“Dhoni… finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd. India lift the world cup, after 28 years…”
We all know M.S Dhoni as the successful Indian captain as he led India cricket team to many successful ventures and won all major ICC trophies. We know him as captain cool and “Mahi”; this biopic shows many aspects of his life from his birth till the 2011 world cup victory. Sushant Singh Rajput steps into his shoes backed by coaching and training from Kiran More and Dhoni himself. Pandey recreated all the major cricket events replacing Dhoni with Rajput’s image. That was a clever move. The editor and VFX took it into their hands for us relive the cricket moments from disappointing disastrous 2007 world cup and dream come true in 2011. What about Dhoni?
He was born to a well to do family who urged him to do everything essential in order to secure his future. At the same time, he is encouraged by his friends and mentors to chase his dreams. He found his passion for cricket on one particular day when a coach approached him for the school team. During his late teens, he becomes a sensation and he learns more about different styles in cricket. The team did a fantastic job in recreating Dhoni’s life in the first half. The second half, however, is more of a romance tale. Anyone who look forward to witness his life as a cricketer then, that it will be shown only in bits and pieces. At the end of the day, the movie focusses on the “untold stories“; like how he learned the famous “helicopter shot” from his friend Santhosh, tragic death of his girlfriend Priyanka, his involvement in the removal of three senior players (whom we know as Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, and V.V.S Laxman) and the last moments of epiphany before going out to bat against Sri Lanka in 2011 world cup. I just wished they included several key facets like his rise to captaincy, *whatever* issue there was between him and Virender Sehwag at one of time and why he chose to bat up the order after knowing that it was Muralidharan’s over during 2011 world cup. Dhoni was the wicket keeper in Chennai Super Kings team where he learned Muralidharan’s style of bowling. That was a crucial detail that should have been in the film.And, apart from his confidence and calmness under pressure, Dhoni was a down to earth individual? It was enlightening to know the part of him as a friendly and considerate person and thankfully, no negative influences other than the death of his girlfriend was shown in the movie. The movie is also devoid of unnecessary dramatism and exaggeration like it was shown in Azhar. I loved the introduction of young Yuvraj Singh (Herry Tangri) who intimidated Dhoni during the Bihar vs Punjab match in the basketball court, thus he lost his chance to enter Indian cricket team. Although many questioned the absence of the controversy related to both of their connection with actress Deepika Padukone, in a way, I am glad that that detail was left out. Let gossips remain limited to the status of gossips.
Sushant Singh Rajput did a fantastic job in terms of copying his style, body language and for recreating the helicopter shot. He will make you believe that he is Dhoni with the crooked smile he gives under pressure and the serious looks. However, he looked stressed during dialogue delivery and could have improved better. Anupam Kher looked more like a Kashmiri Pandit playing a Bihari but he was very controlled in his portrayal. I liked the character of coach Banerjee, one of M.S major influencers. The way he reacted after the 2011 world cup victory is heartfelt as he keeps pointing at Dhoni gesturing how proud he is, as a teacher. His strict attitude while teaching Dhoni’s wicket keeping is on point and we can relate him to many real life coaches. The VFX did a tremendous job but I wish that the filmmakers avoided noisy background score during tensed sequences and emotional scenes. The songs which showed Dhoni’s honeymoon with Sakshi was a bit dragging and created a small jerk as the world cup follows it.
The pinnacle of this movie is how accurately they presented the events and made into a feature film devoid of a “documentary” look. M.S Dhoni is a pleasant watch for cricket lovers and Dhoni fans. Pandey, Rajput, and team did a fine recreation.
Featured image: hdwlp.com