Friday, 30th September 11:00 AM IST
M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story Succeeds As Entertainer But Fails As Biopic
Sushant Singh is outstanding, Rajesh Sharma is natural, Anupam Kher and Bhumika Chawla are decent, Disha Patani and Kiara look pretty
Slow and predictable screenplay, over dramatic background score, inconsistent direction especially in 2nd half
Watch it for great moments from life of Dhoni and performance of Sushant Singh Rajput
Neeraj Pandey has some acclaimed films to his credit. Now he is trying hands first time in a genre other than thriller. Biopic on one if the most iconic cricketers of our time.
Plot is real and riveting. Young Mahi is more interested in football, badminton and tennis, and tries to blow off his first coach (Rajesh Sharma) who spots his potential. The entire ‘bachpan’-adolescence section, featuring the father (Anupam Kher) who thinks a job will take his son much further than sports, the mother who believes in her son, the sister (Bhumika Chawla) who is a solid support to him, his bunch of loyal friends who just know he can do it, has been crafted with heart and feels authentic. We see Mahi (Sushant Singh Rajput) trying and failing and trying again, despite all the roadblocks, to keep his eye on his goal: to be part of the Indian team and play for his country, and we root for him.
What works for the film in the first half is the life-like re-creation of life in a small town (Ranchi), a family getting by on slender means and yet being able to find it in themselves to get behind a bright-eyed lad who dreams big, and is willing to work for it. But then ghost of second half strikes.
This loosens the noose that was so intelligently set. The second half keeps dragging for no apparent reasons. Two romances arrive in swift succession (Disha Patani, Kiara Advani, both sparkly, both reduced to sidebars). There are songs and dances. There is a stab at the intrigue that governs selection processes at various cricketing bodies, including the mighty BCCI, but it is laughably feeble. There is no focus or description of other contemporary cricketing greats, there is no mention of decisive cricketing moments and there is no mention of back door politics at BCCI.
Film has interesting screenplay. It has life in 1st half but in middle of 2nd half all fizzle out. It becomes one sided version of a great man who played a team game.
Performance wise, Sushant Singh Rajput transforms himself completely as Dhoni. He walks like him and his intensity is outstanding. Rajesh Sharma as first coach of Dhoni is exemplary. Anupam Kher as middle class father is natural, Bhumika Chawla makes an interesting comeback. Kiara Advani and Disha Patani look pretty. Harry Tangri as Yuvraj is good too.
Film has lazy editing. Background music is loud. Cinematography is decent, production design is good and costumes are apt. Music is melodious with couple of good songs.
Director Neeraj Pandey shows his brilliance and command over comman man's stories in first half but he falls for Bollywood cliches in 2nd half. Also he fails to display boldness to tackle few grey or controversial areas in biopic.
Film released today and will open with huge numbers followed by big weekend. It's real test will be on Monday and that will answer how big success it can achieve.
Go for this if you Dhoni or cricket or biopic or an entertainer!