We made sure there was no similarity to Sultan: Dangal director speaks up

As Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal had a stupendous opening weekend, the film’s soft-spoken director Nitesh Tiwari reveals how they were in touch with the team of Sultan, “We were never insecure about doing the same thing. Two films about wrestling need not be similar. Although Raging Bull and Hands Of Stone are about boxing, how similar are they to the Rocky series? Nonetheless, we didn’t want to resemble Sultan in any detail and we made sure we didn’t.”

Luckily for both projects, the team was not the least secretive about each other’s content. Says Nitesh, “All through the making of our film we kept them (the Sultan team) in the loop about what we were filming. And they didn’t hide their content either. Finally, Sultan was a love story of two wrestlers. Ours is a biopic of a wrestler who trained his two daughters to be Olympic champions.”

Nitesh doesn’t deny similarities between Dangal and Sultan. “The two films are similar in their wrestling backdrops and their motivational themes. Also, Salman and Aamir bulked up to inhuman limits to look like wrestlers past their prime. But that’s it. There are no other similarities. Even if there were similarities, Aamir and Salman are stars that audiences just can’t get enough of. People don’t mind watching them do the same thing.”

Nitesh is full of admiration for both the Khan superstars. “At 50-plus, no actor can afford to take the risks with their metabolism that Aamir and Salman did. To me they are the stars of the year because they have made kushti a nationally acceptable sport for boys and girls.”

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