Biopics are arguably one of the most challenging genres for a director to pick up. And when it comes to the responsibility of a biopic based on someone as big as Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the task is a Himalayan climb. Where does one begin, and where does he end? What incidents does he bring to the forefront, and what does he hide under the table? Neeraj Pandey’s latest offering in ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’ is a spider that gets caught in a tricky web, but somehow finds its way out by taking the safe route.
The film is an indulgent biopic that follows a generic pattern, but what makes it interesting are the revelations of some unknown little secrets at regular intervals, which pop a balloon and help you sit up. Without playing around with the format much, Pandey makes it a straightforward set of chronicles that even a little Dhoni fan would comprehend. But in hindsight, this straightforward set also includes a shaky layer of exaggeration, cinematic liberties and tepid love tracks for our hero’s romantic angle.
Despite the odds against it, what really makes MS Dhoni: The Untold Story click is the lead Sushant Singh Rajput, who rips out a total doppelganger of the man he is seen playing. This is a performance which would go down as one of the most authentic portrayals, for he is on point when it comes to reprising the real Dhoni’s voice modulations, body language, batting style and even the helicopter shot. After him, it is Anupam Kher who plays the role of a doting father to perfection. Disha Patani and Kiara Advani come in and out as adorable pairs for SSR, but their character sketches are something that really needed more work on.
Toting up, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story is a definitely watchable record of a man who is loved by almost everybody in India. The film has a charming start, enthralling childhood incidents and gives you some eye-widening moments of Dhoni’s life. But by the end of it all, you’d wish that the director had done away with the chocolate box romance, and given us more of what Dhoni’s professional life, his brave decisions and champion moments. At a length of three hours, it feels long drawn out, and the tacky VFX doesn’t help much either. Nevertheless, worry not, because when things might seem a little bobbed down, Sushant Singh Rajput comes to the rescue and lends you an assuring performance in the titular role. Watch this film for his knockout act, and the feeling of reliving some golden moments on the big screen.
Verdict: Indulgent, yet interesting biopic.
3.25 / 5