Cast: R Madhavan, Ritika Singh, Naseer, Mumtaz Sorcar, Zakar Hussain
Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad
Producer: R Madhavan
Writer: Sudha Kongara Prasad
Claps: Performances, Boxing scenes
Slaps: Too many songs in the first half might distract you a bit
What's New: A film which weaves a delightful tale around a 'khadoos' boxing coach and his 'jhalli' student
Popcorn Interval: Strictly Interval
Plot: Adi Tomar's ( R Madhavan) dream to win the boxing gold for India gets shattered when his own coach Dev Khatri spikes his gloves and causes him to lose the match. Shattered by this loss and betrayal Adi turns to the world of booze, brothel and bar-fights until his friends pull him back to this sport but this time as a coach of the Indian women's boxing. However Adi proves to be a bone of contention for his old adversaries who get him transferred to Chennai. There he chances upon a rebellious, fire spewing fisherwoman Madhi ( Ritika Singh) whose hidden passion for boxing breathes new life in his shattered dreams. Thus begins the 'taming of the shrew' and a journey where greater lessons are to be learnt outside the boxing ring.
Performance: For most of us Madhavan is still Maddy from 'Rehna Na Tere Dil Mein'. However 'Saala Khadoos' presents a very different side of him which will definitely remain etched in our minds for a long time. The actor completely nails it as the strict, no-nonsense boxing coach. ( Also girls beware! Some of you might find yourself drooling over his hot looks by the end of the film just like me)
Ritika Singh is a great find! This young girl oozes of raw talent and is quite impressive in her debut film. Despite sharing screen space with a known co-star she gets nowhere lost in her scenes and stands on her own making sure that your eyes remain glued to her.
Mumtaz Sorcar as Ritika's elder sister Laxmi aka Lux and Naseer as the junior coach have some 'shining' moments.
Zakar Hussain as the corrupt and immoral Dev Khatri too has done a good job.
Direction: Sudha Kongara Prasad has both, written and directed this film. She needs to be applauded for penning a story that focusses on one of the most neglected sports in India i.e women boxing and making sure that it tugs the heartstrings of the audience without being too preachy. However on the flip side, few scenes may be deja vu for you if you have seen Shah Rukh Khan's 'Chak De India'. Also the 'forced' love angle waters down the plot a bit as it looks a bit clichéd. Having said that, at the same time 'Saala Khadoos' is equally engaging and some heart-touching scenes from it leave you smiling from ear to ear.
The boxing sequences look realistic and are a fun to watch. The film also has plenty of crackling moments.
Combo-on-offer: Inspiring Story + Drama+ Solid punches (we mean literally!)+ Memorable Performances
Verdict: We give 'Saala Khadoos' CLAPS for R Madhavan and Ritika Singh's 'knockout' performances and its inspiring story of an underdog who beats all odds to 'live' her dream.