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Pailwaan Movie Review: Sudeep delivers a knockout punch in this sports drama- Cinema express

Pailwaan Movie Review: Sudeep delivers a knockout punch in this sports drama

Director Krishna takes this perfectly pitched sports drama and adds in love and sentiment, which works big time in the film’s favour

Published: 12th September 2019

Embracing change is a risk, but it can also be good, as actor Sudeep proves with his role in Pailwaan. Directed by S Krishna, Pailwaan is set against a sports backdrop, and it expresses the depth of relationship and family sentiments.

Cast: Sudeep, Aakanksha Singh, Suniel Shetty, Kabir Duhan Singh
Director: S Krishna

Powered by quality performances, there is an inspiring message in Pailwaan that nurturing is important for the innumerable talents in India. This message ensures the audience is invested in the subject.

The struggle of a wrestler and boxer, inside and outside the ring, forms the base of Pailwaan. Ramesh Aravind's opening narration introduces Sarkar (Suniel Shetty) a bachelor and a former wrestler, residing at Gajendragaada, who gives opportunities to upcoming talents in that field. Sarkar picks up an orphan, Kichcha alias Krishna (Sudeep) and trains him to become a well-known wrestler in town.

Krishna falls in love with Rukmini (Aakanksha Singh), and on the insistence of Sarkar, quits the sport right after he wins the title of National Champion. Four years that Kichcha decides to get back into the ring, but this time, it is the boxing ring chooses. Why he picks this sport and how he comes out victorious forms the basis of the movie, and we find the title Pailwaan is quite apt for it.

Director Krishna takes this perfectly pitched sports drama and adds in love and sentiment, which works big time in the film’s favour. However, it comes with a few flaws, cliches, and predictable scenes. The director is also unable to avoid some noticeable lag in the first half of the movie. The second half is more interesting and culminates with a big final punch.

Krishna has also taken charge of production, and he makes sure that Pailwaan does not compromise on quality, which is evident in every frame. With a simple story, the focus is on balancing between the wrestling and boxing scenes, and blending the family episodes in between. A tighter screenplay would have worked better for the film.

Sudeep knocks us clean over with his performance. An incredible amount of dedication by Sudeep is evident as he slips into the pailwaan character. He has clearly undergone an intense workout routine for this role of a wrestler and a boxer, and the stunt sequences show that the star takes his job quite seriously.  

Aakanksha Singh, who has two shades in the movie, sparkles as Kichcha's girlfriend, and later a supporting wife. Suniel Shetty, as the adopted father, the mentor who wants Kichcha to become the champion, is a perfect fit and looks composed. Even though antagonist Kabir Duhan Singh's presence is limited, he makes up for it during the climax.

Pailwaan's picturisation by Karunakar and the music scored by Arjun Janya are some of the film's highlights. The background score in particular really elevates the film. Pailwaan brings out the importance of sportsmanship with an underlying message about nurturing young talents. It is an uplifting drama that deserves a watch by all Sudeep fans.

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