Sultan Of Delhi Review: Tahir Raj Bhasin Starrer Is A Slow But Engaging Crime Drama With Weak Female Characters!

It does have potential though!
Sultan Of Delhi Review: Tahir Raj Bhasin Starrer Is A Slow But Engaging Crime Drama With Weak Female Characters!

Friday the 13th has many new releases but the one that we’ve been waiting for is Sultan of Delhi. This period crime thriller series written by Suparn Verma and directed by Milan Luthria is currently streaming on the OTT platform Disney+ Hotstar. Produced by Reliance Entertainment, this series is based on the book Sultan of Delhi: Ascension by Arnab Ray. Starring Tahir Raj Bhasin, Mouni Roy, Anjumm Shharma, Vinay Pathak, Anupriya Goenka, Nishant Dahiya, Mehreen Pirzada and Harleen Sethi among others. Read on the know our review of episodes 1 to 4 of the series.

The Plot Of Sultan Of Delhi

Set in 1962 after the India-Pakistan partition in 1947, this series follows the story of Tahir Raj Bhasin’s Arjun Bhatia. Arjun and his father end up in India after their family is brutally murdered during the India-Pakistan partition. With the drive to grow and earn, Arjun ends up in a life of crime after teaming up with Vinay Pathak’s Jagan Seth and Anjumm Shharma’s Bangali. And then the game of crimes and politics gets intertwined when Nishant Dahiya’s Rajender Pratap Singh walks into their lives. Arjun’s support system is his friend Preeti (played by Harleen Sethi) and his bromance with Bangali. Eventually, Arjun falls for Mehreen Pirzada’s Sanjana. Mouni Roy plays Nayanthara, a cabaret dancer who catches the eye of Bangali.

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Performances

Tahir Raj Bhasin as Arjun Bhatia: We’ve known Tahir Raj Bhasin to be a nuanced actor and he has proved his mettle in acting yet again with his portrayal of Arjun Bhatia. The actor looks convincing as a rising gangster in a life of crime.

 

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A post shared by Tahir Raj Bhasin (@tahirrajbhasin)

Mouni Roy as Nayantara: I’d love to talk about Mouni Roy’s portrayal of Nayantara or her character. However, the actress’ character is yet to be introduced. From the looks of it, the actress’ character will be introduced in episode 6 of this 9 episodic series. I mean…

 

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Anjumm Shharma as Nilendu/Bangali: Anjumm Shharma shines in his role as Tahir’s Arjun’s loyal sidekick and brother from another mother. His character is someone who can truly be a straightforward person. He plays an honest friend to Arjun who has his back but also shows him the mirror when the need arises. However, it’s sad that we don’t get our fill of Bangali because he’s nothing more than a sidekick.

 

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Anupriya Goenka as Shankari Devi: She’s the classic femme fatale that we’ve seen in the history of cinema. Anupriya’s Shankari is a woman who owns her sexuality and uses it to her advantage. As cliché as her character is, her role is as meaty as it can get since she reportedly came up with her character’s backstory.

 

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A post shared by Anupria Goenka (@goenkaanupriya)

Nishant Dahiya as Rajender Pratap Singh: Nishant Dahiya is an interesting character with his own inner demons but the actor seems to be uncomfortable in his character. It was truly hard to connect with this character because the actor himself failed to connect to his character or emote the emotions of RP Singh.

 

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A post shared by NISHANT DAHIYA (@nishantdahhiya)

Vinay Pathak as Jagan Seth: Vinay Pathak is a seasoned actor and while he’s a delight to witness every time he appears on the screen, the actor seems wasted in the first 4 episodes of the show with very little to do and a severe lack of character arc.

 

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A post shared by Vinay Pathak (@pathakvinay)

Mehreen Pirzada as Sanjana: Mehreen Pirzada is not just a wasted opportunity but a wasted character as well. The actress delivered an earnest performance but it’s all wasted due to the lack of depth in her character.

 

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Harleen Sethi as Preeti: Harleen Sethi’s Preeti hardly has any screen time in the first 4 episodes of the show to evaluate her performance.

 

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Also Read: What To Watch This Week Of October 9 To 15: Dhak Dhak, Sultan Of Delhi, Darran Choo, And More

Verdict: Tahir Raj Bhasin Shines In This Slow-Paced Period Crime Drama

This goes without saying that Tahir Raj Bhasin has owned and anchored the show through and through. Having said that, Anjumm Shharma got more screen space as a sidekick than the female leads in the show. As harsh as this may sound, we were sold on Mouni Roy’s poster of the show with hopes of seeing the actress in a meaty role, it’s disappointing to not even get a single glimpse of her 4 episodes into this 9 episodic series. I mean, is there hope? Yes, sure. But I’ve got my reservations about her character’s screentime and meatiness.

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Coming to what works for the Sultan Of Delhi, it’s Tahir Raj Bhasin’s acting and how he manages to make all of us feel invested in Arjun Sharma’s success after the horrors of his past. He totally had me rooting for him. But I kid you not, I did a double take when the actor bared his backside for the show. It’s a rarely ever done before move but it had me hooked to my seat wondering what other shockers his character has in store for us. Having said that, there’s also the fact that it took me 4 episodes to feel invested enough to know more. The show picks up painfully slow which makes you wonder if it’s even worth watching but 4 episodes into it, I am hooked and I want to know what happens next even though I’m expecting a series of clichés coming my way.

 

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A post shared by Tahir Raj Bhasin (@tahirrajbhasin)

The vintage filmmaking and colour themes, cars, sets, and everything had my attention including Milan Luthria’s storytelling which may be slow but it gives me hope. But there’s no denying the fact that every single female character and actor is wasted potential because of the superficial writing of their characters (so far). In conclusion, I’ll take a moment to highlight that the romantic songs in the film had sitting up and listening. Anupriya and Nishant’s chemistry is sizzling and so is Tahir and Anjumm’s bromance.

Considering that I’ve only watched 4 episodes, I’d say this show has potential. Here’s to hoping for more. FYI, Sultan of Delhi is currently streaming on OTT platform Disney+ Hotstar.

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Janvi Manchanda

​​She uses her pen to slice through patriarchy. She could be Geet one day, Wednesday Addams next. Writing is the bane of her existence and the object of all her desires!

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