Film:MS Dhoni: The Untold Story

Director:Neeraj Pandey

Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput Disha Patan Anupam Kher Bhumika Chawla Kiara Advani

Rating:12

It’s raining biopics in Bollywood but one on a sports icon such as MS Dhoni had raised hopes as one that just might stand out in the deluge.

MS Dhoni: The Untold Storynbsp;begins well in a breezy first half that takes the viewer through the humble beginnings of Jharkand’s most famous son.

Sushant Singh Rajput as Dhoni seems tailor-made for the role and the erstwhile TV actor gives a good account of himself as India’s most successful cricket captain on the big screen. He has done his homework well from his lsquo;helicopter shotrsquo; to his accent Rajput looks and feels the part.

The film is funny in parts and those moments of brevity are sorely needed for the script is unnecessarily dramatic at times. Supporting cast members especially his youth coach Rajesh Sharma and father’s Anupam Kher dialogues will resonate with anyone who once thought of playing a sport professional in India.

Beginning and ending with that famous Wankhede final that is forever etched in memory Neeraj Pandey’s film slumpsnbsp;especially after the interval. The drop in lsquo;entertainmentrsquo; is alarming and one feels how could a film that started so wellnbsp;falter mid-way? At the end of the day it’s a film and even a biopic should have more flavour.

While Pandey’s intent is unquestionable his execution leaves a lot to be desired. A run time of over three hours seems unwarranted especially when one accounts for the bland moments Dhoni shares with his lady loves.

Disha Patani and Kiara Advani as Priyanka Jha and Sakshi Dhoni respectively appear flimsy with their dialogues delivery and one will wish to fast-forward whenever those damsels get their screen time.

His sister’s role is essayed by Bhoomika Chawla who makes you wonder why she even made a comeback in such a meek role.

The cricketing scenes are the saving grace for this film from little playgrounds in Jharkhand to the Ranji Trophy to the Wankhede making you believe you are actually there as Dhoni takes bowler after bowler to the cleaners. And even then the background score and soundtrack bog the film down at key points preventing it from fully taking flight.

It’s a pity for this is a story of a man who enjoyed unprecedented success despite having the odds stacked against him every step of the way. What could have been a novel way to bring the discussion of sports as a sustainable profession in every household is unlike its titular character in real life unremarkable.

Word of advice: Make sure you book tickets in a hall with good surround sound for raucous fans will erupt in celebration each time a famous cricketer is spotted or scene is enacted!