M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story

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M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story
M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story
“M.S. DHONI: The Untold Story” is surface-level but heart-warming!
Narrating the classic rags-to-riches story of one of the most iconic cricketing superstars India has ever produced, writer/director Neeraj Pandey seems satisfied with comprehending only what is apparent or obvious, without delving deep into the masterclass strategies and controversies that made the man, or penetrating emotionally or intellectually. Nevertheless, the story he narrates has its own share of thrills, warmth and mass-appeal that will ensure bucket-loads of love from the Indian audiences, both for the film and the tremendously committed leading man Sushant Singh Rajput. Totally worth a watch!
The film is based on the life of the iconic Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni starring Sushant Singh Rajput in the title role, taking you through his life right from his birth till the day he won India its second World Cup in 2011.
With this hagiographical story, director Pandey plays it extremely safe, as all he does is showcase the highlights of Dhoni’s exemplary life which you just can’t not like. It’s actually like watching the highlights of a great match – you very well know what’s going to happen, but you still love watching it all over again. Honestly, what’s not to like in a life story that is so propelling? – a journey from being the son of the water-pump-operator in a staff quarter, to becoming the richest cricketer in the world.
The top two things that Indians are fond of are “Cricket” and “Movies”. So a film about cricket is just what the doctor ordered, more so when the icon it celebrates is a deeply loved one. Considering that, it’s a given that the film will play it to the gallery and do so with full gusto. But that’s not the problem I have with this film as a critic. It’s the lack of depth and thought in the screenplay that disappoints me. The film scratches the surface only till the level it’s likeable and never beyond. You never really know about Dhoni more than you already know. The mystery behind his enigmatic personality is largely untouched. Yes, a chapter in his love life comes as a surprise, but that’s about it. Even the depiction of his love story is clumsy and not befitting the scale of the film.
But these flaws aside, the film works on-the-whole and despite clocking over 3 hours, it’s consistently engaging. While the sets are immaculate and the flavour of the film is genuine, the songs could’ve been done away with. The CGI isn’t seamless, but does the job it intended to. Overall the narrative is mostly absorbing.
Sushant Singh Rajput playing the role of a champion cricketer, comes across as a real champion himself. His imitation of the wicket-keeper-batsman is nearly perfect, and despite the physical limitations, he completely looks the part. So compelling is his act that it’s hard to imagine anyone else in this role. I had my reservations when I first heard about him playing Dhoni on-screen, but kudos to director Neeraj Pandey for his conviction that translated into such a convincing portrayal. This film places Sushant right up in the league of the most talented young actors in India. Without specifically naming anyone, all actors in the supporting cast are terrific.
In all, “M.S. DHONI – The Untold Story” is flawed, but overwhelming for more reasons than one, and therefore totally deserves to be seen.

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