M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story
This may be the first time a biopic is being made, when the character is very much active in their field of expertise. MSD is still the captain of the country’s T20 and ODI squad. It is well timed that the movie releases during the ongoing Test series, so the country’s attention towards cricket is at its peak and MSD has all the time to promote the movie and its star, Sushant Singh Rajput.
There is not much untold about Mahi, which you might discover through the film, barring few things here and there. The film focusses more so on the support system that made the local boy Mahi, into MS Dhoni, the Captain Cool of Indian cricket. Right from his coach (Rajesh Sharma), sister (Bhoomika Chawla), friends and sceptical father (Anupam Kher).
What is a downer is the length of the film. At a running time of 190 minutes, it is a very loooong stretch. The issue for me is not the fact that it’s too long by 30 minutes or so, usually biopics tend to be, but the fact that there were quite a few areas that could have, or rather should have been shown in the film, which would have added quite a few layers to not only Dhoni’s character, but also show the audiences, what actually made the ticket collector from Ranchi, India’s Captain Cool.
Instead, like any other underdog story, the film focuses on the struggles of the small town talented boy, which is the pre-interval portion and intriguing too. It is in the second half, that the voyeuristic feelings of the audience is not fulfilled. No insights into the dressing room environment, beeping of cricketers’ names, no mention of the famous rivalries with Sehwag and co.
Neeraj Pandey should be appreciated for presenting the details with such brilliance. The small town neighbourhood, stadiums, the atmosphere of ‘love thy neighbour’, the desperate intent of the small town officials, just like A Wednesday. He brings forth the feeling of claustrophobia in Mahi’s struggle brilliantly, in an overcrowded yet open railway platform.
Performances by the entire supporting team, Rajesh Sharma being outstanding, is very good.
This is the performance of a lifetime for Sushant Singh Rajput. The energy and effort, besides time, invested by him bears fruit and how. He actually makes you believe that he is the real life Dhoni and I am not talking about mastering the helicopter shot alone. It is his earnest performance which makes you root for the underdog and makes the second half tolerable. This is what differientiates him from the Kapoors and Malhotras. If done right, then the future belongs to Ranveer, Varun and him.
To make Mahi more, human, there should have been a segment which showed him dealing with the failures of the 2015 World Cup, the IPL controversy, the mid series departure from Test cricket, because the fact that Mahi dealt with these and is still ruling the roost, would have given the extra humane touch of rising like a Phoenix and given the audience a true insight.
Hence, the film ends on a high, with the victory of 2011 WC. I guess, the idea was not to make Mahi human, the intent behind the makers, Arun Pandey, who is Mahi’s business partner too, was to present MAHI – the DEMI GOD.
Watch it not for any ‘untold’ aspect, but to see how, IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD!
Does it have The Y Factor : YES
RATING : 3/5