Fox Star Studios India Pvt. Ltd., Friday Filmworks and Inspired Entertain ment Pvt. Ltd.’s M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story is a biopic of Indian cricket legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The film traces the journey of Dhoni right from his childhood to the time India won the Cricket World Cup after 28 years, in 2011, under his captaincy.
The story, penned by Neeraj Pandey, is inspired by the real-life story of the cricket icon and because there are quite a few incidents and events of his life which are not in the public domain, the story keeps the audience involved and engaged and even surprises them at places. Neeraj Pandey and Dilip Jha’s screenplay is superb. Yes, it is lengthy and, therefore, does dip at places (in scenes where he takes up a job as a ticket collector, in scenes of his budding romance with Sakshi, and some more scenes) but the dip is not alarming. It would not be wrong to say that although the screenplay could have been tighter, the length of the film, in totality, is a minor aberration only. That is also because the portions which are not interesting, are not completely boring. There are interesting bits in the boring portions too. The writers have shown the love stories in fair detail to make the drama more appealing to even people who aren’t cricket fans. Actually, the screenplay is quite wholesome – it has a lot of thrill, of course, but it also has drama, emotions, comedy, light moments, tension, romance and intrigue. The emotional scenes are varied – there are emotions which come to the fore in Dhoni’s scenes with his family members, with his friends, with his coach, and with his girlfriends. The viewers experience the adrenaline rush so many times that there’s a feeling of viewing an entertaining drama all the time. Also, there are plenty of heartwarming moments in the film, which will be loved by the viewers and may prompt them to repeat the film despite its long running time.
Neeraj Pandey’s dialogues are superb – straight, crisp and weighty. He deserves distinction marks for his extraordinary dialogues.
Sushant Singh Rajput lives the role of M.S. Dhoni. He is unassuming as the cricketer and takes success and failure in his stride with the same equanimity. Sushant deserves kudos for getting into the skin of the character and playing the role with such ease and finesse. In one word, he is fabulous. Kiara Advani (as Sakshi) looks pretty and is impressive in her acting. Disha Patani makes a very confident debut. She plays the bubbly Priyanka with élan. Anupam Kher lives the role of Dhoni’s father. His expressions are outstanding. As Dhoni’s mother, Neeta Mohindra is endearingly natural. Bhoomika Chawla lends very good support as Dhoni’s sister. Rajesh Sharma deserves distinction marks for his performance in the role of Dhoni’s coach, Banerjee. His tearful expression of sense of achievement when Dhoni wins the World Cup for India in 2011, speaks volumes for his acting prowess. Kumud Mishra, as Deval, does a wonderful and supremely sincere job. Sandeep Nahar (as Paramjeet), Alok Panday (as Chitu) and Kranti (as Santosh) lend extraordinary support as Dhoni’s bosom pals. Sanjay Dadhich (as Satya, Dhoni’s friend at Kharagpur) leaves a mark. Joginder Sharma (as …), K.P. (as Animesh Ganguly), Brijendra Kala (as commentator Tiwari), Mukesh S. Bhatt (as commentator Shukla), Shanti Lal (as Sarkar), Rajendra Chawla (as Ramesh), Mithu Chakraborty (as Mrs. Banerjee), Sarvadaman Banerjee (as Chanchal), Shishir Kumar Dutta (as Das Babu), Rohit Mukherjee (as Singh Sir), Jitin Gulati (as Gautam), Ashrut Jain (as Shabbir), Surjeet Singh (as Deepak), Moni Roy (as Robin), Neeraj Kumar Singh (as Jignesh), Rhea Pawan Sharma (as Ritu), Deepak Dutta (as Dilip Vengsarkar), Harry Tangri (as young Yuvraj Singh), Rajeev Khatpal (as Mihir), Punya Darshan Gupta (as Rakesh), Rajesh Tiwari (as Roy), Ravindra Mankani (as Jagmohan Dalmiya), Swini Khera (as Dhoni’s sister in her younger days), Zeeshan (as young Mahendra Singh Dhoni), Aryan Singh (as young Chitu), Vijay Kumar Dogra (as coach) and the others provide remarkable support.
Neeraj Pandey’s direction is just too wonderful. His narrative style captivates both, cricket lovers and those who don’t understand cricket. Although this is a cricketer’s story, Pandey has exploited the human drama so beautifully that he has made it a wholesome entertainer. Amaal Mallik’s music is functional. The background songs stand out more for the substantive lyrics (Manoj Muntashir) than anything else. Choreography (by Brinda and Howard Rosemeyer) is okay. Sanjoy Chowdhury’s background music is simply outstanding and enhances the emotional impact of the drama. Sudheer Palsane’s camerawork is splendid. Sunil Babu’s production design and Vaishnavi Reddy’s art direction are of a fine standard. Abbas Ali Moghul’s action scenes are appropriate. Shree Narayan Singh’s editing is sharp.
On the whole, M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story is a sureshot hit at the box-office. It will fly high and fast – much like the ball flies when M.S. Dhoni hits it for a six on the cricket field. Not just in the first week, the film’s collections in the second week will also be outstanding.