Saturday 30 January 2016

Saala Khadoos review: Too peppy for a boxing movie

Saala Khadoos review: Too peppy for a boxing movie


The banner of being a 'Raj Kumar Hirani film' does little to save 'Saala Khadoos'.  It is one of those films that try to do too many things and end up doing none right. The fact that it is a boxing movie and is so pepped up with an all too bubbly protagonist and quirky subplots doesn't help either.

The very first frames are a spoiler, so I would not be talking about them here. The film opens in a good way though.   R.Madhavan is Adi, a former boxer who has been a victim of corruption in the boxing federation. He is a coach now, for the National Women's Boxing. There is a sinister villain in Dev Khatri (Zakir Hussain) and we are hooked. But things start falling apart. Instead of some cool boxing action, we are fed with clumsy committee meetings with tiresome sequences and pitiable acting. Sudha Kongara, the director tries to show the problems with boxing associations but cannot get us to care for them.

Cut to a new locale and we have our heroine- Madhi, played ever so poorly by Ritika Singh. She seems so high on adrenaline you guess she wouldn't need any steroids. Then there would be the same coach-boxer routine and nothing new happens. Although the story had the potential, there just was nowhere getting to because of the reveal in the first frames. Still, you watch the movie for the one thing you can always watch a movie- the romance.

As a serious filmmaker, you are not supposed to introduce motifs of a romantic relationship between a teacher and a student. But this film can't help advance its plot without it because there are issues with the protagonist's motives in regard to what he is doing. He is supposed to be ruthless and arrogant and rash but to show his soft side, the makers saw fit to resort to this cliched element only. They could have well given some character development through a detailed back-story of Adi and we would have digested it. But what they did seemed hard to even swallow.

For what it's worth, a few mentions. R. Madhvan has worked to his potential in carrying the film and keeping it serious. His build and personality suits the image an audience would create for a boxer turned coach and that helps. Also, the newcomer Ritika Singh is someone who looks good for the role of a protagonist, just not this one. When she is throwing punches and not being the over-passionate small town girl, you can see a heroine posing for the crowd and you like her. Also, she can do a mean one hand push-up which is one of the best scenes of the film. She has worked hard physically for the movie but the director wasn't able to really give her time for the more important aspects.

Bandwidth verdict- It's not worth the cinema hall visit. But you can always watch it once it's on national television a month or two later.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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