Saala Khadoos- Movie Review


Saala khadoos posterA couple of days before release, I read tweets from so many celebrities and movie critics who got to attend preview shows of Saala Khadoos, all saying the same thing- that the film is brilliant and the actress Ritika Singh is a great performer. Well, maybe not brilliant but the film is very gripping and entertaining and yes Ritika Singh is a fresh face with a rawness in her which stands out.

Plot in short– A boxing coach Adi Tomar (R. Madhavan) from Hissar (Haryana) is transferred by the Sports Association of India to Chennai on false charges of sexually harassing the players. Knowing this is because of the old enmity between Adi Tomar and a villainous coach from the association (Zakir Hussain) he agrees and goes, hoping to find gems to participate at the national level. He doesn’t quite see the fire he wants in any players until he meets Madhi, a Macchi-bechnewali (Ritika Singh) who is aggressive and fights like her boxing idol Mohammed Ali. He convinces her to play, bribing her with 500 bucks a day which is good to keep her poor family happy. Will she be able to be the boxing champion as Adi, her coach had imagined her to be?

The Good– The character sketches were vividly drawn out in a mish-mash of a story that is scripted really well. There is never a dull moment. In fact, I think there is a lot of energy in the performances, songs and background score. The film is action packed and it’s fun to watch the journeys of both the protagonists. Ritika Singh is like any other girl without all the girly nakhras except for maybe one scene where she’s all dressed up in a saree when she’s going to tell her coach about her feelings for him. R. Madhavan is fantastic as the rude, angry coach. He’s bulky, looks like a mess but has the arrogance and confidence that women like me love. I wish he spoke more clearly though. Zakir Hussain, the selector coach has become an expert at doing these villainous roles and is perfect. Nasser with his south Indian accent and funny scenes, especially where he’s talking about alcohol and eating liver is a lot of fun to watch. All the other supporting actors have made it movie worth watching. I like that the actors are wearing as good as no make up, natural, junglee hair and old faded clothes to keep it as real as possible.

The Not-so-good–  Even though the movie as a whole is entertaining, I couldn’t help but be reminded of some recent movies which are almost the same; namely, Chak De India, Mary Kom and Million Dollay Baby. Also, I find it a little funny that the girl who stays in the slums of Chennai and sells fish for a living doesn’t have a south Indian accent and neither does her family. Only the Junior coach (Nasser) has an accent for that matter. Nobody else in the entire film. Also, there was nothing in the film I didn’t expect. It was all quite predictable, fun to watch nonetheless.

Verdict– First time director Sudha Kongara’s Saala Khadoos is worth a watch for the performances and the quick paced screenplay.

Rating– 3.5/5


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