STORY: The film follows the career highs and lows of the previous world no 1, India’s ace shuttler, Saina Nehwal. It also pays tribute to the people that immensely contribute to her resilience and unbreakable spirit.
REVIEW: Champions aren’t born overnight. they’re made. Saina Nehwal, daughter of Usha and Harvir Singh Nehwal, a Haryanvi couple from Hyderabad created history in 2015 when she became the primary Indian woman and only the second Indian after Prakash Padukone to achieve the planet No.1 ranking in Badminton. She is simply 31 and if you’re a sports enthusiast, you’re just about conscious of her achievements, fallout with coach Pullela Gopichand and why she owes it all to her parents and modest middle-class upbringing. But there’s always more to the story than meets the attention .
Even a private sport features a coterie of well-wishers and experts who help rebuild faith when it threatens to slide away. After a near fatal injury, months of being holed up reception and seeing the planet pass her by, it’s Saina’s mother who tells her, “You are Saina Nehwal. Tu sherni hai. don’t let the planet and media cause you to think otherwise. Self doubt is one’s biggest enemy. Shaq ko apney dil mein ghar na karne dena.” it’s the mother, whose fierce ambition to ascertain her daughter become the planet no 1, that marks Saina’s beginning. As a powerful ode to a mother who knows the way to hustle and is hopelessly optimistic, Saina, works.
Most Indian biographical sports dramas stick with a template in their bid to play safe. What you get may be a hagiography that rarely scratches the surface or goes beyond the apparent . Struggles, road to glory, downfall and resurrection — you recognize the drill. Since sportsmen are revered within the country, not many dare to deal with the skeletons within the closet. Amole Gupte also keeps his story simple. Saina’s alleged rivalry with PV Sindhu gets no mention. The filmmaker highlights the known ups and downs of Saina’s life, ensuring his storytelling isn’t patronising or over the highest patriotic.
The film may be a dramatised account so we aren’t sure if this was real, but the mother doesn’t consider before giving a decent slap to her under 12 daughter for seeing her happily flaunt her runner’s up medal. within the world of sports, there’s no place for people that come second. A young impressionable Saina is soon comforted by her father, who tells her why winning is everything for his wife. You expect the incident to shake up the young girl’s beliefs and thoughts on the arduous journey ahead, but she holds her head high, racquet higher and smashes her shortcomings. Gupte marginally delves into the psyche of his characters, and therefore the conversations around parents eager to fulfil their dreams through their children, quite doesn’t find an outlet.
You don’t see him glorifying the struggle or idolising the victory. He captures his protagonist as she merely goes on doing her job. There’s a particular nonchalance in his execution that mirrors Saina’s approach to herself. She is just like the ice-cream she likes — vanilla. More or less uncomplicated, straightforward and sincere. to form a seemingly non-controversial life interesting may be a challenge, as you don’t have enough props at your disposal to grab attention, but he manages well.
The director’s brilliance at working with children is that this film’s highlight also . Watching Mumbai’s talented 10-year-old shuttler Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye (as young Saina) displaying her skills on court is breathtaking. Not only does she resemble the important Saina, her mastery of the sport gives the film a foothold . She allows Gupte to capture the raw energy of an athlete and stoic ambition of Saina that he so craves to portray. you would like for him to try to to a Richard Linklater and let her age in real time, to ascertain her continue playing Saina within the film also . With no sporting background, for Parineeti Chopra to essay a badminton champion was a mighty challenge. While most certainly one doesn’t expect her to urge the sport and technique right in such a brief span of your time , you are doing expect her to urge the emotion, visual communication and mannerisms right as an actor. Parineeti’s best isn’t enough as she gives an impact of not being within the moment in some crucial scenes. Her eyes occasionally conjure the ocean of emotions one expects her to exude throughout. However, her ability to push herself for a personality as physically demanding as this is often admirable and not many would dare to require the bait. Amaal Mallik’s music is on point and captures the heart beat of the movie perfectly. Shreya Ghoshal’s Chal wahi chalein especially and Parinda will stick with you.
Amole Gupte always had a troublesome task at hand as Saina’s life has been sober, relatively uncontroversial and transparent. the very fact that she is a lively sports person only adds to the expectations. Her road to world domination wasn’t outrageously wobbly. She has ultra supportive parents, loving sister, great set of friends and a husband (Parupalli Kashyap) that doubles up as her cheerleader. She was raised and loved sort of a winner right from her childhood. There isn’t a shattering conflict that tugs at your heart strings. Amol Gupte still tries to capture Saina’s tiger spirit that lies beneath her modest persona. His film may be a feel good tale about India’s poster child for Badminton. Saina, the film could are more memorable, but it doesn’t come short of inspiring the youth.