In a country of 1.25 billion people we definitely have a real lack of good sports infrastructure and good facilities for our sportsmen and women that makes us end up quite at the bottom of the medal tallies in most of the world level events.
Another big reason for the ignorance towards most of the sports (barring cricket) is due to corruption and politicization of the sports bodies in our country.
Despite all these difficulties and problems, we still have some great achievers in some challenging sports like women boxing in Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Lekha K.C. and Jenny R.L. And these champions are made due to their own grit and the dedication of their coaches like R Madhavan’s character Saala Khadoos.
The film follows a cheated boxer Adi who wants redemption by coaching his favorite sport and create champions in Delhi. But he isn’t a likable person, so the association sends him to Chennai considering it as the weakest team. The stubborn coach arrives in Chennai and finds a fisher girl in whom he sees spark and offers to coach her. But the girl is not like others, in fact she is a female version of Adi, equally khadoos if not worse.
Then starts a journey of building trust, working hard and fighting the odds to achieve the ultimate goal of becoming the champion.
The film is very interesting and Madhavan is a revelation, he is a good actor, but this raw, angry version of him is awesome. He is definitely very under rated so far.
Though the film is titled Saala Khadoos and Maddy plays the protagonist, but Ritika Singh is equally important to the film and she does complete justice to the part she plays.
The director is successful in keeping the audience’s interest in the film and never does the film slow down. The quick screenplay captures multiple facets of the human emotions, the corruption in the system, the dreams of the Government job that many of Indian sports men and women see as the final goal, the attraction of the student towards her coach, and sibling rivalry, that’s a lot to capture in a 1 hour 50 minutes’ film but is done with skill here. Sudha Kongara is in complete command of the subject.
The music is also done carefully and none of the tracks derail the happenings, it just suits the narrative well.
The drawbacks I felt were some of the open questions, that are raised in the film but do not conclude.
Being a sports film one does draw parallels with Chak De India and Mary Kom, yet this one is different. It does go a little manipulative but much less than Mary Kom, you might feel like getting a training in boxing post watching this film.