MS Dhoni The Untold Story, the biopic on India’s limited overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Sushant Singh Rajput playing him, is in theatres today. Here’s our MS Dhoni The Untold Story movie review.
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Anupam Kher, Kiara Advani, Disha Patani, Bhumika Chawla
Direction: Neeraj Pandey
April 2, 2011. The Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. It is a day this country of 1.2 billion will remember for years to come, till India lifts another World Cup. Along with the historic win by the Indian cricket team at the ICC World Cup 2011, what India will never forget is the last shot from the limited overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Hitting a six when India is 4-runs away from the target, making it something Dhoni will forever be remembered by.
Neeraj Pandey’s MS Dhoni The Untold Story is the ‘untold story’ of Dhoni, the Ranchi boy who made it big. The biopic sees Sushant Singh Rajput stepping into the shoes of Captain Cool, tracing his journey from the son of pump operator Pan Singh Dhoni to Wankhede. The untold story ends in 2011, with India lifting the World Cup, the win that saw Dhoni’s captaincy being discussed all over the country.
As a film, The Untold Story stays true to every bit of highs in Dhoni’s life. Mark the word ‘highs’ here. Right from being discovered as a good goalkeeper by his sports teacher KC Bannerjee and asked to wicket-keep for his school to his life after making it to the India team, the film flashes a 1000-watt flashlight on the goodness of Dhoni. So powerful is this light that every little flaw in the man is washed out.
MS Dhoni, his biopic will make you believe, has done no wrong in his life. He scolds his friend when he catches the latter drinking beer instead of tea, he does everything good in life, his ability to keep calm in the face of extreme stress: Dhoni’s biopic is an exercise in eulogising the cricketer, telling people how great this man is. Over a span of more than three hours, the greatness of Dhoni plays in front of you.
And sure, that works wonders for the film. Every time you have Dhoni hitting six after six in front of you, the theatre erupts in whistles and cheers. When India lifts the World Cup, you find people around you welling up, as you try and suppress the stray tear. Neeraj Pandey’s film is a thorough crowd-pleaser. For a country like India where no religion is greater than cricket, MS Dhoni The Untold Story achieves its purpose: it has blockbuster written all over it.
That, however, is more because people want to see Dhoni the small town boy’s life than Sushant Singh Rajput as Dhoni. Rajput, on his part, lives and breathes as Dhoni. He surrenders himself completely to the process of becoming Dhoni. So much so, that when he is putting on Dhoni’s No. 7 jersey before walking into Wankhede for the 2011 World Cup finals, you forget for a moment that you’re watching him and not MS Dhoni the cricketer.
The film sees able acting from the supporting cast. Anupam Kher, Bhumika Chawla, Kumud Mishra, Rajesh Sharma are all cast well in their roles, and do justice to their parts. As Dhoni’s first girlfriend Priyanka, Disha Patani shines in her Bollywood debut. She brings a rare innocence to the screen which is not quite apparent in today’s newcomers. Kiara Advani’s Sakshi doesn’t have much to do on screen.
MS Dhoni The Untold Story doesn’t address any grey areas in Dhoni’s life. The film shows his quite well-known decision to drop Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman from the Indian team, but stops short of pronouncing the names. Dhoni mentions ‘these three players need to be dropped’ to the selection committee. That’s it. No names. No discomfort. No controversy. No rubbing people the wrong way. Because when you’re making a biopic, there’s probably an unwritten rule filmmakers in India swear by: don’t go into troubled territories.
The film, however, is set to score more than a century at the box office. We want to see heroes on screen. We want to see victory on screen. And when it’s got cricket and MS Dhoni as the subject, who cares about problems in a film so go out and watch it.