M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story Movie Review: Nothing Untold About It
Neeraj Pandey is one filmmaker who is known for making pacy thrillers- be it A Wednesday, Special 26 or Baby, the man sure knows how to keep the audience glued to their seats. This is why, when we heard that Pandey is taking a break from thrillers to make a biopic on Mahendra Singh Dhoni, we were quite intrigued. After all, in a country where cricket is a religion, a biopic on the cricket captain is sure to work wonders. But does M.S. Dhoni - The Untold Story hit it out of the park or gets stumped? Read on...
The film starts off by Dhoni getting ready to pick up the bat in the finals of the World Cup 2011 and then goes back in time to his birth, his childhood, his teenage years and his eventual rise. The story also delves into the relationship of Dhoni (Sushant Singh Rajput) with his father (Anupam Kher), his girlfriend Priyanka (Disha Patani), his wife Sakshi (Kiara Advani) and his friends and supporters who stood by him.
Sushant has definitely given his blood and sweat to get into the skin of the character, which is evident in his body language and his batting style. His frustration at being stuck in a job that he doesn't really enjoy and his passion for cricket, which is always his first priority, has been faithfully conveyed.
However, at times, Sushant fails to lend depth to his character and we are not sure if that is happening because his character was written that way or because the actor fumbled the ball (pun unintended). Anupam Kher, who plays his humble father, has done a masterful job and his performance when Dhoni wins the World Cup finals, will surely bring a lump to your throat. The leading ladies do not get to do much and the rest of the cast comprising Kumud Mishra, Rajesh Sharma and the rest, have lent stolid support to the film.
As for the film itself, the first half does a faithful job of re-creating Dhoni's life in Ranchi before he started playing for India. Pandey, who is known for his slick pace, takes his time while he takes the viewer on a journey through Dhoni's childhood and teenage years. However, there are many scenes in the film, which add nothing to the narrative (like the scene wherein Dhoni scolds a cricket buddy for drinking beer and warns him about how addiction can ruin his life).
Another complaint that we have with the film is that it is quite trivia based and doesn't offer much insight into the mind of Dhoni. The director has shed light on things like his penchant for football, the way he learned the iconic ‘helicopter shot' and his love life but has cheerfully ignored to explore the man behind the legend and the treatment comes across as quite bland at some parts. Of course, there is so much to know about Dhoni on Wikipedia and hence, it was all the more necessary to go beyond the obvious and show what makes ‘Captain Cool' tick.
Also, Dhoni's life is not as dramatic as that of Mary Kom or Milkha Singh or Paan Singh Tomar, so there are limits to the amount of intensity and drama the makers can add to the narrative. The cricket sequences are quite well shot, (The special effects applied in the movie during the cricket match sequences are way too good and the makers of the film deserve a hearty pat on their backs for their technical wizardy in that department) but again, there is nothing about the controversies that surrounded Dhoni's life or his interaction and bonding with his team-mates and other things that might have made the film more interesting and multi-dimensional.
The one thing that might work against the film is its length as it runs for more than three hours and tends to drag a lot at times. However, if you are a Dhoni fan, you might enjoy the fare- if not, take your chances...
Release Date : 30 September 2016
Producer : Arun Pandey
Director : Neeraj Pandey
Genre : Biographical , Sports