MS DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY Movie Review: Anecdotal storytelling, engaging yet not exceptional 

The title of the film suggests it’s an untold story but it seems quite familiar. In spite of that the anecdotal tale keeps you engaged, and entertained and even moves you in a few places. However, it’s not an exceptional well-integrated biopic and thus a lost cinematic opportunity in my view. This could have been a world-class film.

The film picks up various episodes from the life of the living legend and cricketing star Mahendra Singh Dhoni and weaves them into a story. It opens with Dhoni (Sushant Singh Rajput), the skipper of the  2011 ICC World Cup Team of India, watching the game in the dressing room of Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium and taking the momentous decision to promote himself in the batting order. It goes into the flashback of his birth in a Ranchi hospital, his growing up years and accidental inclusion in the school Cricket team, and his rise and emergence as a legendry star of World Cricket in spite of heavy odds a small town talented Cricketer has to face. It also tells us about his tragic love affair with a Delhi girl Priyanka Jha (Disha Patani) and later his love affair and marriage with Sakshi Dhoni (Kiara Advani). We return to the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, to watch Dhoni getting ready and walking on to the ground and hitting the match winning sixer and lifting the World Cup 2011 for his team as his ultimate Cricketing achievement. 

The film sufficiently highlights Dhoni’s relationship with his father Pan Singh  (Anupam Kher), who thinks having a govt. job is more important than playing Cricket, his ever encouraging elder sister Jayanti (Bhumika Chawla), his coaches, childhood friends and other benefactors. The first half of the film depicts his struggle, while the second half is devoted to his triumph and love life. The first half is far more cohesive and artistically integrated than the second. It’s a reasonably well told aspirational tale that has everything a Bollywood film is supposed to have, action, emotion, suspense, songs, and romance.

I have not read Dhoni’s official biography and thus cannot say if it’s a correct recreation of the events in his life. The screenplay should have been developed better. It does not transcend the obvious limitations, disjointedness, wastefulness, and frivolities of anecdotal storytelling. The director fails to explore and exploit various possibilities in terms of style, visualization, characterizations, production design, and over-all mise en scène to turn this into an important and noteworthy cinematic experience for film aficionados. The film scores averagely on various technical parameters. It also has songs that should not have been there as they serve no great purpose in the story.

The actors have performed reasonably well. Both the girls, Kiara Advani and Disha Patani, look good and do justice to their roles. Sushant Singh Rajput does a fine job too.

2/5

Rajesh Kumar Singh

@khulkebolo @neelnabh

Directed by Neeraj Pandey, Produced by Arun Pandey, Fox Star Studios, Dialogue by Neeraj Pandey Screenplay by Neeraj Pandey, Dilip Jha, Story by Neeraj Pandey Based on the book Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Starring Sushant Singh Rajput, Anupam Kher, Bhumika Chawla, Kiara Advani, Disha Patani, Songs Composed by Amaal Mallik, Rochak Kohli, Background Score by Sanjoy Chowdhury, Cinematography by Santosh Thundiyil, Edited by Shree Narayan Singh, Production Companies Fox Star Studios, Inspired Entertainment, Friday FilmWorks, Distributed by Fox Star Studios

 

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