I was in the 10th grade when India won the T20 world cup. I was such a big fan that I made a scrap-book with cut outs of ALL the matches we played in that tournament. Needless to say, Dhoni was a sensation and like everyone else I also was head over heels in love with him.
I’m mentioning this only because a lot of how I feel about the film drives from the fact that even though I love Dhoni I couldn’t look past some grave issues.
I went for a 10:15 pm show and got out at 1:30 am. They could’ve just named it M.S Dhoni – A Never Ending Story.
The film was a long, long saga of how amazingly talented, hardworking, determined and gifted Mahendra Singh Dhoni is. I’m sure he is! He’s done for the team what we’ve only expected from other cricketers. BUT is his life this black and white?
M.S Dhoni – An Untold Story begins well, born into a modest household, he’s been asked to keep sports aside when it comes to getting good grades. Anupam Kher, who plays the father is a natural performer. Bhumika Chawla plays Dhoni’s sister, it was good to see her after so long, so I’m going to ignore how expressionless she is at times.
Coming to the man of the moment – Sushant Singh Rajput. I watched his interview recently where he mentioned his process of preparing for his roles, and boy, doesn’t he just nail it each time! Sushant was Dhoni head to toe! I saw no flaw in him. He’s worked very hard for this biopic and pulls it off so smoothly that it doesn’t even show!
My problem is with the narrative and scene and dialogue writing.
A propaganda movie going gaga over all the nice that Dhoni is, was killing me after a point. His love life was rushed into what seemed like a commitment phobia. Before I could feel anything for his first girlfriend, she passed away. Before I could connect with the new girl, they got married and she was out of the narrative.
Also, I get it that he’s Mr. Cool who never cries in front of people and looks at problems in the eye, but there are fundamental issues within the story which AVOID the vulnerable and flawed side of this person. You can tell me that he’s perfect, but I’m not buying it for 3 hours, 10 mins. None of his human relations are focused upon, no locker room sportsman spirit has been highlighted, no bollywood gossip has been mentioned.
Very subtly in one scene Sakshi mentions to Dhoni that the news makes her insecure. But what news? That’s smartly avoided.
There’s just Dhoni winning, Dhoni losing but winning because he never gives up and Dhoni winning again.
Special mention to the actor who played the TC from Kharagpur who goes to meet Dhoni in his hotel room, when Dhoni makes it big, he was so simple and modest. I almost teared up there.
Special mention to Dhoni’s Sardarji friend who left his all to get him a cricket kit.
To his friend Santosh who taught him the helicopter shot!
These nuances brought some human streaks to this otherwise God-like man.
Neeraj Pandey is an insightful and empowered director but he desperately needs to change his VFX team. It keeps getting worse film by film! 😦
Also, there are disturbing zoom-ins, trolley shots in slo-mo, annoying crane shots and some terrible white text on black slates. It looks shabby!
Watch it if you’re a MSD loyalist, if you love Sushant because even if you don’t, he’ll make you. But mainly, watch it for the supporting cast.