‘M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story’ film ratings and reviews

The trailer of MS Dhoni: The Untold Story has garnered a lot of buzz. Based on the life of Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni, fans are eager to see the personal side of the cricketer.

Directed by Neeraj Pandey, Dhoni’s biopic stars Sushant Singh Rajput, Anupam Kher, Disha Patani and Kiara Advani in pivotal roles.

Review of the movie:

Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput knocks it out of the park as the Indian captain MS Dhoni in this eponymous biopic. From the lopsided gait to Dhoni’s self-effacing demeanour, Rajput makes it his business to be convincing as the small-town boy who becomes India’s top cricketing legend and he strikes gold.

Dhoni’s family headed by a conservative father (Anupam Kher) who wants Dhoni to get a stable job instead of pursuing his sports, his simple friends who take reflected pride in Dhoni’s cricketing calibre and his optimistic school coach, all make the first half utterly convincing.

What’s not to love about an underdog who makes it to the big league? Until the film’s interval, things were moving at a languid but engaging pace. It was refreshing to see a Hindi film which did not shirk from showing how ordinary your life can get if you rein in your ambitions.
The scenes in which Dhoni and his friends try to race against time and reach the airport for a sports selection round makes you cheer for these lovable underdogs.

But it’s the second half that let’s this biopic down. Ideally, his innings as the captain of the Indian cricket team playing in the world cup should have been explosive. But precious screen time is squandered away in bringing to life the women that entered Dhoni’s life.

Kiara and Disha are charming and cute in their roles, but the vanilla romance in the film feels unnecessary. There’s even a song about Rajput on a bike with glasses romancing his young wife. The picturesque song appeared after we were treated to some lengthy courtship scenes.

Important chapters such as the conflict that this cricketing legend may have faced as a captain when he had to lead his team or the politics that played out when stakes become high in a popular and scandal-ridden sport such as cricket is skimmed through.

It’s surprising that a bold director such as Pandey chose to focus on Dhoni’s personal life rather than his professional.

It makes you wonder if he just copped out. Apart from a couple of scenes touching upon Dhoni’s unconventional decisions taken as a captain such as removing a couple of established players from the team, the film doesn’t offer any insight into the interesting episodes on the professional front.

But what elevates the patchy screenplay in the second half is Sushant’s charismatic performance. It’s difficult to take your eyes off him. He’s so assured in his role that it’s compelling to see him transform himself from a diffident ticket collector in an Indian railway station to one of the world’s best batsmen and captain. Give this film a shot for Sushant and the sturdy support that the supporting cast gives him.

Ratings by UK-UAE film editor Umair Sandhu

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Anirudh is a die-hard cricket fan, loves playing, watching and talking about cricket. Cricket is his Religion & 'Sachin Tendulkar' his GOD. His motto of life is Eat, Sleep, Cricket, REPEAT!! You can write to him at anirudhsingh2904@gmail.com or get in touch with him on twitter.