Movies under the Raj Kumar Hirani banner have always swayed public to the cinema theaters. Known for movies like 3 Idiots, PK and Munnabhai, the Hirani banner has already announced it’s arrival in 2016 with a scintillating thriller, Wazir. It is very obvious that after such a grand tale of success, Saala Khadoos( Tamil: Irudhi Suttru ) is also expected to make a big mark in Indian Cinema. A promising trailer that gives us a glimpse of the famous Hollywood legend, Million Dollar Baby, a dashing Madhavan and a fresh talent, Ritika Singh in the lead role.
As expected, the movie is quite similar to most sports centred films, a talented coach, a promising athlete and their fight to success amongst all odds. Despite the same old hunky dory story, Saala Khadoos keeps you intrigued in the first half with a steadily paced story and stellar performances from Madhvan, playing a boxing coach from Haryana, Ritika, playing a hot headed fisher woman from Chennai, Zakir Hussain, playing the role of the Indian Women’s boxing federation head and Nassar, playing the role of a junior coach in the Tamil Nadu federation. As the reels role, Saala Khadoos projects the image of the typical of the Sports Federations for women in India, with equal emphasis upon all major issues faced by the female talent in sports in India.
Once we are deep into the first half, you can feel the direction in which the journey is progressing. With no appreciable music, cinematography or grand star cast, any movie has to live only by it’s story. Despite boasting of a strong story that projects a national issue in the first half, director Sudha Kongara Prasad loses his way in the second half. At this point we see all flaws of typical Bollywood movies making their way in and one does feel dejected. However, it is only the veteran Madhvan, who is the saving grace of this ship and some power packed acting from the new comer,Ritika Singh.
Though the movie rest on the shoulders of Madhvan, pitches from the supporting cast definitely help the cause. There comes a time, when the director tries to create a tension point and the main story revolves excluding the main man and we realise that and it is here when the plot begins to lose it’s rhythm. The movie does not only lack momentum, but also ropes in many scenes and dialogues that do not seem relevant to the story. In the end, this ship only sails on the actors skills and the very powerful theme of Injustice in Indian Women Boxing, which it revolves around.
Despite the unnecessary diversions and pot holes in it’s route, the movie is able to do justice to the theme on which it is based. Saala Khadoos may not be one of Hirani’s greatest, but is definitely worth giving a try if you want to enjoy some decent cinema that conveys a message. Like most other Bollywood movies, Saala Khadoos drops in the category, where the first half sets an enormous expectation but the second half loses it to a great extent. Despite the wayward journey, the director manages to secure some grace for the movie, with a remarkably dramatic ending scene. Lastly, I leave it to your expertise to figure out that whether this movie is just a replica of the Million Dollar Baby or is it actually worth complementing and helping the cause of Indian female boxers. Whether Mr. Hirani’s Snob makes it his list of success tales or not ? We shall see in the next few days.
My Rating: 3.0/5