Saala Khadoos

saala khadoos Plot
Saala Khadoos
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Cast: R Madhavan, Nasser, Zakir Hussain, Ritika Singh

Writer/Director: Sudha Kongara

Producer/s: Rajkumar Hirani, Siddharth Roy Kapur

Plot: Adi Tomar had a dream to win the boxing gold for India. Instead he languished in a nightmare for a decade as his gloves were spiked during an all-important match, blinding him in the arena and handing the match to his undeserving opponenta mediocre boxer but a political powerhouse. The culprit was his own coach, Dev Khatri. Shattered by his loss, and disillusioned by the state of Indian boxing, Adi turned to a life of cynical self-destruction of booze, brothels and bar-fights. Loyal friends somehow bring him back to boxing as the coach of the lowly rated Indian women’s boxing team. His outspoken honesty sends jitters through his old adversaries, and he is soon transferred to Chennaithe Siberia of Indian boxing. But Adi continues to dream but this time for a free-spirited, fiery young woman from the fishing community, Madhi. Adi spots in her a champion that could bring India the gold that he was robbed off. But first Adi must earn her trust, then tame her impetuosity and finally make her dream all this in just nine months before the world championship. And so begins an uneasy partnership between a man who loves his sport and a girl who loves her freedom. Rigor and rebellion, structure and free spirit collide. It is the beginning of a beautiful friendship and a journey towards an impossible dream.

saala khadoos Review
Saala Khadoos Movie Poster
Saala Khadoos Movie Poster

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and half stars)

Star Cast: R Madhavan, Nassar, Zakir Hussain, Ritika Singh

Director: Sudha Kongara

What’s Good: R Madhavan packs a punch with his performance as the ‘Khadoos’ coach and fresh face Ritika Singh too puts her heart into the role.

What’s Bad: Saala Khadoos is a recap of Chak De and very little portions of Mary Kom too. The film’s predictability puts you off from it in the first half itself.

Loo Break: Second half & songs would be a good time.

Watch or Not?: Not a must-watch! Saala Khadoos is a typical Bollywood sports drama that is highly formulaic. Also, there is little sport in this sports-based film.

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Adi Tomar (R Madhavan) is a boxing coach with the Indian Boxing Association. After being a victim of politics that shut his career as a boxer, Adi is forced to become a coach but his brash behavior towards the corrupt association chief, Dev (Khatri) land him up in a transfer to Chennai. Being framed under sexual harassment, Adi is sent to Chennai to train women boxers.

After reaching Chennai, Adi remains unhappy with the current team as he feels they lack the spark until he meets Madhi (Ritika) whose elder sister Lux/Lakshmi (Mumtaz Sircar) is a boxer too.

Thus, Adi starts to lure Madhi who is a fisher woman to take up boxing by giving her money. They soon build a rapport as a coach-student and eventually Madhi falls for her coach.

What will happen when politics mix with the already complicated relation of Madhi and Adi?

R Madhavan in a still from movie 'Saala Khadoos'
R Madhavan in a still from movie ‘Saala Khadoos’

Saala Khadoos Review: Script Analysis

When it comes to sports dramas, clearly Chak De and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag remain to be the best of Bollywood. Saala Khadoos will particularly be compared to Chak De mainly because of the whole coach angle. The problem with this film is that it does not rise above the cliches that it thrives on. Be it the nature of politics and the revelation of hardships that women boxers go through, their representation in the story is too amateurish. The plot lacks any novelty and after a point, the focus shifts from boxing and there is much more melodrama. In spite of having an interesting character detail like Madhi being a fisher woman whose mother is a North Indian married to a South Indian, they fail to create a good background.

Zaakir Hussain’s villainous character Dev is too caricaturish and could have been crafted a little more intelligently.

The love angle seems too forced and I would say it is a little unfair to show woman in sports not having their focus right every time. Madhi falling in love could have been easily avoided and the whole idea of a May-December romance does not fit well with the theme of the film.

Saala Khadoos Review: Star Performance

R Madhavan gives a power packed performance. He is a great actor anyway but seeing him in this rustic avatar is a delight.

Ritika Singh debuts with this film and she looks pretty damn confident. Of course we were not expecting her to blow us away but nonetheless she does a decent job. For a boxer, this level of acting is certainly an upper-cut!

Zaakir Hussain as the villainous Dev Khatri does a good job. In spite of the poorly written character, he makes an impact.

Nassar does a brilliant job as a junior coach. He is like Chak De’s Vibha Chibber who gives a strong supporting role.

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