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M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story Review (2016) | MS Dhoni Movie Doesn’t Do Him Justice

The MS Dhoni movie tries to capture the unwavering sojourn of one of India’s greatest cricketing heroes, none other than the captain cool Mahi himself. Even though there were words galore in Dhoni’s original tale, they fail to come out right, owing to the movie’s ungainly direction. You end up with a vacuous contrivance of a flick that dawdles around for something to hold on to. It runs endlessly for a whopping 3 hours and unfortunately delves into the known and “told” bit more often.


The first apparent ones amongst the movie’s numerous flaws is its nipping CGI that bothers you so much that you secretly wish it to go away. Do you remember the time when Captain America: The First Avenger tried a CGI makeover for Chris Evans as a scrawny kid? Well, Neeraj Pandey resorted to that medicine here as well. Unfortunately the difference is brutally unsettling.

What is even more punishing is that it is strewn all across the movie. Neeraj Pandey tries to wipe out all those original good memories you had of Dhoni with his cheap take, a hideous overlapping of Sushant Singh Rajput’s face on the actual footage. The end result: His face looks weirdly out of place, badly contorted. Throw in that with an out of context body and his actions end up looking terribly misconstrued too.


Despite the obvious, that it is hard to take a man seriously, when his face appears to be literally slipping out of his head, Sushant shines through. He tries his level best to get under Dhoni’s skin. It is evident right from the moment he makes his way towards the stadium, when the movie capers over a fitting prologue, the one with the 2011 World Cup that ended with a rampaging Dhoni finisher. It was a superb way to begin and end the flick, which seemed to have been given a thought or two.

still of sushant singh rajput as ms dhoni in m.s. dhoni movie ticket collector

Sushant Singh Rajput masters the mannerism, the walking mien and the calm plain demeanour Dhoni is often seen with. He manages to ace his precise gait too, bringing that flamboyance both on and off pitch. It goes without saying, the one of a kind unconventional ripping style of Mahi’s batting is hard to imitate. Sushant creates a different batting character when he is on a constant smacking spree. I guess that is permissible, because MSD stands unique.


Editing of MS Dhoni movie is terrible. When you think about all those instances that made it, even though they were outright dispensable, you can’t help but think how the director was keen on showing the sweet nothings, and wasting ample time on them. When there were obviously crucial elements in his life that could have done with a proper rewrite.

There is a constant apparent sense of artificiality to the MS Dhoni movie that seems to swallow up the cast right from the moment the flick commences. Their act stays transparent, and that miffs you a bit to be honest. But that’s how shallow Neeraj prefers his sea to be.

There is no glint of humour; small traces of it that are actually not funny. Where is that amiable side of Dhoni wherein his room stays always crowded with Raina, Jadeja and other young players all the time? You are presented a guy who is taciturn and likes to keep to himself most of the time, which is so not true.


The pang of emotions that crawled its way toward him in the form of Priyanka Jha played by Disha Patani ends up becoming the unfeeling kind, going away in a snap, when clearly it was supposed to create a gut-wrenching havoc. What is even more frustrating is how cheesy her lines are. It is almost as if it is high-school all over again.

still of sushant singh rajput and disha patani in dhoni film

Kiara Advani doesn’t impress much either. Both actresses don’t even come close to matching the gravitas required to ace a pensive mode.

If you pay attention to the Dhoni film score, it is an unflagging humdrum that mostly carries the same tone throughout the movie. It kind of prepares you for a gargantuan feat, and when you are all prepped up, sadly delivers nothing.

The MS Dhoni movie doesn’t even have a proper screenplay. For most of the better part of the flick, words remain unspoken. If there are words, then none reek of profundity. If there is romance, it doesn’t bide by chemistry.


Even though there were plenty of flaws, at the same time there were some pleasant goodies that can’t be ignored too. We get to see, and relive those thrilling matches that helped him climb that slippery slope of an elusive dream. Not only that, but we get to watch controversies that put him in the spotlight often, ads that literally paid him insane money, that infamous yet renowned Helicopter shot origin, watching him score tons, and of course his humble beginnings.

For me the most colossal moment from the flick would be that culminating train game-changer. I couldn’t help but convert it into a metaphor. Life gives you choices in the form of that train, and most of the time we don’t take it, for there is a shitload of responsibilities that count on you. The fact that Dhoni took it, reassures and restores our belief in doing things you love. It is one of those rare important lessons we need to learn, and apply without actually caring for repercussions.

still of sushant singh rajput waiting at the station MS Dhoni movie

I just wished it to be depicted better. There was too much theatrics engulfed therein that couldn’t nail that scene.

Another memorable moment from the MS Dhoni movie would be that huge match between Punjab and Bihar in the year 1999. The inclusion of Yuvraj Singh brings that insane awe-inspiring flip to the tale with Herry Tangri doing us the honors as Yuvi. He shares an uncanny resemblance to Yuvi that helps placing things in perspective. Sheer amazeballs!

You can grab Dhoni’s World Cup Jersey here:


I fathom, it is hard to put one lifetime in one screen-time. But if you let the right minds roll the camera for you, you have a chance of excelling, even accentuating at least a segment of your life. Dhoni deserves better any day. There are only a few things in the Dhoni film that do him some accurate justice to be candid, but that’s not enough.

You don’t really see the struggle, when you are not actually living it. For Dhoni to witness it all first-hand, it might have been devastating. For the people involved in his titanic project, to not able to paint it properly on the big screen, it is a huge loss. For us to not able to empathize with him is a bigger one.

Whatever the case might be, you still take two biggest things out of M.S. Dhoni The Untold Story. One of them being the powerful uncanny performance of Sushant Singh Rajput, and the backdrop of the story of India’s very own cricketing superhero Dhoni that you all didn’t know about.

Even though M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story doesn’t reflect good film-making, it is easily one of those rare sports movies that has ever been able to reach any standards in India. For a cricket movie, it is hands down the best we have got so far.

And a big wink for Sachin!

Here you can check out the trailer of M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story:

Rustom Review (2016) | Enfeebled Courtroom Drama | Celebrates Crime

Rustom is a perfect example of how tawdry cinema gets showcased in India. This is what sells, unfortunately seems to work as well for the Indian multitude.

The problem isn’t with the aspiring filmmakers though; it is with the average Indian mentality. Even though we are sprawled out at ease in 2016, our thoughts are still abounding in the narrowness of our past. We are changing no doubt, but it is more of a scionic change that derives inspiration from time. One’s thoughts, perspective and feelings are forced upon every newborn. The posterity, with the lack of proper healthy unscrupulous environment, learn whatever their ascendants are trying to enforce upon. They reek of their parent’s, and are literally moulded by inbred ideologies. So, whatever we see today we try to weigh it with time, and judge them with our preinstalled memories. That’s the crime we commit – leaving our judgments into the hands of our narrow-minded notions that we still unknowingly judge the world by.


Neeraj Pandey walks in again, this time in a courtroom, with Akshay Kumar in the vanguard as is his constant wont, the face he still encashes upon without batting an eye. Neeraj invariably manages to find the actor in him somehow, and as long as they deliver nobody’s really complaining.

The movie released as part of Plan C Studios is helmed by Dharmendra Suresh Desai (Tinu Suresh Desai). The story of Rustom is inspired by the original 1959 Nanavati case however crashes in with a sub-plot that tries to celebrate the anti-hero primarily to justify murder.

still of Akshay Kumar as Rustom Pavri in Rustom movie

The case that had the nation by its throat finds itself in the spotlight again. It is a sad country we live in. Crimes tend to find poetic justice by the crowd. Criminals are worshipped like Gods as they bend the rules to their will. Courtrooms are akin mockery stages. Judges are like those people on the podium who fail to pacify the crowd despite bestowed with unrivalled power.

One good look at the movie and you will feel how it is nothing but a societal mockery of the Indian Judicial System. Oh wait! We have a living exemplary proof of that too. (Remember Bhai’s hit and run case?) Also, Rustom depicts Journalism in a way it has often worked in reality. This façade of it is abhorrent – trying to manipulate judgments, creating sympathy to save someone by painting its very own picture, inadvertently overlapping its thoughts on others and showing them a falsified misleading direction.

Yet there is a silent theme it gallops along, the one where we are expected to actually feel good for Rustom and Cynthia for making it out unfazed.


You have to give it to the director as far as frame-hammering is concerned. He manages to keep it engaging.

Tinu Suresh Desai is ambitious; you could see that from his frames. He occasionally tries to experiment by breaking the usual monotony of Indian Cinema by trying to make a scene fully furbished. Like that interrogation scene where he changed frames incessantly covering subtly and quickly the primal inquisition. Also, when the Prosecution lawyer asks Preety Makhija played by Esha Gupta to calm down and sit, we find her actually sitting in an altered setting – the courtroom. Well thought of, and superbly edited there!

Also, there are miniscule aspects consumed, like a waiting courtroom where close ups of fans, switches, gavel and door are covered beautifully from various vantages.

Whilst the direction had brilliant frames to show, there were numerous instances wherein enough ideas weren’t spread. Like the insipid build up and revelation of a second sub-plot that went on to create sole doubt in the brains of the Jury. Also, there was no follow-up that went on to show why the Jury system was shut down in India after this unique trial.


The stratum of prison is no longer demeaning. So Rustom proves by showing an unbothered Kumud Mishra giving mosquito ointment to Usha Nadkarni after she openly involves in an act of irreverence with the Judge. You can’t help but shake your head when you realize Desai found it funny enough to be included.

A guilty man walks out like a king, and the movie still celebrates him overlooking the despicable cold-blooded crime. The tone of the movie, the ‘story-ball’ is deliberately put in the court of Pavri. So that like million others in time, you too appreciate what he got away with. Rustom gives out the message:

“It is alright to kill a bad man.”

When are we going to truly escape this lawless pandemonium?


Also, Rustom has cheesy lines in profusion which might make you grit your teeth when they fall on your ears. There are some lines that are well executed, like when Akki and Pavan Malhotra play a game of chess in the prison. Others get lost in theatrics. Other important ones find themselves blended in with its lyrics.

My biggest complain however stays with the casting of the movie. Whilst there were actors that sat perfectly in their roles, like that of Kanwaljit Singh, Akshay Kumar, Pavan Malhotra and Parmeet Sethi there were others that didn’t fit the bill at all.

Even though Anang Desai plays a good Judge, he lacks a fuming persona that ends up making his act blunt. Choosing his light mien to judge makes it at once clear how the director wished to take the flick towards a light-hearted juncture.

Brijendra Kala shouldn’t have even been there. He was too overqualified not to get a proper screen time.

Still of Ileana as Cynthia Pavri in Rustom Movie

Ileana tries hard to wash away Cynthia Pavri’s acts with her tears. Vexed under her own guilt and Rustom’s wit, she portrays a character that is annoyingly contrasting. Her cheating act suddenly becomes an act of her helplessness which was obviously not the case at all.

Then we cannot overlook the chemistry section either. There was none. Period. Neither between Cynthia and Rustom or even in that feigned display of lust in the case of Vikram and Cynthia.

The cast made everything animated with their banal acts. It took out its staid naturality from the movie. Little things like the Jury shaking their heads when spoken to insinuated the apparent deficiency of vigour and verve that a court movie calls for.


Rustom ends up being a farce to bluntly put it out there. At the same time it is not really bad if you sunder out the originality and stare it as a separate issue entirely.

Rustom Pavri wasn’t a national hero. But this movie toils hard on making him one. We should not forget that it is just a perspective. A perspective that tries to project Preety Makhija as a rich spoilt brat with an evil sneer and Vikram Makhija as a spoiled horny perpetrator who deserved to die even before he set his eyes on Cynthia. It also tries to, without any justification, blemish the girl who cheated and then revive her at the same time. Above all, it tries to depict Rustom Pavri as a colossal national hero, a guy who murdered a man, a vigilante above the law who preferred calling his own shots to urging our Judiciary system.

Then again, when closely looked at, it isn’t that bad either. Because it touched a sensitive topic, it piggybacked mighty expectations naturally. On comparing it with other mainstream movies that Indian Cinema has been recently celebrating for no reason at all, I would say Rustom stays well above their echelon any day.

Check out the trailer of Rustom movie here: