Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad
Cast: R. Madhavan, Ritika Singh, Nassar
You know that a sports film is good when it gives its audience an adrenaline rush and makes one root for a character despite knowing fully well that the match result lies not in your cheers, but the director’s cut. Saala Khadoos unfortunately does neither.
It plays out like an insipid drama as you sit through a story that has been told and retold a few times in Bollywood and unfortunately for the Khadoos team, in ways that are much more effective.
Saala Khadoos is the story of a dedicated boxer Adi (Madhavan) who is ousted from the association maliciously and comes back into the realm as a coach amidst a bunch of corrupt officials. His experiences have made him bitter or khadoos. But his life finds purpose when he meets Madi (Ritika Singh) a fisherman’s daughter who knows more than a thing or two about packing punches and takes her under his wings. While the film is based on the equation between the master and his protegee-turned-crush-turned-
Director Sudha Kongara Prasad has cramped too much in a 109 minutes film and in the process, made it a fleeting account as opposed to an arresting story. So while you see the protagonists crying, falling in love or celebrating, you do little more than stop chewing your popcorn for a second.
An angry young man, Adi snaps at anyone that’s not Madi and very often does it with little style or wit. It would’ve been difficult to like him had it not been for his pumped up chest and great hair. Madhavan may have given it his best shot, but the screenplay lets him down and his angst often comes across as forced at the sound of ‘action’.
Ritika Singh, a real life boxer lacks no punch when in the ring and has done a fairly good job for a debutante but again the lack of any real story weighs down her enthusiasm at a match selection or overnight love for the mentor.
Most of the other characters in the film too are reduced to caricatures with exagerated laughs, scowls and dialogues.
The boxing scenes, thanks to Ritika's off screen role pack a few hard punches and a few well-timed dialogues lift the story from time to time.
Blame it on the other glorious attempts at sports films that have spoiled us or a lack of soul in this one, there are too many déjà vu moments in the film. It explains itself when in the end, the screen reads, ‘This film is inspired by many true stories’. That’s what we thought.