Saina is a lovely film on the life and the journey of Saina Nehwal, the legendary Indian badminton player. The film scores in the emotional and dramatic portions. Saina’s relationship with her mother and her association with her coach are two tracks that are very engaging and moving. The climax is nail-biting. The biggest shortcoming of the film is that though Saina’s life achievements are huge, it arguably is not cut for a biopic. It’s fun to see extreme ups and downs in a sportsperson’s life as we witnessed in films like Dangal, M S Dhoni – The Untold Story, Mary Kom, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and even in a film like Soorma. That type of roller-coaster ride is missing in Saina. Parineeti Chopra, however, surprises. She pulls off the badminton player and shines in the off-the-court scenes. Manav Kaul is the next best. Meghna Malik is riveting in most scenes but at places, she hams too much. Same goes for Ankur Vikal. Eshan Naqvi, is likeable as Saina’s love interest. Subhrajyoti Barat (Saina’s father) is adorable and gets to play a superb character. Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye is wonderful as little Saina. All in all, Saina turns out to be a decent watch thanks to the performances, execution and the emotional and dramatic quotient.
My rating – *** out of 5!