M S Dhoni : The Untold Story – Movie Review

ms-dhoni-the-untold-story-trailer

Language : Hindi.

Cast : Sushant Singh Rajput, Anupam Kher, Bhumika Chawla, Kiara Advani, Disha Patani.
Release : September, 2016.
Directed By : Neeraj Pandey.
Written By : Neeraj Pandey, Dilip Jha.
Music : Anmaal Maalik, Rochak Kohli, Sanjoy Chowdhury.

Seldom do we see movies, ‘Inspirational Movies’, of living people and even seldom do we see it based on a cricketer. But M.S. Dhoni : The Untold story has etched out a perfect movie of a true mass hero of India. Just like his life the movie has its ups and downs and sometimes boring, yet the movie as a whole makes sure it stays true to the story without any exaggerated heroism or the usual stereotypes that the Indian audiences are so used to.

The movie begins with Dhoni, watching the final and calculating his tactics when he decides to take the fight into his hands and informs the coach that he would go next. As he walks on to the field, we are taken into a flashback right to the time of his birth and how the saga unfolds. Pulled into cricket when his school team coach spots him for a wicket-keeping position as the regular keeper is forced to quit and the reason is because of the Indian stereotype of sports does not feed you, only education does. This is also reiterated by the lead actor in the song following his selection into the school team, thus begins the story of the man who changed our perceptions of cricket. The story follows our protagonist falling in love with the sport, how he gets everybody to notice him with his unorthodox style, how he learnt his trademark ‘Helicopter Shot’, his selection into various clubs and zones, his life as a TTE, his decision about his future when stuck at the crossroads,his eventual selection into the A team followed by the regular team, his early life as a cricketer, his heartbreak, The T20 world cup win, his vision of the Indian team dropping ‘legendary cricketers’ for young players who are more fit and better fielders, his love-life and eventually culminating in the final of the 2011 World Cup with the immortalized six to win the pinnacle of ODI cricket.

The entire cast and crew have put in their heart and soul into the movie which is directly mirrored onto the screen by Sushant Singh’s effort with an equal amount of effort by the supporting actors, right from Anupam Kher to Bhumika Chawla and Disha Patani, complimenting the lead actor, and a great screenplay perfected by Neeraj Pandey’s direction. The special effects team need special praise for making things look so good especially when they superimpose Sushant Singh on the real Dhoni. The only reason we know its CGI is because we have seen all the events unfold both live and playing it back many times just to relive it, most notably the World Cup 6!

M.S. Dhoni : The Untold Story would definitely be rated among the best films and I would definitely agree with that. But what really bothers me is the fact that the movie is quite contradictory to the title i.e. The Untold Story, I wouldn’t agree with it. The reason being, the movie shows us the better things of his life and what the people and his fans already know. What I mean is we do know that he was initially a footballer pulled into cricket, we do know that he was a TTE, and life of a TTE is never easy, we do know that it was because of his A-team success that he was drafted into the senior team, we also know that it was Dhoni who wanted better fielders and last of all, we do know that he was the main tactician of the 2011 World Cup, not just the final. That said, I would never want to take away even one bit or write anything negative about the movie. All I wanted to know was the unknown part of the living legend, his struggles to cope up with pressure, the way he handled the players, who were ousted by him, when they came back to the team, the way he took the controversies surrounding him, the players mindset and how he advised them be it Tendulkar or Raina, the build up to the 2011 World Cup final, the IPL and the reason for the IPL i.e. the rebel ICL and his bonding with N. Srinivasan and a lot more things not scrutinized by the media.

In the end, the movie tells us exactly what we know and what we want to know and by not delving into any controversial aspects, the movie gives us the plain vanilla story about the greatest tactician of the game the world has known till now. In retrospect, The Untold story still remains Untold.

Audience POV
1. Perfect casting not just Sushant Singh as Dhoni, but actors cast as Yuvraaj Singh or even Jagmohan Dalmia.
2. Screenplay is sometime dragging, but definitely worth it.

Critics POV
1. Many aspects of his life has been left out only to avoid controversy, considering this as an inspirational movie, both the pros and cons should have been portrayed equally
2. The supporting cast has been underutilized and this is definitely not a comeback for Bhumika Chawla.

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