wogma rating: Add to “To Watch” list, watch some day (?)

quick review:

Refreshing that a film is based on a simple but true story of extraordinary achievements. Refreshing that a sports film isn’t an underdog or rags-riches tale. Alas, that’s about it. So to be watched only if you are intrigued about the player’s story. (Available on Amazon Prime)

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Director: Amole Gupte
Running time: 140 minutes
More Movie Info

Saina Nehwal’s success story is one that brings goosebumps even though it doesn’t have dramatic moments. That is the power of a story of such achievements. The film Saina neither takes away nor adds to the charm of the story. Unfortunately, that makes it a movie that can be watched only if you want some detail on how the player got there.

There’s something to be said about a biopic that tries its best from becoming a hagiography.

There’s something to be said about a biopic that tries its best from becoming a hagiography. Very few achieve that, and Saina manages to. At the same time, it does come across as a record of complaints that the player might have against some people on her path—those too not vehement ones. The film conveys these along with her no-nonsense approach and doesn’t undermine her hard work along the way. In fact, her hard work is presented matter-of-factly without making a big hullabaloo about it.

That, however, disengages you from the proceedings every once in a while. You then being to notice the details that don’t add up. Like the uneven and forced accents of Parineeti Chopra and some of the other characters. Then you have the constant voiceover, which doesn’t come from a consistent place. Some times it feels like it is a carryover from the press conference Saina addressed at the beginning of the film; at other times, it feels like she’s talking to us, the audience; and at yet other times, it feels like we are hearing her talk to herself.

The performances don’t leave room for complaint, and the effort shines through, especially how hard Parineeti Chopra must’ve trained. At the same time, the spark that could stay with you for a long time is missing. It doesn’t help that ordinary day-to-day exchanges suddenly see a spurt of filmy over-written dialogue, making the film seem jerky.

All this put together makes the movie-watching experience underwhelming, which is only saved by the steps in Saina’s journey towards victory.

- meeta, a part of the audience

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: True story of badminton player, Saina Nehwal
  • General Look and Feel: A simple, no-frill execution

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

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Saina - Cast, crew, links

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Running time:
140 minutes

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