Sattar, the new Netflix film from Saudi Arabia features an absurd plot, and more than that, the choices by director Abdullah Al-Arak make Sattar leap from mundane reality into a fantasy world. Sattar: The Return of the Legendary Slap is at once a slapstick comedy and also a tale of following your dreams, even if the road to living your dreams is filled with some gut-punching reality, both literally and metaphorically.
The story of Sattar revolves around Saad, a young orphan who lived with his grandfather and got bit by the wrestling bug. Saad’s grandfather raised him on videotapes of entertainment wrestling, and Saad was enamored by that world. Little did he know that when he grew up, he would be an overweight guy, and his love for wrestling would be stifled by the responsibilities that surrounded him.
What Happens In ‘Sattar’ Movie?
Saad gets bullied at school for his love of wrestling. His grandfather used to make him wrestle with other kids, under his supervision, of course, and Saad took it very seriously. Saad was in no way a real wrestler. He was learning the finishing moves and the ‘scenario’ building; that’s part of the kind of wrestling he saw. His classmates and his teachers all ensured that he started to hate the one thing his grandfather had taught him. Nobody befriended him because he didn’t play anything else, and he wasn’t good at anything other than pretending to wrestle. Saad grew up, never having pursued his favorite thing, and started to work at an insurance office. With his marriage right on the cards with his lovely finance, Felowah, Saad decided to give wrestling one last shot. What was there to lose?
How Did Saad Become The ‘Punching Bag’?
Saad registered himself online for a wrestling competition. He didn’t tell a soul about this daring move. Neither his office nor his fiancée knew about it. There were risks involved. If Felowah’s mother, who already did not like Saad very much, came to know that he was involved in something as bizarre as wrestling, she would never allow him to marry her. Felowah always listened to her mother, so he had to make sure she, too, didn’t know about the competition.
Saad had to arrive at the competition with a partner who would help the judges rate his skills. He would practice his moves on his partner, and those were the rules. Saad had invited a co-worker, but he ditched him, and Saad had to request that one of the other contestants be his partner. A giant man, extremely muscular with a great physique, agreed to help. Now Saad only knew about wrestling, where there was a’scenario’ and the moves were planned in advance. His partner didn’t even bother to listen to him or his scenario. He beat him pretty handily, and from that day on, Saad was known as the ‘punching bag.’ He was a bit overweight, but he did not deserve this treatment. The videos of him getting beaten up went viral, and even his office workers and Felowah’s family got to know about it.
How Did Saad Meet Ali Hogain? Why Did Saad Interest Ali?
In every gray cloud, there is a silver lining. Saad got beat up pretty badly, and his upcoming marriage and his job were now threatened. Not just that; on his way out of the competition, he was hit by a truck. Saad got up, somehow uninjured. A masked man was watching the events transpire, and he placed his cell phone in Saad’s bag. Later, he contacted Saad through this cell and asked him to meet up in his garage. Saad met the masked man, who told him that his name was Ali Hogain. Ali was an unusual guy. Hogain looked like Ali G and Borat’s love child, and he talked in a way that was hard to decipher, yet he was a very intelligent man. The moment he saw Saad getting up uninjured after getting hit by that truck, he knew he had someone very special on his hands.
Ali worked for a dangerous fellow named Doberman, who ran an underground freestyle wrestling racket. There were illegal bets, and people who owed him money wound up in a lot of trouble. Ali owed him over fifty thousand riyals. The only way out for him was to bet against Saad and win some money. ‘Friendlies’ were low-stake matches where Ali knew Saad would lose, so he made money betting against him. Saad proposed something way bigger to him. He wanted to leave the ‘friendlies’ and enter the wrestling championship. Saad had this ability to get beat up, but he had a long way to go to learn how to win fights.
How Did “Sattar” Win The Championship?
Saad was known to everyone, even Doberman, as the man who got beat up and got the name ‘punching bag.’ Nobody expected Saad to win except Ali. He showed him the underground wrestling arena and all the great legends that had made their bones there. Ali told him about the legendary slap, the finishing move of a great wrestler who’d once wrestled in the arena. This was his way to psych Saad up, for he couldn’t afford to let him go. He made him see the dream again, and Saad was pumped. He started to fantasize about his life with Felowah, even though she had already decided to break up with him, following the diktats of her mother.
Before Ali made Saad enter the ring, he carefully changed his identity. He used a masked costume, which made him seem like a new wrestler altogether. Saad came up with the name Sattar, and people actually started to dig the name and his unique costume. They did not know that Sattar was actually the ‘punching bag.’ Ali only agreed to enter Sattar into the championship if he agreed to pay him 50 thousand riyals. Saad was now Sattar, but he needed training for the upcoming matches, and this is why Ali approached the construction worker Abdulkhaliq. He was a living legend in the wrestling world. He trained Sattar and followed him closely. As it turns out, the real Abdulkhaliq had been long dead. This man impersonating him was actually an undercover cop who wanted to catch Doberman. He wanted Sattar to unmask Doberman and bring the real person out in the open.
Sattar still had a long way to go, and the training from Abdulkhaliq was only going to take him so far. He needed something more. This is where his grandfather came in. Saad’s grandfather, who couldn’t even open his olive jars by himself anymore, was the wrestler known for the ‘Legendary Slap.’ Saad found this out when he found the same wrestling equipment and weapons that were placed in the arena as a tribute to him. Saad didn’t know, but his grandfather had followed his whole journey. From fighting as Saad to becoming Sattar, he had seen it all. Now, he knew that he was in the finals of the championship and needed to learn the technique of the legendary slap to defeat Doberman. Doberman had previously killed all his opponents, but this time, even he was scared. It is the reason Doberman asked Ali to throw in the red towel, which signified Sattar’s withdrawal from the match.
For doing so, Doberman had even forgiven all his debt as well. When the match began, Sattar was on the back foot, but when his grandfather and Felowah arrived, he used the legendary slap and unmasked Doberman. He was the same guy who had beaten him up pretty badly in the wrestling competition earlier, the one after which Saad was nicknamed the ‘punching bag. Abdulkhaliq, the cop, came in and arrested the whole racket, except Ali and Saad. Felowah’s mother, who was never going to let Felowah marry Saad, changed her tune the moment Saad was handed over the 100 thousand riyals for winning the championship. Saad had not only become a truly great wrestler, with the legendary slap as his finisher, but also made everyone proud as well. A reward for following his passion was finally given to him by the almighty, whom he believes in wholeheartedly.