Disney+ Hotstar's newest addition brings audiences into the captivating world of "Sultan of Delhi," a meticulously crafted period drama series under the adept direction of renowned filmmaker Milan Luthria.
Transporting viewers to the vibrant and turbulent backdrop of 1960s Delhi, this series draws its creative impetus from the well-received work of Arnab Ray, the acclaimed novelist behind "Sultan of Delhi: Ascension." With careful attention to detail, it unfolds the narrative of an individual's rapid rise within the covert realm of arms trade in the bustling city.
In a nuanced and compelling portrayal, Tahir Raj Bhasin embodies the character of Arjun, and Anjum Sharma masterfully assumes the role of the unwavering confidant, skillfully leading us through the intricate and tumultuous journey depicted across nine captivating episodes.
Sultan Of Delhi: Narrative
The story commences by whisking the audience away from the tumultuous times of the 1947 Partition in Lahore and leads us to the early 1960s Delhi. Here, we observe the transformation of Arjun, evolving from a mere survivor into a shrewd and determined individual in his relentless pursuit of success.
In the initial episodes of the series, there's a tendency to provide excessive exposition, and at times, the dialogue might feel somewhat rigid as it strives to establish characters and backgrounds. However, as the narrative unfolds and Arjun's character undergoes a significant transformation, the series gradually gains momentum and finds its stride.
The storyline escalates with the emergence of a fierce power struggle between Arjun and the affluent ally of the formidable Jagan, portrayed by Vinay Pathak, named Rajinder Pratap Singh. This rivalry forms the backdrop for a thrilling and suspenseful climax, leaving the audience eagerly anticipating the unfolding of the next chapter.
Sultan Of Delhi: Acting
Tahir Raj Bhasin skillfully portrays Arjun, effectively conveying his initial preoccupation with survival. However, the abrupt transition in his character's trajectory towards a criminal persona may come across as disconcerting. Notably, the camaraderie between Arjun and his loyal companion, Bangali (Anjumm Sharma), emerges as one of the series' standout facets, injecting a sense of depth and authenticity into their relationship.
Conversely, Nishant Dahiya's character, Rajinder, doesn't quite exude the formidable presence one would anticipate. Instead, he often appears more petulant than genuinely menacing, despite being initially positioned as Arjun's primary adversary.
Within "Sultan of Delhi," an ensemble of female characters, including Mouni Roy, Harleen Sethi, and Mehreen Pirzada, is featured. However, it is unfortunate that these characters are confined to conventional and underdeveloped roles. Notably, Anupriya Goenka's depiction of Shankari, a femme fatale character, raises eyebrows as she curiously remains ageless over a 15-year period.
Sultan Of Delhi: Critique
"Sultan of Delhi" skillfully weaves in elements reminiscent of Bollywood cinema, fusing a captivating combination of pulp storytelling with a dash of glamour. However, its real brilliance emerges when delving into the intricacies of the relationships among its characters, propelling the series beyond the realms of typical crime drama.
As the stage is impeccably set for what promises to be an enthralling second season, the show leaves its audience eagerly anticipating the uncharted paths the characters might tread in their evolution.