Dhoni

We all know the man, the Captain Cool, the best finisher in Indian Cricket, the man who won matches with last ball sixes. But what made him so cool? What made him to rise above the others in making a judgement? What shaped up his thought process? The man we are talking about is M.S Dhoni!

Plot : A boy from Ranchi, Jharkhand rose from a lower middle class family to being the best captain Indian cricket team ever had. The man who won two World Cups, every ICC trophy, ODI series in England, Australia and always pulls out rabbit out of his hat like a true magician, MS Dhoni! What shaped him? What are the hardships? So what made him get noticed? Who are all those who helped him? What are the situations that made him so cool under pressure? Well, you have to see the film for the answers and sneak peek into real Dhoni!

Performances : Sushanth Singh Rajput might have just given a performance for life time. You never know where talent can take you but this range of hard work coupled with method will only help a actor. Sushanth might become a bigger star tomorrow but his performance as MSD will always be regarded a high point in his career. He sunk his teeth in completely into the character and at times even though scrappy and underworked VFX let him down, his dedication overshadows everything. He deserves accolades for his efforts.

Anupam Kher, Rajesh Sharma, Sarvadaman Banerjee made their presence felt in the roles given to them. The actors who played the roles of the friends of Dhoni especially the sports shop owner deserves a special pat on the back. They were completely believable.

Disha Patani, Kiara Advani gave competent performances. It’s nice to see Disha showing her acting chops after being a glam doll in Loafer. Bhoomika Chawla was refreshing as the sister of Dhoni. Each and every actor including Kiran More who made an appearance as the Selector were good and gave authenticity to the film. Regulars of Neeraj Pandey did not let him down at all. The actor who played young Yuvraj deserves a special mention.

Technicalities : Cinematography by Santhosh was commendable. His knowledge of lighting and visual presentation, shows on screen in each and every frame. He designed each shot with perfection. The hues, saturation levels, Skin tone presentation, ambiance textures, overall tonal quality are all perfect to the tee with the time period. Music by Amal Mallik is good but not even a song to take home with you. Background Score by Sujoy Chowdhary deserves a special mention.

Editing by Shree Narayan was not upto the mark. Even though Neeraj Pandey likes to keep the proceedings slow and unfold everything at his own pace, the editor should be able convince the director what is working and what isn’t! Production quality is good in parts but whenever Sushanth’s face had to be superimposed over other actors and Dhoni ‘s face the Visual Effects did not blend well into the film. If you laugh at a serious situation where you’re not supposed to then it is the unpolished work of Visual Effects that is at fault here. Even though we have praise their effort but the effects required lot more finesse and few more renders.

Writers for the film Dilip Jha and Neeraj Pandey, might have not seen many interviews of Dhoni until they though about the movie, so they titled Untold Story. But since Dhoni hasn’t been too private about his life expect for his failed love and confidential board meetings, most of the stories have been already known. Their task was herculean and demanded a lot more than they could offer. They had to really work hard to bring out some drama into a normal person’s life but when you think of it the gold mines like situations in Dhoni’s life just remained as inspiring song visuals rather than character enhancers. To understand Dhoni clearly, you need a story that can force you to find some inspiration but even though there is enough material here, we still feel the distance unless there is a cricket match going on.

Director Neeraj Pandey made a name for himself with his unique style of narration and expertise in making you route for even the antagonists of the story. But here he seems to have been carried with the idea of putting together chronicles of Dhoni’s highpoints and low points rather than inducing life into the frames. His need for authenticity is praise worthy but at the same time he needed to rise above his ability to handle such a real life story and narrate it with inspiration. He seemed to have a back step with many restrictions.

Analysis : For a film, that says in it’s Untold Story, MS Dhoni falls into the trappings of being diplomatic. It tries to be more about the man and his struggles but the man became popular because of his bold decisions and unflinching hunger to perform. While the trailer promised there could be a discussion regarding them and his ideology behind those decisions, in the final output it edited them out or even muted them. For a layman who doesn’t understand the cricket board politics to the extent of a board member, he needs a bit more information than given. Neeraj Pandey and team tried to make a pleasing movie but in their effort to chronicle everything till 2011 World Cup Final, they lost touch with a compelling story. Their effort can be appreciated but not the end product.

Lastly : Watch it once to get inspired by a true cricket hero!

Rating : 3/5

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