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Times of India
A professional and aggressive boxing coach, who is black-listed by the association, makes it a point to find that one girl who fits the bill to bring a gold medal to the nation. The battle they have to win outside the ring is what forms the crux of the story.
Aditya Rao (Venkatesh), mostly addressed as Adi, returns to boxing as a coach after being subjected to corrupt policies of the Boxing Association headed by Dev Khatri (Zakir Hussain). As Adi fails to win a sure shot medal for the country due to Khati’s jobbery, Adi’s wife leaves him for another man, and he chooses to quit boxing.
Rameswari aka Ramudu (Ritika Singh) is the younger sister of Lakshmi aka Lux (Mumtaz Sorcor), with the latter wanting to get into the police academy using her 8-year-old career as a boxer.
As Aditya gets transferred to Vishakhapatnam following allegations of sexual harassment, Ramudu is a local girl known to be a ‘Deyyam pilla’ - someone who takes no nonsense, is rebellious and arrogant.
After seeing Ramudu getting into a brawl with the judges at a zonal boxing event, Adi realises her natural flair for the sport and takes upon himself to make her a world class boxer. He also initially offers her money to lure her to train under him.
Still a grumpy coach, the narration progresses with how Adi exposes Ramudu to rigorous training to master the skills of the sport. Though initially, both the hot-headed coach and his student don’t get along well, learning of Adi’s commitment to the sport and his true intentions of making her a champ changes Ramudu’s attitude and she commits to walk the extra mile to be what her coach wants her to be.
She and Lux accompany Adi to Dharmashala for an important selection event, which is a crucial turning point in the lives of both Ramudu and Adi. And what follows has to be seen onscreen.
It was Venkatesh written all over the script. He stole the show with his remarkable performance as a strong-headed coach with a rugged makeover that suits him perfectly.
Though a few of the scenes and the costumes were identical to the earlier versions of the movie, director Sudha Kongara did not mind keeping them as they are.
The ordeals of female players, their attitude after selections and the mutual jealousy are a few of the points that Sudha depicted sensibly. The movie echoes with the director’s vision and her hard work that went behind knitting the script tightly shows.
The action scenes looked real, natural and plausible. Thanikella Bharani, Zakir Hussain, Raghu Babu and Anita Chowdary have performed their roles with super ease. Most of the dialogues and some scenes are kept as they were and hence the use of the word “remake” is completely justified.
Nassar’s character as ‘Punch Ponds’ gets to appear throughout the movie in an entertaining role. Music composed by Santhosh Narayanan for the three versions (Tamil, Hindi and Telugu) is good and compliments the narration.
The movie, being a sports drama that comes with heavy and loaded climax sequences finally ends on a calm and simple note but not before putting a smile on the viewers’ face. The movie is a must-watch this weekend for not just people who are fans of Venkatesh but also for the sports enthusiasts and movie buffs who appreciate good cinema.