Verdict: An endearing movie wrapped in a tough boxing theme.

There’s something about sports movies. They have somehow always gotten a warm welcome in Bollywood. Admit it! It’s a great feeling to watch a deserving, aspiring athlete fight against all odds, and finally win at life. Though the storylines of these movies are quite similar, their stories and execution make or break them. Saala Khadoos is so good that it *will* steal your heart! Besides, R. Madhavan has been killing it in Bollywood movies lately, and this one is no exception.



Adi Tomar (R. Madhavan) is a boxing coach with a temper. His arch nemesis, Dev (Zakir Hussain), is a corrupt, powerful administrative head of girls’ boxing league in India. They mutually despise each other, as a result of which Adi doesn’t get very far with his career, despite being a good boxer. After an altercation with Dev, Adi is transferred to Chennai, and he is expected to discover young talent that will bedazzle the boxing community. As you may know by now, our Adi isn’t the most optimistic person to have walked this earth. He has no hope. Bang! This is where he meets (yep!) Madhi. Young Madhi is a unpolished, tough, free-spirited, no-nonsense poor girl who sells fish when she is not ferrying around her elder sister to the boxing practice. Her older sister Laxmi (Mumtaz Sorcar) dreams of becoming a cop one day through sports quota, and is a part of the women’s boxing squad. But she doesn’t impress Adi much. Madhi picks a fight, and Adi immediately realizes that Madhi can be an excellent boxer, if her energies are channeled and she is trained well, with discipline. With both their tempers flying, this turns out to be a difficult job. However, as they say, love conquers all; love for boxing, that is.

R. Madhavan looks incredibly fit and, yes, incredibly hot. He looks stunning and gives us something completely different from the Manu we all know and adore. Zakir Hussain has done a good job, and so has Nasser. The supporting cast is a good fit, and everyone delivers. However, the film belongs to boxer-turned-actress-who-plays-a-boxer Ritika Singh. Her screen presence is very powerful, and it’s tough to decide whom do we love more – Adi or Madhi. She is innocent despite being tough, and very adorable. You find yourself rooting for her character at all times. She is very real, and touches the chords of your heart.

The film is crisp, and does not stray away from its USP at any point – its emotional connection with us, the audience. The story is clichéd, honestly, and doesn’t give us something hatke. However, the story of grit and dedication tasting success is always a very romantic one, and therefore, the film is right in the feels. The execution is quite simple and hence, super.

Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Watch Saala Khadoos because Madhavan and Ritika Singh have delivered endearing performances. The movie is all about hope, dedication, and passion – this combination can never go wrong. And finally, watch it for the love of sports.

Post script: Please note that we have managed to write this review without a single clichéd boxing pun (read: “knockout” and “packs a punch”). Peace out.