Ratings: 3.5
After the success of Hebbuli, S Krishna teamed up with Kiccha Sudeep for Pailwaan, which is much bigger film than their first movie as the latest project is a multilingual film made with a huge budget. It is an emotional story set in the backdrop of sports and the film marks the Sandalwood debut of Mangaluru-born Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty.


Krishna (Sudeep), an orphan, is brought up by Sarkar (Suniel Shetty), who trains him in wrestling. His aim of life is to fulfil his mentor's dream by winning a gold medal in the national level tournament. His life goes through unexepected changes after the entry of Rukmini (Aakanksha Singh). What follows next is the interesting part of the story.


Pailwaan is not a full-fledged sports film, but sports is just part of the hero's life. The focus is on the hero's journey. It is about how an orphan trained as a wrestler lands in the boxing ring. The director takes the first half to define Krishna's character and the life-changing challenge that he is going to face in the second half. Although the story progresses at a leisurely pace, necessary songs and fights keep the fans happy.

Sudeep in Pailwaan
Sudeep in Pailwaan.PR Handout

The second half keeps the audience hooked to their seats with emotional moments and action sequences. The climax fight in the boxing ring has been well-shot by the team and the purpose for Krishna's take up boxing challenge looks real and not filmy.

Pailwaan is not the fight between the good and evil, but how humility triumphs over the arrogance.


The strength of the movie is undoubtedly Kiccha Sudeep, who leaves the audience in awe with his physical transformation at the age of 46. Watch out for his finishing move in the wrestling ground. His performance in the climax is the major highlight of Pailwaan.

As always, Sudeep steals the show during emotional scenes and delivers knockout punch. Suniel Shetty looks perfect as his mentor. Aakanksha Singh is charming and her chemistry with Kiccha works out well for the film. Kabir Duhan Singh is impressive in the role of a brash boxer.

The movie is peppered with well-written dialogues. Sudeep's lines explaining the difference between love and friendship would get huge applause from the viewers. Kiccha says, "Love annodu six-pack idda hage, barodu tumba kasta, bandamele maintain maadodu innu kasta. Friendship annodu hotte idda hage, easy agi barute, banda mele sayovaregu erute. (Love is like a six-pack abs. It is difficult to get and hard to maintain once you get flat abs. Whereas friendship is like a belly flat and you cannot get rid of it once you gain it.)"

Don't Miss  
The scene in which Sharath Lohitashwa enquires whereabouts of Sudeep, while the latter is busy erecting a hoarding of the boxing tournament. Kiccha's never-say-die attitude in the final fight.  

Thumbs up for Arjun Janya's two songs (Kanmaniye and title number) and Karunakar's cinematography. Last but not the least, action sequences deserve special mention. 


On the flip side, the slow narration is one of the major drawbacks of the film and the songs in the second half work like speed breakers. Comedy portion falls flat in Pailwaan.

Despite its shortcoming, Pailwaan turns out to be an enjoyable outing for the fans of Sudeep and family audience. Kiccha and S Krishna's fresh attempt and their sincere efforts have to be lauded. Indeed, the director should be hailed for extracting top notch work from his hero and for presenting a perfectly-packaged film.