They say don’t judge a book by its cover, and that’s perfectly valid advice when you’re watching Saina, the biopic of badminton player Saina Nehwal, starring Parineeti Chopra in the lead role. While the unconvincing trailer didn’t really set high expectations, the film turns out to be quite a gritty and motivational story about dedication, optimism and the drive to be number one. Directed by Amol Gupte, the story of Saina connects with you instantly, but just like the game, it’s inconsistently paced.
The film begins with Saina (Chopra) addressing a group of journalists cheering for her after her victory at the Commonwealth Games — a scene in a media room is quite exaggerated. They ask the routine questions – “How does it feel? How do you handle failures?” Saina, in a flashback that continues till the very end of the film, narrates her journey from giving up on ‘dolls and birthday parties’ to picking up a badminton racquet as a child and fighting to become the best player in the world.