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.
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?
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.
Saala Khadoos Review: Music, Direction
Sudha Kongara directs Saala Khadoos and she does a decent job with it but fails to create an impact. This is a film which can be seen that it comes straight from the heart but unfortunately does not appeal in the same way. What we miss badly are the scenes where we see Madhi going through grueling training sessions. Kongara presents a story that thrives on short cuts and is a hurried screenplay which jumps from one frame to the other. The songs seem unnecessary, especially the scenes where we see Madhi contemplating, they could have been easily reduced. Even though the film’s run-time is agile, we wish they would have maintained a slower pace for the story. Thanks to the hurried pace, we fail to connect with any character as such.
Saala Khadoos Review: The Last Word
Saala Khadoos is extremely formulaic and that’s where it falls flat. Strong performances do not save this predictable film. A 2.5/5 for this!
Saala Khadoos Trailer
Saala Khadoos releases on 29th January, 2016.
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