Touted to be probably the first star-hero in this generation to attempt a sports-drama, Pailwaan has to more to it than just what happens inside the ring. The movie has its heart set at the right place with a lot of layers; something that is very risky to pull off in the current era.

The Hebbuli combo widened their reach by making use of Sudeep’s pan-India appeal to release the flick in multiple languages. By roping in Suniel Shetty‌, they also had a good actor take the stage for an important character like ‘Sarkar’.

Krishna(Sudeep), an orphan is identified as a prospect to become a wrestling champion by a kusti coach in his young years. Taking him under his wing, Sarkar trains the boy to become a wrestling beast on the ring. However, when Krishna breaks his guru’s promise of not marrying before becoming a world champion, conflict arises and the actual story begins.

Just like most of the boxing movies, Pailwaan too follows a similar template and there are several deja-vu moments inside the film. The movie tries to achieve its pay-off by investing in the father-son bonding and this works to an extent. The film is slightly longer and a few subplots could have been trimmed.

Sudeep is at his best in the movie. His muscular avatar is a treat to watch while his heroics inside the ring is whistle-worthy. He also forges a memorable partnership with Suniel Shetty, who impresses on his Sandalwood debut. The rest of the cast is fine.

Arjun Janya has done a good job with the songs and manages to convince with his BGM. Cinematography is done well and the saffron tone was a good idea to start with.

In the end, Pailwaan is a good commercial movie to watch this weekend although it would be better if you tone down your expectations before stepping into the theatres.