M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story is true to its name, as it tries to unravel the man behind the helmet, the struggle behind the now famous wide grin and the grit and unwavering trust in his ability which christened him “Captain Cool”. The movie is both an eulogy and an honestly dramatized biography of India’s most successful captain. Steering clear of the few controversies which have marred the otherwise impeccable career of this legend, this movie puts together the circumstances and the myriad of well wishers in his life who have made him “Mahi” from Mahendra. And what an incredible life story he has had!
Directed by Neeraj Pandey, the movie not only gives us a peek into Dhoni’s formative years, but is also an acknowledgement of the changes in the game which has made it possible for unconventional, small-city based hidden talents like Dhoni to come up the ladder and represent the country. Neeraj Pandey has a certain urgency to his style of storytelling. Background music is a key component for him and so is the slow build up of anticipation. Be it Baby, Rustom, A Wednesday, this man feasts on fast paced thrillers and he brings the same intensity to this movie. Although, the one thing which fails him in this movie is the editing. I am not complaining much about the run time of the movie (most biographies have this innate problem of trying to fit in everything in a short time), but the transition of scenes happen a bit haphazardly. Early social media discussions have called the love stories unnecessary to the central theme. But I would like to differ. The courtship with both the women in his life shows that Dhoni is and will always be a small town guy with a penchant for the humdrum sweet-nothings and simple expressions of love. Also, those love stories serve to show the emotional side of Dhoni, specially the scene where he gets down in the middle of the road and cries his heart out, away from his friends and any public scrutiny. Pandey gets the casting for the supporting roles absolutely right. From Anupam Kher as the reticent father, to his first coach played by Rajesh Sharma and the ever dependable Kumud Mishra, his stellar supporting cast validates the director’s vision in getting all important characters in Dhoni’s life absolutely correct. Disha Patani and Kiara Advani as the two love interests are surprisingly good in their small parts.
The movie has been moulded to serve the masses who like dramatic scenes and song interludes, but what it successfully achieves is getting the almost rags-to-riches story, correct. Every small town boy or a girl with a passion will relate to this story. For a country like India where a lot of Paan Singhs give their sons an angry look when he tries to prioritise sports to studies, this movie will serve both as a mirror and a beacon. There is a song in this movie “Besabriyaan” in which the director shows Dhoni appearing for his exams, finishing half an hour early and running to catch the train to reach the stadium. This scene is shown three times, and purposefully so. The audience imbibes a sense of desperation and silent believe seeing Dhoni run to catch the train every day from school. A decade after his debut for India, this story seems extraordinary to our awestruck eyes, but the ordinariness of the life of this son of a pump conductor and how he takes adversity in his stride is really something to be proud of.
Due credit has to be given to the special effects used in the movie. From the Captain America : First Avenger-like VFX where Sushant is given a teenage skinny look, to superimposing his face on Dhoni’s during the historic World Cup wins in 2007 and 2011, the Visual effects team nails every shot. Kudos to Prime Focus World for making the effects look so real.
The review will be a waste if we do not mention the star of the movie Sushant Singh Rajput. This man has transformed into Dhoni in every possible way. From his gait, to his mannerisms and even the cricketing bit of it, Sushant has lived Dhoni’s story in three hours. In fact, his life story also went through the same fluctuating graph, where, despite being a topper in the prestigious AIEEE exams (7th nationally) Sushant found a calling in acting. He has slowly but steadily risen to be amongst the most diligent actors in the industry and one who is from the method-acting school of actors. We, as audience go in to watch Dhoni’s story, but we are pleasantly surprised at the sheer calibre and acting strength of this star of the future. He even got the helicopter shot absolutely perfect for the cameras!
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has always been a reserved man, until now. His struggle, various people in his life who have pushed him so far and the internal turmoil which he had to face during his days as a ticket collector has been well captured in this movie. Next time he steps out to lead India on the cricket field ( on 16th October against New Zealand), I will recall the hardships behind the success and join in unison with the rest of the country in shouting “Dhoni! Dhoni!”…
gobblpoint: This is a story which will resonate with anyone with a dream. Don’t go only for the cricket side of Dhoni, go for the story rather than the historic moments which has been well documented any way.
Disclaimer : The images used in this post are the sole property of the makers of this film and are not owned by us in any form whatsoever.