Verdict: Mahendra Singh Dhoni shines above all in his biopic.
On April 2nd, 2011 at the Wankhede Stadium, Mahendra Singh Dhoni walked out to bat in the final match of the ICC Cricket World Cup. The situation was tense and if it wasn't for the skipper's composed and calculated innings, India’s wait to celebrate another World Cup victory would’ve just got longer. This match, which is the highlight of Dhoni’s career is exactly where his biopic begins and ends. After leading a relatively new side to lift the maiden ICC T20 World Cup in Johannesburg, Dhoni became the poster boy of Indian cricket. His personal life also got attention from the media and much of it is known to the public. But as the name suggests, M. S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, tells us little-known facts about India’s most successful captain.
The entire film is a flashback, showing us how a middle-class boy from Ranchi, gave up his love for football, began to play cricket, worked as a TC, and eventually went on to become the Indian skipper. The lack of sponsors, financial issues, and not being selected in the side for a long time – these were just some of the struggles that MSD faced, but not once did that deter him from his goal, which was to represent India at the international level.
Sushant Singh Rajput couldn't have asked for a better role at the such an early stage of his career. Mahendra Singh Dhoni has a great fan following and loads of people will turn up to watch the film in theaters. Rajput, however, doesn't just rely on the cricketer's name to sell the movie and makes the most of this opportunity in hand. He sinks his teeth into the character and at times, it's hard to ignore the resemblance between the reel and real life MSD. The actor, however, does look weird in long, straightened hair. Both the actresses – Kiara Advani and Disha Patani have little to do. Patani's track, in particular, was unnecessary and could easily have been cut out to shorten the length of the film.
With a runtime of 3 hours 5 minutes, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story is painfully long. There are two romantic tracks in quick succession, and cricket takes the backseat as Dhoni and his better half go on a holiday. The scenes in the first half, though, will strike a chord with the audience. Dhoni’s exchanges with his parents and sister, show their importance in his life, and also the role they played in his success story.
It's clear that Neeraj Pandey wanted to steer clear of any controversy as there's little mention of Dhoni’s teammates and the equation he shared with them. Barring a scene in which Yuvraj Singh is shown as an aggressive and impudent person, the names of all other cricketers are simply mentioned in the commentary.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
It doesn't matter if you follow cricket or not as Mahendra Singh Dhoni's journey is inspiring, to say the least. The man comes from a humble background and defied all odds to etch his name in the history of Indian cricket. You’ll also get to relive the two World Cup wins under Dhoni’s captaincy- those moments will definitely make you chant ‘India, India’ once again. And you won't be alone!