By Abhigyan Dasgupta
M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story is a compelling film and, at the same time, a bit inconsistent. The movie does have some terrific stand-out moments, but it’s exaggerated length tests your patience more than often.
The movie vividly delineates the tale of Dhoni, his talent, and his indefatigable pursuit for his ambitions. The first half centres around his growing years, how he gravitated towards cricket, and his time as a ticket collector in Kharagpur. Neeraj Pandey creates some riveting moments here. No obstacles are insurmountable in front of Dhoni and his passion. The rise and rise of Mahendra Singh Dhoni is moving and inspirational. I was instantly sold.
The problem begins in the second half. Here, the needle shifts to Dhoni’s career after he got selected in the Indian Cricket team. These bits are not as actively engaging as the first half. The pace becomes extremely ponderous. More than Dhoni’s cricketing career, the attention shifts to his love life, which could have been better sans the two mushy romantic songs. They just don’t seem to stitch into the syntax of the movie.
Also, the film doesn’t capture any controversies, cricket politics or any other manipulations. Pandey does not delve into any such conundrum. The film’s only intention is to glorify the celebrated cricket icon.
However, even when the script fails, our lead actor doesn’t. Sushant is instantly convincing as Dhoni. You can feel his pain, despondency, and frustration. Sushant makes the character his own.
The film is also heavily bolstered by some nuanced performances from the supporting cast. Anupam Kher as Dhoni’s father and Rajesh Sharma as Dhoni’s first cricket coach stand out. Every time Dhoni hit a six, his father and his coach broke into a paroxysm of pride and triumph.
Despite the occasional bumps, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story will touch your heart. The movie ends with India’s victory at the 2011 World Cup. When Mahi hit his final winning six, I felt a rush of elation in myself. The whole theatre reverberated with loud claps and whistles. I too started clapping and rejoiced in the madness. I am going with 3 out of 5 stars.
Watch our review of M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story starring Sushant Singh Rajput.