Saala Khadoos directed by Sudha Kongara has the roughness the title demands in the visual making of the movie. When it comes to the scripting style it has taken inspiration from other films that came under the “rise of the underdog” category sports dramas. And in the dialogues department, the movie is largely melodramatic. With Madhavan and Ritika Singh playing the lead roles with utmost sincerity, Saala Khadoos (titled Irudhi Suttru in Tamil) is a mixed bag that creates an overall good impression.
Adi Tomar is a boxing coach who after his unfortunate end to boxing career is living a frustrated life as a boxing coach. The very short tempered guy gets transferred to Chennai because of certain inner politics in the boxing association. And in Chennai he manages to find a girl whom he believes has the potential to be champion. The movie Saala Khadoos basically shows the bumpy ride of the coach and student towards success filled with different kinds of obstacles.
At the end they are saying it is a story based on many true stories and looking at the way the script was constructed, I could sense many other sports related movies and their ideas inside it. The always angry coach who wants to prove his point by making his disciple a champion (Chak De), a tactic mentioned somewhere in between the story line getting used in the climax portion (Iqbal) etc. were a few I could easily recollect. But as I said, there is a roughness in the visual side of the film which makes it a likeable one overall. The character outbursts looked sincere on screen and Sudha did well in getting the best from her actors.
As an actor R Madhavan shows a great transformation not just in looks but also in being that short tempered, result oriented coach. Ritika Singh in her acting debut surprises with a riveting performance. The badassery of Madhi was evident in her portrayal. Mumtaz Sorcar wasn’t that great and Nassar sounded a little awkward giving all those hindi “Jwalamukhi” phrases in his Tamil diction. Actor Zakir Hussain in his typical style did the antagonist part neatly.
You can’t really question the decision of making the movie a bilingual as both North and South of India plays a key part in the film. But I sort of felt that director Sudha could have handled the language barrier in a better way. When you hear too much of Hindi in the streets of Chennai, it isn’t that convincing. As I already mentioned, the director has succeeded in bringing out the best from her actors and also in giving a more realistic touch to the visuals. The screenplay has taken elements from existing pattern of making inspirational sports dramas. The dialogues lacked that rawness which was there in the visuals. Photography was good and so was the music and BGM. Edits also showed standard.
To conclude, the hindi version titled Saala Khadoos is melodramatic in terms of writing and engaging in terms of visuals. If you are okay with the borrowed elements in the content, the film will be more than satisfying for sure. Watch it for some performances.
Saala Khadoos is melodramatic in terms of writing and engaging in terms of visuals. Watch it for some performances.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended