Before Fan came out, I talked about how a lot of the news seemed to just sort of stop in anticipation. Because people knew the media and fans would be so focused on the big release, they weren’t be spending much attention to unrelated news. Same thing happening here! A lot of news items tangentially related to Sultan, minimal items not related at all. And I’m not interested in those anyway (I’ll pay attention to IIFA once the performances start being posted on youtube), so I am ignoring everything not Sultan adjacent.
Item one: Sultan will be 2 hours and 50 minutes long, but Salim Khan says the length is perfect. This will make it one of the longer films of recent times. And is a good sign as to what kind of audience it is looking for. The thing with the “shorter” movies is that they can slide really easily into the schedule of a multiplex or an overseas theater which is splitting screens between Indian and overseas releases, so everything comes in nice little two hour packages (two and a half with trailers).
But a 3 hour film is much easier to slide into an all Indian film theater’s schedule. I notice this at the theater I go to, they are all Indian, and they want to have all the films end at about the same time at the end of the night so the staff can go home. When it is all 3 hour-ish films, they all start around 7 and get out around 10, and everyone hits the lobby for the interval around 8:30. But if a film is only around 2 hours, they don’t start it until 8 and there is this huge gap in the schedule and it throws everything off.
Plus, of course, the longer the film, the more likely it will fit the more Indian style of narrative, with the pre-interval cliffhanger and possibly a prologue section, and multiple flashbacks and side-stories and all that stuff I love.
Item Two: Really, the bigger story here is that Salim Khan got to watch the film, since YRF is usually super restrictive about who gets advanced viewings of their products. Supposedly, Salim wasn’t even allowed to see Ek Tha Tiger in advance. But I guess they stretched a point this time, considering Salim Khan is not only Salman’s father (and this looks to be an all time great Salman performance), but one of the two greatest scriptwriters in the history of India, and this looks to be a an excellently written script.
Item three: The Rustom trailer will be attached to Sultan. Early reports said it would be the Befikre trailer, and people got very very excited. But now that has been walked back, and it is Rustom instead. Which is still exciting, just not AS exciting. Setting aside the whole “Aditya Chopra’s first film in years” part of it, Befikre isn’t scheduled for release until December, so a trailer out now would be a real surprise, considering it is about 3 months ahead of the usual release promotion schedule. But Rustom is coming out on Independence Day, so we kind of all knew a trailer would be out sometime soon.
(What is a surprise is the “traitor” tag. I thought it was based on Nanavati and he was never rumored to be a traitor, was he?)
Actually, the biggest part of this news is that it helps confirm that Independence Day date for Rustom. Now that Mahenjo Daro is announced for August 12th as well, there is a fair chance one of the films will decide to move. But a Rustom trailer coming out now makes that slightly less likely. Although, so far as I can see, no one has grabbed Gandhi’s birthday weekend in October, and both Rustom and Mahenjo Daro would be a good fit if either of them decide to move (patriotic-ish, historical). Although if I were in charge, I would vote for Rustom staying where it is and Mahenjo Daro moving. Just based on the trailer, another few weeks in the CGI edit bay wouldn’t be the worst thing for it.