Movie Review: Saala Khadoos

City 1016's Lokesh Dharmani shares his thoughts on R Madhavan's new film
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Movie Review: Saala Khadoos
A still from Saala Khadoos

R Madhavan

Read more about R Madhavan

DIRECTOR: Sudha Kongara Prasad
STARRING: R. Madhavan, Ritika Singh
RATING:  2 stars

Saala Khadoos is a pathbreaking film.

The boxing coach is angry. Nobody knows why. But it makes sense. It’s a Hindi film, after all, and anger means intensity. So he screams and shouts and fights. He has an evident paunch and yet body shames his female players. He even makes sexist comments. And that is fair too. Because 20 years ago, his coach had duped him out of a match. Such a heartbreaking past, tch tch!!  

Saala Khadoos has such a variety of characters.

Besides the human angry bird of a coach, his student is a refreshing change. She is a motormouth and gareeb. Like very gareeb. Like she-sells-fish-and-stinks kind of gareeb. But hey, she is talented. I sat on the edge of my seat rooting for her to be spotted by the angry coach. And voila, she is. Such a twist in the tale, I tell you.

Speaking of twists, the film even talks about things that are rarely seen in Hindi sports films: lazy government officials, rivalry, politics. Gosh, what a masterpiece this Saala Khadoos is.

Initially, Angry Bird Coach and Ms. Blabbermouth don’t get along but when they do, we witness an awe-inspiring training that leaves us all with a lump in our throats and hernia between our legs. A montage of severe workouts follows against a soul-stirring song sung by (guess who??) Vishal Dadlani. Because Sufi voices are meant only for romantic songs. It’s only rockstars like Vishal whose voice can motivate a generation to hit the gym, a gem rarely seen in Hindi films.

And if you dare differ by mentioning films like Mary Kom and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, then hey come on, haven’t you heard of coincidence?  

Ms. Blabbermouth then suddenly takes a shine on the human angry bird. The matches, the glory, all that can wait, we need to show some love first. She cooks a fish dish and looks a dish herself, slipping into a sari, ticking all boxing for one to fall in love. Her transformation from a fisherwoman to a boxer to a Tumhari-Premika-Alka is so fast that it leaves you breathless.

The beauty of Saala Khadoos is that it’s building to a finale that you can see from light years: a grand international match with a badass Russian boxer who, we all know, will be biting the dust by the end of it. You see, the writers have done such a fine job that it doesn’t shock the viewers at all.

Madhavan has prepared so well for his role of a coach, like he has grown his hair and looks like the Hindi comic character called Billu. He looks so dashing, like a model, displaying Hilfiger tees in every frame that his character could have been called Tommy instead of Adi.

PK succeeded Oh My God. Saala Khadoos releases after Chak De India, Mary Kom and Hawa Hawai. Well, that doesn’t make it a bad film, it’s just bad timing.  

PS: For the naïve ones who believed this review, let me introduce you to the word, ‘sarcasm’.  


5 stars: Loved it. (This could make to top ten movies you must watch before you die!) 
4 stars: Liked it. Recommend it. (This will help you sound intellectual and give you stuff to add at water cooler conversations.)
3 stars: Didn’t hurt. Watch it once. 
2 stars: It put me to sleep. Watch it if you are an insomniac or a newly wedded couple. Winks!
1 star: Do I even need to explain this?