M. S. Dhoni - The Untold Story - Review
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A biopic usually chooses to paint a larger-than-life picture – and it would be justified because hey, the person has achieved enough for a biopic to be made on his life. A biopic usually elaborates the well-known, key moments of success. A biopic rarely goes beyond what newspaper headlines cover. M S Dhoni – The Untold Story does none of the above. It chooses to impress with details of a more than humble beginning. It chooses to inspire rather than merely awe. The pace is slow. At 185 minutes, the film is long. A person waiting for the scoop on Dhoni's controversial decisions will have to wait longer.
Of course, they promised us things we didn't already know. And a lot of the first half's charm comes from those little details. In fact, the makers might have taken advantage of the reverence his fans have for him. Had this been a fictional story, the details might or might not have been as interesting. We'll never know. But as it stands, the film is cute, refreshing, surprising and inspiring. Not only because Dhoni had to fight a lot of odds. He did so with humility and gratitude. It almost feels like Dhoni chose this medium to thank the people who helped him reach where he is now and told the filmmakers only about those situations and moments.
The writers also give us these philosophies that he had, developed and lived by. Unfortunately though, we are not made privy to his strategy, his thought process. They even tease the audience with an instance of how he took his teammates in confidence but they never tell us exactly what he thought or said. That I was looking forward to and sorely missed.
That Mahi bites his nails, is afraid of commitment, wants to please his father, is a prankster, gets frustated – make him human – like you and me. These tidbits keep him from becoming a superhero and instead show his level-headedness.
Ok, I will stop myself from making this into an essay on Mahendra Singh Dhoni. One last thing - I loved the romantic flirt in him. Not to mention, the couple of romantic scenes in the film do much more than feature length romantic films. Of course, if it were not for Sushant Singh's cutesy boy-ness, these scenes might not have worked. Otherwise too, he carries the character and the film well, never once seeming unconvincing.
However, there are quite a few things that kept me from enjoying the movie more than I did. The background music. The occasional use of slow-motion and other dramatic elements. Sure these elements worked to bring a smile. Of course, a reaction shot of a non-believer of Mahi's shot is bound to bring a smile. I digress again.
There was a slack in pace at the beginning of many sequences. There is attention to detail and there is detail. You can appreciate the simplicity of the clothes that Mahi's family wears, the pains taken to show a true-blue middle-class household, the characters that make small-town India and so on. The movie fills you with warmth for the hard-working, dedicated working class of India. But the movie also begins to annoy with too much detail. The audience enters almost every scene a little too early. Way too many scenes have a character enter a room, open a door, sit, exchange pleasantries and so on. Precious screen time spent on setting the mood, and it doesn't really happen.
And yet, when the second half picks pace it sorely lacks detail. 35 years isn't a very long life. However, when you have achieved a lot in those 35 years, it can warrant a film. When one sets out to make that film, they have lots to pick from. Biopics could be interesting or not depending on what was left out. M S Dhoni – The Untold Story picks a lot of lovely details from before the man's rise to success and stardom. However, life after success is skimmed through in a rush.
Maybe it is intentional, metaphorical even. The struggle was long. The success, once it came, happened all too quickly. Or maybe the last 8-10 years are too “current”; a little risky to have the details open for public scrutiny. Maybe it is an opening for an untold story - Part 2, when this will all be history. Yes, I am a fan and I can't have enough.
Till then though, we can bank on Bollywood to deliver the predictable. And this once we are thankful. You know how this specific biopic is going to begin. In fact, you want it to begin and end so, and no other way. And yet you have goosebumps when you watch it. That is the power of your fandom and your love for the game. The makers would have to really mess it up to take that away from you. They don't.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: None
- Language: Clean
- Nudity & Sexual content: None
- Concept: The true life story of the most successful Indian cricket captain of India.
- General Look and Feel: Keeps things simple. No glitz, no glamor, just plain and simple story-telling.
M. S. Dhoni - The Untold Story - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Fox Star Studios, Inspired Entertainment, A Friday Filmworks
- Producer: Arun Pandey
- Director: Neeraj Pandey
- Lead Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Kiara Advani
- Supporting Cast: Disha Patani, Herry Tangri, Anupam Kher, Bhumika Chawla, Mukesh Bhatt 1, Brijendra Kala, Rajesh Sharma, Kumud Mishra, Parineeti Chopra
- Story: Neeraj Pandey, Dilip Jha
- Screenplay: Neeraj Pandey, Dilip Jha
- Dialogues: Neeraj Pandey
- Cinematography: Sudhir Palsane
- Editor: Shree Narayan Singh
- Background Score: Sanjoy Chowdhury
- Action Choreography: Abbas Ali Moghul
- Choreography: Brinda, Howard Rosemeyer
- Music Director: Amaal Mallik
- Lyrics: Manoj Muntashir
- Costume Designer: Falguni Thakore
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 185 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Based on true life story, Biography, Sports
M. S. Dhoni - The Untold Story - Trailer
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