Movie: Saala Khadoos
Direction: Sudha Kongara
Cast: R Madhavan, Ritika Singh
Music: Santhosh Narayanan
Cinematographer: Sivakumar Vijayan
Editor: Sathish Suriya
Genre: Sport, Drama, Thriller
What is it about: This is a Bollywood sports drama film which tells a story of a de-famed boxer Adi (Madhavan), who is transferred down south on a false accusation. That’s where he discovers a profound talent Madhi (Ritika Singh) a boxer by inspiration and fighter by nature. The sporting relationship between the coach and the boxer forms the crux of the story directed by Sudha Kongara.
Why it’s disappointing: We can rest this section, as they are overpowered by the performances.
What to watch out for: It’s been a while we got to see a film centred on sports. The last I can remember which brought the audience to cheer in the cinema hall during the sporting sequences was “Chak De”. There were “Bhaag Milka Bhaag” and “Mary Kom” after that, but this one would kindle that commercial element.
The film has few landmark moments which demands the audience to applaud and cheer. The story moves around well with no hindrance. The director Sudha Kongara made it a point to stick to the subject and didn’t deflect from it.
The two strong pillars of the film were Madhavan and Ritika Singh.
Maddy returned to the screens after a period of 4 years I believe. He’s been working on this role for almost 2 years and have perfected it with a dynamic appearance. He is one the most underrated actor in Bollywood and Kollywood. But this film might the change the scene in Bollywood, his potential is versatile. As a hot head boxing coach he does an exceptional job, which suits the title “Saala Khadoos”. Even with that temper, the character brings a sweeting charm with his childish smile, like Ritika states in the movie “You might be old master…but your smile is damn cute”.
Ritika Singh, makers thought bringing in an original boxer would be a good idea. And they were not wrong at all, she is a natural. Every frame is a delight watching her perform, a body language which even seasoned actors lack sometime and dialogue delivery which cuts through like a sharp sword. She doesn’t compete, but puts a show which others are forced to compete with her. She’s raw at the same time tender, mellow scenes involving her were perfectly etched bringing out the sweet romance. Like Maddy says she’s a born champion.
Nasser, he did a great job. As a junior coach in the movie, he brings a great character to the role in both the versions and his Hindi is perfect with no errors.
Kaali Venkat, was surprised to see him speak Hindi. His lip sync was great and did a great job as the father of Ritika. The best part was his comedy timing which was great in Hindi, which most of the time lacks when an actor from south tries his hands on.
Mumtaz Sorcar, she may have less screen space but she does reminds you of a character from “Chak De”. She did a commendable job as “Lux”, she packs in a great talent.
Zakir Hussain, he perfectly depicts the evil and the character was played by him very well with great diligence.
The movie has great score by Santhosh Narayanan, he is definitely going to be a favourite in Bollywood. The background score was racy which matched the sporting scenes and fits well in both the languages. Another great album.
Being a sports oriented film Cinematography becomes a task in moving around with the fast scenes. Because action is different from sports. Cinematographer Sivakumar Vijayan did a delectable job, which goes to every nook and corner keeping up the pace. He gave a vivid outlook to the movie through his lens. The film was cut with great precision by Sathish Suriya, he was sharp and kept it packed for 109 minutes.
Verdict: Sudha Kongara derived a film, which would bring repeat audiences. It packs all the ingredients with great diligence supported by exceptional performances by its lead actors. Definitely worth a watch, at last the final weekend of the first month in 2016 came with a good film.