This Genre of cinema has its ‘tourist spots’. The rural/semi urban backdrop, hard working parents, a sibling in the backdrop, a tough trainer, refusals, initial failures, the success graph, the romance in the backdrop, the politics of selection (thankfully missing here!) and the finale of success. A postscript of achievements to add credibility. This given milestones enter the writer’s table (Amole Gupte) and reaches with ease the perception of the Director (Amole Gupte).
Usha Rani Nehwal (Meghna Malik) and her husband Dr Harvir Singh Nehwal (Subhrajyoti Barat) are a middle-class family. Mom Usha Rani is made of stern stuff and definite dreams. She is the kind that has glass pieces and iron fillings for breakfast. Stern to a fault and driving with passion she is determined to make young Saina (Naisha Kaur) a champion.
She is the kind the management of some of the Junior Colleges trying to get students into IIT. In fact, she even slaps her daughter for a minor error in her tryst with fame. She gate crashes to the Lal Bahadur Stadium and pushes her daughter into selection, carries a typical Haryana mindset on a nutritious diet. Thus, begins the success story of the extremely industrious Saina.
All this is told to the audience by Saina (Parineeti Chopra), after she collects the booty at the Commonwealth Games. She is since joins the camp of Rajan Sir (Manav Kaul) who is deprived the original name of the known mentor of Saina. After she joins the camp, the script moves from one achievement to a practice session and repeats the combo with a zeal of an alcoholic at a bar.
Success takes its toll. As Saina gets busy with shoots for commercials and her ratings take a dip, Rajan drops her like a hot potato. She also meets with an accident. It is curtains for her at the academy. Standing by her during this crisis is her steady boyfriend and colleague from the academy Kashyap (Eshan Naqvi). She now shifts to Bangalore from where she plays the Syed Modi Tournament and earns the World No. 1 ranking. The first Indian woman to wear the crown. She moves on to the pinnacle of her glory to look back at the many highs and a few lows in a career which as her mentor warns has a limited shelf life.
Amole Gupte fails to encompass thrill to the tale or compassion for the protagonist. A part of the cast is reduced to props and some overdo the assignment. For instance, Meghna Malik as the mother is over the top in contrast to the steady sober Subhrajyoti Barat. Manav Kaul is nearer to John Abraham than Gopichand. He has one look and a frown at that through the entire film. He has more dresses than expressions in the film. The film obviously has to revolve around Saina. In a career defying role Parineeti gives everything to this. Unfortunately, the meat in the character is missing. Resultantly most of the passion that Parineeti injects ends up being superficial and doesn’t connect with the character which does not draw enough empathy, thanks to Amole Gupte.
The film is for Saina fans, Parineeti followers and to those who would love to see a film every week and don’t have an alternative this week.