Movie Review: M.S. Dhoni THE UNTOLD STORY
If its a full toss, whack it. If its a out swing, leave it. If its a inswing, defend it, If its a bouncer, duck it. Same goes with life. But the hidden lesson is that you need to devise your own helicopter shot to reach a high in life
Watch the video review here
Director Neeraj Pandey has made his mark in bollywood with movies like A Wenesday!, Special 26 and Baby. He is not only a director but has significantly contributed in almost all key functions of film making like: story writing, screenplay, dialogues and production. This Friday, September 30th 2016 Neeraj brings to us the untold story of a man who is loved by millions. A man who has 5.63 million followers on Twitter. A man who has over 19,106,178 likes on his Facebook page. A man who has led India to win two cricket world cups. A man who has won almost every international cricket tournament that exists on this planet. This man, ladies and gentleman is none other than our own captain cool, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and yes his story needs to be told.
The full hindi trailer of this movie was released about a month ago on youtube. It has over 22 million views till date. Such is the popularity of this man. Movie has been released in several languages including Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.
What works well?
The very first scene takes you to the Wankhede stadium where the final of cricket world cup 2011 is being played between India and Srilanka. It then cuts to the day when Mahendra Singh Dhoni is born. First half works like magic. It tells you what it takes for a son of a pump operator to become an icon. It tells you the character of the man, the people who support him and the adverse situation he faces and overcomes. It tells you that no one can stop you from living your dreams if you have your family and friends who go out of their way to support you.
The movie is made with honest intentions because it tells you that the helicopter shot was not invented by Dhoni himself but by one of his friends. Watch out for the scene where Yuvraj Singh is introduced and the way Dhoni explains Yuvraj's innings to his friends. Looks in the eyes of Dhoni, it tells you that he has seen a hero in Yuvraj.
The movie also gives a message that even celebrities and great sportsmen are at the end human beings. They too fall in love, they too feel disappointed on failing and they cry as well. May be not in public but in private.
Length of the movie is over 3 hours, however it is justified to give full credit and screen space to all important characters. The importance of a coach who identifies the talent and the guidance of a mentor (A. K Ganguly who recruits him in Indian Railways) is very well depicted.
Special effects are used very well in the first half to show a young Sushant Singh Rajput while he plays matches for the school tournaments. I believe this is the same technology that was used for Shahrukh Khan in the movie Fan. In the second half effects are used to replace the 'real Dhoni' with Sushant in international matches. Also the way Sushant's makeup has been done to show an aging and growing Dhoni is very commendable.
Attention to details:
The director has covered everything right from his bikes to his girlfriend, from advertisements to board meetings, from being a Sachin fan to being a tough captain, almost everything is covered even the media coverage/ hype of Dhoni v/s Sehwag.
Several scenes have been shot with very minute attention to details: Watch out for the advice that A.K Ganguly gives to Dhoni on the railway station, the frustration that Dhoni expresses while working at Indian Railways, the advice that he gives to his friend on drinking v/s cricket career and the scene where he explains to his friend that Bihar did not lose to Punjab on the cricket field, they lost the match on the basketball ground when they were in Awe of Yuvraj Singh.
This is easily Sushant Singh Rajput's best work till date. He is in top form and has put real hardwork to learn the mannerisms and cricketing shots. He has delivered an exceptional performance. Support cast is fantastic and adds the required spice to the proceedings. Watch out for the look alikes of Yuvraj Singh and Jagmohan Dalmia.
What does not work well?
First half is absolutely flawless and interesting because it covers the real untold aspects of Dhoni's life, the second half cover his journey to stardom which most people know so it may appear to be a drag to some people. I honestly missed the real Dhoni in the live cricket scenes where they have replaced Dhoni's face with that of Sushant. I wish they could have just retained the real Dhoni in those scenes. What is missing in the storyline is that there are no dressing room scenes. No space given to any cricketing characters other than Yuvraj Singh. Music is average but background music is gripping. So there isnt really much to be critical about this biopic except that it does lose some momentum in the second half.
What is the Highlight of the movie?
The scene where Dhoni is sitting at the Kharagpur railway station and the train comes and stops in front of him. The gate opens and he hears the chants of Dhoni, Dhoni, Dhoni...like a stadium erupting with his name. Goosebumps! That is where the real message is: Don't let the train of your dreams go away. Catch it and get onboard. Come what may, follow your dreams. And yes dont forget you need to know where the selectors are seated and hit sixes in that box of the pavilion. This is how you get noticed in real life.
At last, I bet the cinema hall will echo with claps, seetees and taalis when the real Dhoni appears on screen in the very last frame.