Saala Khadoos: It could have been better if it had been more Khadoos
It is good to see a new trend in Bollywood of sports movies, especially woman oriented sports movies which off course was started with “Chak De India”….
But the problem is just having a concept and script of sports movie is not enough, it needs to have the soul at the right place, unfortunately after “Chak De India” none of the movies could create that impact, though “Mary Kom” had some positives…
“Saala Khadoos” takes the concept of “Chak De India” but in Boxing and tries to narrate the story of ex boxer Aditya Tomar (R Madhavan) who falls prey of dirty politics of Deb (Zakir Hussain) his ex coach and now the Head coach of the Boxing academy for Women and transferred to Chennai where he discovers Madhi a fisherman’s daughter and grooms her to be boxer, whether Aditya is able to fight the system and whether he is able to make Madhi a champion, is what the movie is all about…
Sudha Kongara Prasad who debuts as a director in Bollywood with “Saala Khadoos” has also written the story and screenplay. Sudha gets the premise absolutely bang on, the politics, non availability of resources to train the upcoming talents, lack of infrastructure for training and the corruption involved in selection process everything is shown with complete conviction. Where Sudha looses in the narration is the lack of emotional quotient which is extremely important for such movies and unfortunately it lacks throughout the movie, which fails the audience to connect with the movie. Another aspect which could have been better is the writing of the characters, not too much attention is given to the back story of Aditya which should have been the crux of the story justifying his violent behaviour, similarly Madhi’s character could been written better. If the characters were written better the audience would have sympathised and connected with the lead characters. The biggest flaw in the writing is its weak climax, in such movies the climax needs to be emotionally charged so that it ends with a high, but unfortunately it does not. Overall the writing could have been much better so the movie could have ended at a high….
It is the performances of the movie which is the biggest highlight. Madhavan as Aditya is one of his best performance, he gets into the skin of the character right from his body which he has especially build for the movie and his mannerism of a strict disciplinarian coach, definitely the best performance of the movie. Debutant Ritika Singh, who is a professional boxer plays Madhi convincingly right from her tapori act to her boxer act; undoubtedly a good debut. Debutant Mumtaz Sorcar as Laxmi, Madhi’s elder sister also does a good job and does complete justice. Nassar as the junior coach also does a good job. Zakir Hussain as the menacing Head Coach Deb is the second best performance of the movie.
Sudha Kongara’s debut venture as a Bollywood director is first rate but it is the writing which is a downer, but somehow she overcomes the shortcoming of the script by extracting brilliant performance from ensemble cast. Sudha definitely shows the spark and will be a director to watch out for….
The camera work of Sivakumar Vijayan blends well with the narration, by capturing Hisar to Chennai well…
“Saala Khadoos” is good sports movie but definitely could have been better as far the Emotional Quotient is concerned, I will go with Three Stars (One extra star for Madhavan’s performance)
Movie Rating: (3 / 5)