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.
VEXING FLAWS IN THE MS DHONI MOVIE
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.
THE WINNER: SUSHANT SINGH RAJPUT
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.
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 THE DHONI FILM
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 EMOTIONAL ANGLE
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.
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.
BEST BITS TO TAKE
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.
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:
THE FINAL VERDICT
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. Not to be 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: