Director Sudha Kongara’s Saala Khadoos explores the relationship between a sports mentor and his protege and it falls snugly into the category of films like Chak De India and Mary Kom, Let’s find out whether it manages to live up to those films.
Saala Khadoos tells the tale of a disgraced, gruff, has-been boxer played to perfection by Madhavan who discovers a foul mouthed protege played by newcomer Ritika Singh. Together they find redemption and surprisingly, romance as they walk down the path to victory. The story covers a number of issues like corruption in the sports fraternity, women empowerment and much more but fails to live up to its promise.
Madhavan does a fantastic job in the movie, his gruff middle-aged sports coach character is a far cry the familiar heart-throb we know and love so much. But this is a role that really gives him the chance to shine and he does. One can almost call it a career defining performance, but sadly the film doesn’t quite match up. Ritika Singh is a find and we can be sure to see her in a lot of movies soon.
Saala Khadoos’ biggest drawback is the weak screenplay. It touches on a lot of points and even manages to get you emotionally invested in the movie but all this doesn’t really lead to anything. The climax is weak and makes you wish for a better resolution. The romantic angle between the protagonists too feels forced. Their relationship would have made much more sense without it and you almost feel like it has been tacked on only as a requisite of a mainstream Bollywood flick.
Overall, Saala Khadoos is the kind of sports film which has been made before and in a much better way. If you are a Madhavan fan though, you should definitely not miss his incredible performance. We shall go with 2 and a half stars for this movie.