Actor R Madhavan and debutant Ritika Singh's "Saala Khadoos", which has been simultaneously made in Tamil as "Irudhi Suttru", has opened to mixed reviews. According to critics, the movie has not lived up to their expectations.
Directed by Sudha Kongara Prasad, the film is a sports drama in which Madhavan plays the role of a "banished" boxing coach and Singh appears as his arrogant student. The story revolves around Madhavan, who is a talented boxer, but falls victim to politics in sports. He then comes across Ritika and decides to coach her as he thinks she is a born boxer.
"Saala Khadoos" is a film by Rajkumar Hirani Films & Tricolour Films in association with UTV Motion Pictures. Santhosh Narayanan has composed the music for the movie, while Sivakumar Vijayan handled the cinematography.
Madhavan has delivered a phenomenal performance in an average movie, according to the critics. On the other hand, the female lead of "Saala Khadoos", Singh, has tried her best to get in her character and has delivered a good performance.
Read the critics review here:
Subhash K Jha of Firstpostsaid: "The film itself doesn't match up to the glory of its stunning visual velocity or its leading man's towering performance. This is Madhavan's Raging Bull. By far his career's finest performance. The film could have been better, though. Much better."
Sreeju Sudhakaran of Bollywood Life said: "Saala Khadoos could have been a decent sports drama, if it had the touch of a master storyteller like Shimit Amin. Sadly, it turns out to be neither as memorable as Chak De India, nor as inspiring as Priyanka Chopra's Mary Kom. At best, Saala Khadoos is a strictly average affair! Watch it only for the performances of the lead actors!"
Taran Adarsh tweeted: "#SaalaKhadoos springs a big surprise. The characters, writing, edit, background score - top notch. High point: Nail-biting finale..."
"Madhavan is terrific. Ritika is a revelation, a firebrand. Nasser and Zakir Hussain first-rate. Every character shines in #SaalaKhadoos..."
"Director Sudha Kongara deserves distinction marks. This one's straight from the heart. #SaalaKhadoos delivers a SOLID punch. Winner!"
Pinkvilla's review: "Saala Khadoos' flaws overpower its genuineness. We wouldn't go as far as to call it a shallow film, but there is a serious lack of heart that cannot be compensated for."
IANS' review: "With a thumbs up to woman power, coupled with a strong subject and good performances, "Saala Khadoos" is bound to strike a chord with a cross section of viewers, irrespective of being sports lovers".
Namrata Joshi of The Hindu said: "Madhavan puts on a lot of bulk, is sincere and dependable as usual but sparks refuse to fly between him and the new girl Reetika who is fresh-faced but the film is not. Saala Khadoos is unable to rise above the predictability and time-worn clichés of an average sports movies. One hopes the Tamil version would have come together better".
Hindustan Times' review: "Madhavan is brilliant as the coach who may have missed the bus but now wants to live his dream through his protégé. Ritika delivers in her debut as the expressive Madhi. The fact that she is trained in MMA comes across in the fight scenes. However, the film's weak script and treatment lets them down. There are no nail-biting scenes and the drama inside the ring is also lacking. The film may be on boxing but it lacks the punches".
Bollywood Hungama's review: "A special word of mention to R. Madhavan and Raju Hirani for having backed a film like SAALA KHADOOS as producers. On the whole, SAALA KHADOOS is an euphoric and electrifying film with amazing performances from the lead cast. It is definitely engaging, and inspiring. It truly deserves an ovation and is worth your time and money. SAALA KHADOOS delivers a solid punch. Winner!"