Saala Khadoos Movie Review

Release Date: 29 January 2016

Starring: R. Madhavan, Ritika Singh, Mumtaz Sorcar, Zakir Hussain, Radha Ravi, Nassar, Kaali Venkat, Baljinder Kaur, Sanjana Mohan

Directed by: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Production company: Y NOT Studios, UTV Motion Pictures

Producers: S. Sashikanth, Rajkumar Hirani, R. Madhavan

Music by: Santhosh Narayanan

Written by: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Cinematography: Sivakumar Vijayan

Duration: 1 hr and 49 mins (running time)

Genres: Drama, Sports

Censor Rating: U/A

About the Movie Saala Khadoos

Shot simultaneously in two languages, Hindi (as ‘Saala Khadoos’) and Tamil (as ‘Irudhi Suttra’), the movie stars R. Madhavan in the lead who is also producing the same jointly with producer and ace director Rajkumar Hirani. Lately, Bollywood has given its audience well acclaimed sports stories like ‘Brothers’, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, ‘Chak De!’ and ‘Mary Kom’, and movies like ‘Sultan’ and ‘Azhar’ are lined up to be released this year.

With a real life boxer Ritika Singh in the lead role, the movie promises to bring in the right passion and authenticity of the character which is surely a plus point for ‘Saala Khadoos’. Let’s find out if the movie is the best knockout of these rebellious coach and boxer as a team!

The Plot:

Deceived by his own coach, Adi Tomar (R. Madhavan) gave up on his dream of winning the gold for boxing in India and turned to a self-destructive life. Backed by loyal friends, he comes back to the sport, this time as a coach of Indian women boxing team. Still dealing with the antagonism, he continues his chase to conquer his dream by training a free-spirited, fiery, young fisher woman in Chennai named Madhi (Ritika Singh). ‘Saala Khadoos’ is a story of a rebellious coach who stirs passion and right sport skills in a rustic girl and their journey towards their dreams.

Performances in the film Saala Khadoos

While the raging trailer of ‘Saala Khadoos’ speaks volumes about the versatile actor R. Madhavan and an empowering script, the B-town celebrities are showing all thumbs up for the story and even the newcomer, Ritika Singh. Here is a quick review of Saala Khadoos to help you decide whether you would actually like to go for this sports drama or not!

As a film ‘Mary Kom’ is a perfect example where ravishing Priyanka Chopra grooms and trains herself to get into the shoes of a go getter boxer and ruled our hearts and the Box Office with her mind blowing performance. It would not be fair to compare both the movies, because one is a biopic and ‘Saala Khadoos’ casts a real boxer fitting into her raw character and doing justice to it. What is common is the sport, i.e., boxing and both made with a motive to empower the women of India.

Rustic dialogues in the film add to the earthiness of the undoubtedly well researched script. R. Madhavan as Adi Tomar balances his outrageous personality with his sarcasm that surely makes for a good laugh. He nailed his role with an absolutely effortless performance.

Ritika Singh with her raw, no glam persona gels with her character in the film as Madhi. The rage, madness, aggression and the little teenage perkiness of Madhi surely deserves thumbs up.

Zakir Hussain as Dev Khatri, the national women’s boxing head coach played the antagonist in the film. Many competent actors like Nasser who plays the role of a junior coach, Mumtaz Sorcar as Madhi’s sister and MK Raina as Adi’s friend were seen in the film.

Inspired for many real stories, ‘Saala Khadoos’ is like another attempt to convey how atrocities, filth, red tapism and politics still prevail in Indian sports. The essence was conveyed well in the first half of the movie while the film lacks spark particularly in the second half.

The Music of Saala Khadoos:

For a sports-cum-drama movie like Saala Khadoos, one can only expect and accept music that is well stitched with its story. Lyricist Swanand Kirkire and music composer Santhosh Narayanan have surely met our expectations. The music album of the films has five songs, with “Saala Khadoos” and “Jhalli Patakha” aptly describing both the leads in the story. Sung by Vishal Dadlani in the right spirit and flamboyance goes well with the aggressive and outrageous demeanor of the coach played by R. Madhavan. On the other hand, “Jhalli Patakha” sung by Sunidhi Chauhan in her unvanquish and ‘bindass‘ style, is a raw, playful number, perfectly describing the uninhibited, lively character played by Ritika Singh.

‘Dil Ye Ladaku’ is a sweet song that does not go mushy yet perfectly describes the feelings of the protagonist as she falls in love. Singers Vishal Dadlani and Vijaynarain have added the right amount of vigor and rage with their voices in the song “Jagaa Khunnas”. The last song, “Dhuaan Hai Dhuaan Zindagi” sung by Kalyani Nair is quite a sad number, though well timed within the plot.

Overall, the music of Saala Khadoos is not disappointing and fits with the show, though there is no song which one would want to add to the list of ‘all time favourites’.

Details of songs in the movie:

“Saala Khadoos”

Singer: Vishal Dadlani

Duration: 04:14

“Dil Ye Ladaku”

Singer: Monali Thakur

Duration: 3 mins 22 secs

“Jagaa Khunnas”

Singers: Vishal Dadlani, Vijaynarain

Duration: 4 mins 19 secs

“Dhuaan Hai Dhuaan Zindagi”

Singer: Kalyani Nair

Duration: 3 mins 10 secs

“Jhalli Patakha”

Singers: Sunidhi Chauhan

Duration: 3 mins 3 secs

What’s good: The intention behind making the film, well researched content for the plot, the stupendous actor R. Madhavan in his new avataar, the earthiness of Madhi’s character and no over the top romantic drama are the plus points of the film.

What’s bad: The story is quite predictable, including the climax of the film. There are more loose ends in second half. The characters of particular the supporting cast, for instance those of Mumtaz Sorcar and Nasser were not very well defined.

Verdict: This story of a khadoos bringing the best talent out of a jhalli is worth watching!

Saala Khadoos Rating: ***

Trivia about Saala Khadoos!

  • Ritika Singh and Mumtaz Sorcar are both professional boxers from a boxing academy and have even done Bengali films earlier. What could be more substantial than watching a real boxer as a reel boxer too!
  • The movie was simultaneously shot in Hindi and Tamil and C. V. Kumar’s Thirukumaran Entertainment co-produced Irudhi Suttru, the Tamil version of the movie.
  • The film was shot in short span of fifty days. Pre-production works for Saala Khadoos began in 2013 but shooting commenced in July 2014.
  • Director and scriptwriter Sudha Kongara Prasad had been working on the script of this movie during the production of her directorial debut Drohi which was released in 2010. Taking inspiration from an editorial about North Chennai and its boxing culture published in The Hindu newspaper, her extensive research about female boxers, interviewing boxers from across India, and after interacting with Mary Kom and other Indian Olympic athletes, she finally worked on the script.
  • Madhavan surely worked hard for his look in the film and followed an aggressive fitness regime in Los Angeles. His rugged, unshaven, long hair, aggressive look in Saala Khadoos is surely amusing his fans! Also, he used to wear metal braces over his teeth to naturally imitate a lisp which is a speech disorder most boxers suffer from due to sport injuries.
  • Yes, you heard that right! One of the fittest actress in Bollywood Shilpa Shetty actually turned to a dietitian and fitness coach for her friend R. Madhavan and help him manage body weight effective for his role in Saala Khadoos.
  • Saala Khadoos was earlier titled Laal which was later changed to the current title in June 2014.

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