M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016)

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When a news came out that a biopic will be made based on “Mahendra Singh Dhoni” who rules millions of hearts, every eye looks for the director’s name. When it said it’s “Neeraj Pandey” who gave exciting films like “A Wednesday”, “Special 26” and “Baby” it was as relaxing as how it was when Rakeysh Mehra’s name was seen on Milkha Singh’s biopic. Casting “Sushant Singh Rajput” as Dhoni, a film “M.S. Dhoni : The Untold Story” hit the screens on 30th of September.

Narration & Direction :

A biopic comes with several factors that make it a failure yet director Neeraj Pandey ensured that Dhoni doesn’t fail even on the screen. His research on Dhoni is highly detailed, ever since his birth. He didn’t even have any restrictions of having a lesser run time. Though this film runs for 190 minutes and narration goes at a slower pace, there is no such scene where an audience feels bored. Maybe this is because of the love an Indian has, towards their captain.

As mentioned, detailing is so minute that director mentions “Bihar” while narrating Dhoni’s childhood which was in early 90’s and “Jharkand” in early 2000’s while he strives to get selected for the team. Dhoni is often appreciated as a man of patience and the way director conveyed this point is very appreciable. Dhoni’s relationships with “Priyanka” and “Sakshi” are portrayed in a sweeter way too.

There is one thing about this film that leaves you a very good impression on the film as well as on the director. Yes, guessing the climax sequence of this film, “2011 World Cup” is so easy. We had already witnessed that match and celebrated the country’s victory yet director ensured goosebumps for some shots like Dhoni stepping out of the dressing room and his signature last shot. It definitely lets the audience to re celebrate that victory on stepping out of the auditorium. Here lies the wit of Neeraj Pandey.

Amidst all these things one question comes in mind why director hasn’t narrated any negative things related to Dhoni. Maybe, there were no such devastating things in Dhoni’s life or they are too negligible to portray on screen. Maybe he should have narrated in detail about Dhoni rejecting “Virender Sehwag” for the team and regaining him for the 2011 world cup.

On the whole, Dhoni is the best biopic made in India after “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”. Don’t hesitate to watch it on seeing its run time. Your 190 minutes never go waste.

Performances :

Biopic needs a perfect casting and audience has to believe at some point that he is watching the real life person on the screen as well. Neeraj Pandey’s decision of casting Sushant Singh Rajput is very appreciable. He just lived as Dhoni and looks more handsome than Dhoni. Kiara Advani as Sakshi and Disha Patani as Priyanka were apt. Anupam Kher as Pan Singh, Dhoni’s father and Rajesh Sharma as Dhoni’s coach were so apt. It is becoming tough to imagine a biopic without actors like Kumud Mishra. A special mention should be given to “Herry Tangri” who played the role of Yuvraj Singh. He looks as if he is the body double of Yuvraj and nailed the role without any dialogues and just with the attitude. Rest cast like Bhumika Chawla, Ravindra Mankani and Kiran More who played his real life role were good.

Strengths :

  1. Story, Screenplay & Direction. This film proves a point that Neeraj Pandey is capable of handling any kind of script.
  2. Santosh Thundiyil’s Cinematography. All the visuals are very colourful.
  3. Prime Focus’s VFX. These guys employed a stupendous effort in replacing Dhoni with Sushant in the real match footage.
  4. Sushant Singh Rajput. He should be more appreciated for living the character.
  5. Sanjoy Chowdhury’s Background Score. Elevated the apt scenes and shots with apt background score.

Lowland(s) :

Some audiences may feel the narration is lagging and the run time of 190 minutes is too high.

– Yashwanth Aluru

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