same time.

Madhuri Dixit

So You Think You Can Dance will see a battle between the two forms of dance — stage dancing, usually narrating a story and performed by trained artistes, and street dancing being slightly more non-professional and which happens on the streets and nightclubs.

About her favourite dancers from the two forms, she said: “On stage, there are so many, there are classical dancers like Birju Maharaj. I think Terence Lewis is a wonderful stage dancer. Bosco is a fabulous street dancer. Govinda is a fantastic street dancer, Hrithik (Roshan) is a lovely stage dancer and can do any kind of dance.”

Madhuri had previously judged four seasons on dance show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.

On the difference between the shows, she said: “In Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, it was all celebrities and had a different journey since many of them had not learned dancing, and had a journey from a non-dancer to a dancer.

“But here, it’s the common man. It gave me a good feeling that I could connect with the common man, and interact with them. They are passionate dancers who have made numerous sacrifices, where families haven’t supported them, they’re all alone, but have tremendous passion for dance and don’t want to leave dance.

Fresh claims about Amitabh Bachchan in Panama Papers; actor refutes the report

New Delhi: Even as a fresh report on the Panama Papers alleged Amitabh Bachchan “participated” in board meetings of two off-shore companies “by telephone conference”, the actor himself has said his name was “misused” and that nothing illegal has been attributed to him.

The Indian Express reported on Thursday that Sea Bulk Shipping and Tramp Shipping had passed a resolution each on December 12, 1994, in connection with a loan of $1.75 million from Dallah Albaraka Investment Company.

Amitabh Bachchan

The loan was for Constellation Ship Management for the purchase of all the shares issued by Tramp Shipping and held by Sea Bulk Shipping. Besides Tramp and Sea Bulk, the paper had said Bachchan was managing director for two other offshore entities — Lady Shipping and Treasure Shipping.

“Both resolutions recorded Bachchan’s participation in board meetings ‘by telephone conference’. In their certificate of incumbency issued the same day, both companies also recorded Bachchan as director. The companies had the same directors, including Bachchan, and officers,” it said.

In response, Bachchan’s office sent a rejoinder, which was also posted on his Twitter account.

“On Panama disclosures, I wish to state that queries continue to be sent to me by the media. I would humbly request them to kindly direct these to the GOI (Government of India) where I, as a law abiding citizen, have already sent, and shall continue to send, my responses,” the post said.

Thankful to Shahid for bringing me this role: Alia Bhatt on ‘Udta Punjab’

In Abhishek Chaubey’s next film Udta Punjab you won’t recognise Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. Kapoor plays a rockstar named Tommy Singh, while Alia Bhatt essays the role of a Bihari migrant.

Bhatt said that Abhishek Chaubey was sceptical about casting her as a Bihari girl in the film.

“I think our director Abhishek Chaubey was sceptical about casting me in the film. I am happy that I am a part of it. This character is completely different from what I am in real life. I felt that there would be out of box things in the film and it has,” said Alia at the trailer launch of Udta Punjab.

380“I had to learn Bihari. Though I talk less in the film, but the dialogues are powerful. For a month or so, I worked on my dialect with the help of a trainer. And for my look, I have to give credit to the costume designer and our director Abhishek Chaubey,” she added.

Alia credited her co-star Shahid Kapoor for getting her this film. “I am thankful to Shahid for bringing up this role to me. I wanted to be in this film. It’s a lifetime opportunity. It’s a great story,” she said.

Udta Punjab highlights the rampant issue of drug abuse among youth in Punjab.

Kareena Kapoor Khan essays the role of a doctor who is determined to fight the illegal transportation of drugs, including medicinal ones that are sold without prescription in Punjab. Punjabi actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh is seen as a police official in the trailer.

Meanwhile, Anurag Kashyap, whose Phantom Films has co-produced the film, has tweeted that the trailer of Udta Punjab had been cleared without any cuts or beeps.

‘Good and new stories need to be told': Shahid Kapoor on ‘Udta Punjab’

Mumbai: Actor Shahid Kapoor says his upcoming film Udta Punjab on substance abuse is not an issue of just one state and needs to be addressed on a pan-India level.

“For Haider, we used Kashmir as the backdrop but the story was human journey. An issue that is of one state can be an issue of entire country. It’s not that we are saying through this film that the issue exists only in one state, it is just that we chose Punjab as the backdrop,” Shahid told reporters last night at the film’s trailer launch.

“It is an issue that needs to be addressed… It’s a real issue for parents and children. It is courageous on part of our director Abhishek Chaubey to talk about it,” he said.

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The Jab We Met star hopes the audiences understand the context of the film. “It’s a fictional film with fictional characters but it has an important issue. I hope people will take it in the right context.” Shahid, who plays a Punjabi pop star in the film, said it was difficult for him to get  into the skin of the character as it is was a “loud” one, unlike of his real self.

“When I heard the role of Tommy Singh it had to be nothing like me. He is a Punjabi pop star who is a substance addict. He is not a regular guy. I had to work on my body and look.  The most difficult part was to get into the head of this character like why he behaves like this, why is he so eccentric and mad. Those who are addicts are often hyper and eccentric. Usually I prefer to do less loud characters,” he said.

On his on-screen rockstar look where he is seen sporting long hair and tattoos on body, Shahid said, “Abhishek Chaubey was concerned with what I was doing with my hair we had discussions over it and then things worked out. I did not want to get a body of a body builder I wanted it of someone who has abused himself. We worked a lot on that.” Given the unusual subject of the movie and his character, the 35-year-old star says telling a new story always involves a certain amount of risk.

“I think good and new stories needs to be told. If you don’t do it that way then you will never be able to discover things yourself and never be original. I feel new things are always risky,” he said. “The story of the film is honest and the intention of the film is to give message to audience.” he added. The film features Shahid Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Alia Bhatt in key roles.

Audio launch of Suriya’s ’24′: Actor shares stage with dad Sivakumar and brother Karthi

Suriya is among the most popular actors down South, with a huge fan base across the Telugu and Tamil film industries.

Small wonder then, that interest in the actor’s upcoming big summer release — the sci-fi film 24 — is extremely high. Marketed as a bilingual (in Tamil and Telugu), 24 is being directed by directed by Vikram Kumar, who had last made the blockbuster Nagarjuna family story Manam in Telugu. 24 has Suriya in a triple role as a scientist and a gangster, while the third role is that of a romantic youngster. The film also has Samantha and Nithya Menen with music by Oscar winner AR Rahman.

South star Suriya in '24'

The teaser of the film (released a month ago) was a runaway hit on YouTube and had record views. On Monday, it was a double delight for Suriya fans when the Tamil and Telugu audio and trailer of the film were released on the same day (10 April): in the morning at Chennai’s Sathyam Cinemas and in the evening at the Shilpa Kala Vedhika in Hyderabad.

The trailer is slickly cut and the three characters Suriya plays in the film are something to watch out for. Suriya’s body language and variation in dialogue delivery is well brought out in the trailer, which also has him romancing Samantha. The music by AR Rahman is peppy and sure to catch on.

The audio launch in Chennai was unique as not just Suriya, but also his brother (the popular actor Karthi) and father (veteran actor Sivakumar) were all present on the same stage.

Sivakumar spoke in emotional tones about Suriya’s talent: “If Kamal Haasan is Sakalakala Vallavan (all rounder) Suriya is a silent Sakalakala Vallavan. He was always a silent child and I could never imagine him becoming such a big star.”

About how he took up 24, Suriya said : “I chose the film after a nearly 5-hour narration by director Vikram Kumar. The script is amazing and it is different within the commercial format. Rahman initially gave us half an hour to narrate the script, but sat through for hours listening to the script and later sent me a text message — It’s going to be an ambitious project and let’s work together.” Rahman who was also present at the audio launch, smiled as Suriya recounted this anecdote.

A huge turnout of fans was present at the 24 audio launch,clapping and cheering on their favourite star. Suriya had a message for all of them: “24 is an output of our dedication and commitment to making good cinema. I’m here today because of you. But I do not take my fans for granted. If my films are good, appreciate them, if they are bad please reject them, only then will I chase good scripts.

Watch: ‘Sultan’ teaser shows Salman Khan all bulked up, and ready to do battle

After months of excitement building up around the project , Yash Raj Films has finally released the first teaser-trailer of their film, Salman Khan-starrer Sultan.

Salman Khan in 'Sultan'. Screen grab from YouTube

And what do we see in the trailer?

Well, a whole lot of Salman Khan. Wrestling. Or getting ready to wrestle.

The minute-and-a-half long clip begins with Sultan’s tag line — “Wrestling is not a sport, it is about fighting what lies within”. Amid a cloud of sepia-coloured dust, we see a foot stepping onto what we presume is the sandy floor of an akhada. This burly figure, dressed only in pair of tight black briefs, is dragging a heavy concrete weight with a rope.

He pulls some weights and sweat drips picturesquely on the floor. Then he rotates a set of batons over his head, showing off the strength in his arms and shoulders. His muscles ripple — again, in the most photogenic way.

The scene then shifts to a wrestling tournament, where a crowd of fans shout out the names of their favourite champion, as the announcer declares: “Haryana ka sher, Haryana ki shaan, Haryana ki jaan — Sultan Ali Khan”!

Then, we see Sultan — as played by Salman Khan — stepping into the ring. As the crowd chants “Sultan, Sultan”, he charges at his opponent, tackles him around the waist and smacks him down onto the ground.

And then, as he is declared the winner, he poses in the ring and gives his moustache a proud twirl.

If you’re a Salman Khan fan (and you’re quite likely to be) this teaser-trailer will thrill and delight you. If you’re not, you’ll have unwittingly ended up seeing a lot more of Salman Khan’s torso and thighs than you ever intended to.

Not that that’s a bad thing.