With a script written and directed by Amole Gupte SAINA (2021)


Sniff , 2017, Saina is a biopic that tells about the life of badminton athlete from India, Saina Nehwal . The second child of Harvir Singh Nehwal ( West Subhrajyoti ) and Usha Rani Nehwal ( Meghna Malik ), little Saina Nehwal ( Naishaa Kaur Bhatoye) was forged by his parents – especially by his mother, who loved badminton so much and even competed in several local competitions in her youth – to become a professional athlete by registering her at a badminton training center. It’s not free. The efforts of her parents to take her child to the training location every morning and provide her with nutrition despite their often limited financial condition has forged Saina Nehwal to become a formidable athlete. With these abilities, young Saina Nehwal ( Parineeti Chopra) began to compete and win various badminton matches, from local, national, to global levels. At the same time, the popularity gained through these victories began to have an influence on Saina Nehwal’s performance. One thing that then makes his relationship with the coach, Sarvadhamaan Rajan ( Manav Kaul ) start to drift away and worsen Saina Nehwal’s appearance.


Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing special about Saina’s narrative . As a biopic that tells the story of the life of a popular athlete, Gupte executes the film by adhering to various formulas for telling biopics of a popular athlete – a child with strong talent, parents who are so determined to make their child a success, a success that the character later succeeds in achieving. the main story, the problems that begin to interfere with the character’s personal and professional life, and, of course, his attempts to prove himself again. Obviously there is nothing wrong in forming, working on, and presenting a story in a story formula that is so familiar. However, in Saina, Gupte doesn’t even have the ability to make the storyline interesting. Saina , apart from the colorful personality who inspires the main character, ends up being a very bland dish.

The main problem that hinders the success of Saina’s narrative clearly comes from the weakness of the conflict building and the characters that make up the story of this film. Even though she is a popular athlete with many inspiring achievements, the original Saina Nehwal does not have a life story that feels cinematic – just compare, for example, with Susi Susanti, whose life story is told in Susi Susanti – Love All.(Sim F, 2019). The film’s storyline feels weaker when Gupte always develops conflicts and characters half-baked. Just look at how the character of Saina Nehwal’s relationship with her parents seems to dominate at the beginning of the film but then just disappears. Or the romantic relationship between the main character and the character Parupalli Kashyap ( Eshan Naqvi ) that never feels complete. Also an overview of the relationship between Saina Nehwal’s character and the coach’s character is presented in a floating narrative. Gupte is not even able to create badminton fight scenes that can drain emotions. In Science, Gupte seems to just want to film moments in the athlete’s life without ever really paying full attention to the various sides of his life journey.

Gupte’s minimalist effort in telling the story of a character’s life inspired by a real character gets even more boring when the character is also brought to life with acting performances that fail to produce a convincing impression. For some reason, Gupte only gave one dialogue to Bhatoye who played the little Saina Nehwal. In fact, the childhood storyline of Saina Nehwal’s character is the foundation of a separate story for the storytelling of Saina Nehwal’s character in adulthood. Chopra actually didn’t look too bad. Well… Chopra is able to give a pretty slick appearance as the character Saina Nehwal when the character is said to be fighting in the field. When Saina Nehwal’s character faces various conflicts in her daily life, Chopra’s appearance often feels submerged and leaves an empty impression. Chopra has also never been able to build strong chemistry with other characters around the character she plays.

Several appearances in this film managed to steal the attention. Malik is able to make the character of Usha Rani Nehwal into a strong and easy-to-like mother figure – apart from a number of characterizations that feel shallow in various parts of the story. Kaul can also present a tough but charismatic coach through the character Sarvadhamaan Rajan he plays. Unfortunately, the minimalistic portion of storytelling given by Gupte to these two characters – and other supporting characters – has never been able to make the supporting characters in Saina’s storyline feel much meaningful. Shallow in the production and execution of the story and flat in the appearance of the acting department, it is not surprising that Sainathen ended up as a biopic presentation that is bad enough and deserves to be forgotten its existence. Saina Nehwal deserves better than this .