Sushant Singh Rajput ably pulls off his act as Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Neeraj Pandey promises to suck you into Dhoni’s world from the word go! Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Today he is a big name that will go down in history for he is the second Indian captain to have achieved the feat of winning the World Cup for Indian Cricket team. The film which is a biopic on his life, traces back his journey from being a Ranchi boy who is strong willed on getting a chance to hold a bat instead of wicket-keeping to becoming one of India’s most successful captains ever. Coming from a middle-class family, Dhoni is forced to take up a job in railway and put his Cricketing dream on the sideline. After working as a ticket checker, how Dhoni decides to risk it all and give a full shot towards playing Cricket full time is how the first half establishes. Further on, the second half tackles his love life, his captaincy and his rise in International cricket.
First of all, one has to appreciate the fact that Neeraj Pandey not being a fan of Dhoni, comes up with a genuine script regarding a personality. The film takes off brilliantly with Dhoni making a striking decision during the World Cup final. Further, we are taken into a flashback where we meet Dhoni’s middle-class family. The effortless representation of the town’s flavor and the family life is easy to connect for everyone. Moments such as Dhoni’s dad forcing him to concentrate on studying over sport, the school coach and his wife buying fish in the market are cleverly written scenes.
First half is slightly languid as it takes us through Mahi’s struggle from shuttling his studies and game to later choosing his game over a government job. Quite early on, the makers convince us that time and again, Dhoni has faced challenges in life and these tough times are reason behind his calm demeanor. The interesting story takes a detour with his love life. At first, his love affair with Priyanka (Disha Patani) that comes to a sad end and further his meeting with Sakshi (Kiara Advani), his wife. What many may complain is that Pandey chooses to stay away from the rumored problems between Dhoni and his senior colleagues and also Chennai Superkings and the whole spot fixing debacle. Although I’d be in Pandey’s support for not getting there and showing any heroic image of the player. The film is a literal tell all and at no point event puts Dhoni on a pedestal as someone great.
Sushant Singh Rajput gives his career best performance. He is not only convincing as the player with his body language but also with his amazing batting skills. The actor has clearly put in immense efforts for this role and I’d say they will definitely be paid off as he is set to get noticed for it. Anupam Kher does a great job as Pan Singh Dhoni, the father. He emotes brilliantly in the scenes where he is full of pride for his son. Bhumika Chawla plays Dhoni’s sister. She does a fairly good job and quite true to her simplistic character. Kumud Mishra’s character is the one that holds importance in giving Dhoni the big break. He is as usual a perfect fit for his role. Kiara Advani and Disha Patani look pretty and do what’s exactly expected from them. A special mention to Herry Tangri, who portrayed Yuvraj Singh in the film. Loved his bits thanks to the exact body language.
Neeraj Pandey is better known for his thriller films Baby, Special 26 etc. With Dhoni, Pandey makes his point as a director, the fact that he can pull off any film. Pandey’s observation is surely brilliant and hence his lead actor gets the right under the skin of the character. M.S.Dhoni -The Untold Story is certainly a must-watch if you’re a fan of Indian cricket. Get to know the man behind the composed, confident, match-finisher of Indian cricket team. An 8/10 for this cricket-centric biopic.