Starring: Sushant Singh Rajput (Mahendra Singh Dhoni), Herry Tangri (Yuvraj Singh), Kiara Advani (Sakshi Dhoni), Disha Patani (Priyanka Jha, Dhoni’s ex-girlfriend), Anupam Kher (Pan Singh, Dhoni’s Father), Bhumika Chawla (Jayanti Gupta, Dhoni’s sister), Rajesh Sharma (Dhoni’s coach), Kiran More as himself (National Selector), Kumud Mishra (Deval Sahab)
Music: Amaal Malik, Palak Muchhal, Rochak Kohli
Cinematography: Santosh Thundiyil
Director: Neeraj Pandey
Those energetic words from Ravi Shastri, that night in Wankhade, the winning six from an Indian captain and a sensational World Cup win; MSDhoni’s untold story ensures those moments are brought to life once again after 5 years. Right from its initial days, the movie was eagerly awaited, not only because it was about the game that is worshipped in India, but about the man who won India every possible silverware in the game.
The movie kicks off with its spotlight on the intense World Cup final game in 2011, with the perfect jaw dropping beginning you could have expected. As soon as Dhoni walks into the pitch and the tensions turn high in the ground and the theatre, director Neeraj Pandey time travels back to the day when the Indian skipper was born to a lower middle class family run by the meagre income of a pump operator, which focussed on the ideology “Padhoge likhoge banog Nawaab…Kehloge Koodoge Bangoe kharaab”.
The initial phase of the film is set in Dhoni’s hometown Ranchi, showing the budding days of the World’s greatest wicket keeper and his struggles as he shuttles between studies and his passion for the sports. As we progress, the films sheds more light on the early games MS played and his striking admiration for Yuvraj Singh since they played at the domestic level.
Well, if the direction skills of Neeraj Pandey and his team were not enough, the acting effort put in by the on screen captain Sushant Singh Rajput adds to the films credibility. The star cast which shuffles around the skipper ensures the film keeps its balance throughout. Whether it be the veteran, Anupam Kher or the fresh out of school kids, Kiara Advani and Disha Patani, every actor plays its part in this exemplary biopic.
The film focuses on every detail but once a film stretches over 3 hours, it does tend to wander off a bit. Though the major chunk of MS Dhoni keeps you glued to your seats, there are parts that make you feel the producers went for some lazy editors. Overstretched scenes in Kharagpur showing the days of the Indian captain as a ticket collector and those in Ranchi during his initial days, tend to slacken your interest in this mammoth entertainer.
The second flaw that may haunt this biopic is its safe play policy. In my opinion, biopics and autobiographies are meant to have the controversial tint, as they bring out a lot from a man’s story, but surprisingly the genius of Neeraj Pandey choses to play a safe game disappointing no one from Saurav Ganguly to Gautam Gambhir.
Now whether it be a biopic or a thriller, Bollywood has always shown its never ending love for music. MS Dhoni’s biopic is well decorated with multiple songs, but none of them pull of the pace from this in swinging Yorker, instead make it even better and worthwhile.
MS Dhoni has been one of my longest reviews but yet I feel I am missing something out in describing this brilliant biopic. The film hardly makes mistakes as it beautifully shifts gears and moods from humour to comedy followed by aggression. The film is one of the better journeys you might take whose every stop has its unique speciality. So if you have loved the helicopter shot, do not waste even a moment and make sure you relive that night in Wankhade once again.
My rating: Delhi-Trivandrum Rajdhani First AC journey (4.5/5)