Saala Khadoos (titled Irudhi Suttru in Tamil) is the story of a cynical disgruntled boxer Adi (R. Madhavan) who lost out on a promising career because his coach (Zakir Hussain) cheated so that a minister’s nephew could win the match. Understandably, he is sour and sullen, more so because the coach is now the federation chief hell bent on destroying whatever is left of Adi. He is shunted off to Chennai on a false sexual molestation charge.
In Chennai, Adi comes across Madhi (Ritika Singh), whose sister Adi is coaching. Adi realizes that Madhi has what it takes to be a champion and takes her under his wing, also paying her from his pocket to train under him.
The film also delves into the politics in the federation where girls are required to provide sexual favours to the federation chief in order to be allowed to compete in matches. How Adi and Madhi fight the odds to emerge victorious in the end forms the rest of the story.
This film provides a new image to Madhavan. He is suitably bulked up and aggressive to portray a cynical boxer and coach. Madhavan aptly delivers what is required from his character. Ritika Singh, with her background in mixed martial arts, is cast well. She has strong screen presence though she does go overboard in some scenes. The other characters, especially MK Raina perform well.
Chennai has been captured well. The scene where junior coach (Nassar) says, “We are that only sir. Sab cheez ke liye banner lagate hain…”, rings so true. The draw back with the film is its similarity with other recent sports films- Chuck De India and Mary Kom.
Director Sudha Kongara Prasad has made a well meaning film. Lead actors have done a great job. The climactic fight, though predictable, still keeps viewers riveted.
Film Poster – By Source, Fair use, $3
Rating : 3/5
Starring: R. Madhavan, Ritika Singh, Zakir Hussain, Nassar, MK Raina
Director: Sudha Kongara