The film, though intolerably long, is competently executed. It has a stellar performance from Sushant Singh Rajput, some moments of hilarity, a dash of tragedy and a clutch of strong supporting actors. But overall, M S Dhoni - The Untold Storydoes not mirror the Indian stumper's batting style. It is neither strikingly unconventional nor particularly effective. But strictly as cinema, M S Dhoni - The Untold Story is a patience-trying exercise. Instead of delving into the complexities of an international sporting career with its share of controversy, the patchy script glosses over the grey areas and concentrates squarely on lionizing Dhoni as a model sportsman.
Sushant Singh Rajput ably pulls off his act as Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Neeraj Pandey promises to suck you into Dhoni’s world from the word go! A languid pace of the first half is a problem. Also, a 3 hour run-time could have been avoided by cutting down on the whole love angle. Definitely watch! For all Dhoni fans, this film will be a treat.
This film had potential to present us with the recent Indian cricketing story, warts and all. Sadly it’s more hagiography than biography: the cricketer is reduced to a being singing-dancing Bollywood hero rather than a top-flight cricketer, a master strategist, and a captain who led from the front. True champions have that edge that no one else does: on that score, the real-life Dhoni hits it out of the park, every single time. Too bad the reel Dhoni gets stumped just when he is getting started.
Our heroes are generally virtuous, but a biopic also needs objectivity. The director has silver-wrapped the facts that are mostly known. But, you have to give to Pandey to keep it intriguing enough for you to get hooked throughout the three hours. Unquestionably entertaining. Also, it’s the role of a lifetime for Sushant, and he has aced it.
Clocking in at nearly 3 hours and 10 minutes, the film is overlong and far from perfect. But climaxing with Dhoni’s incredible performance in the 2011 World Cup, Pandey pushes all the right buttons and leaves you, your chest swelling with pride. So even though your head knows this is far from a no-holds-barred, warts-and-all biopic, your heart is happy to settle. Much of the credit for that must go to the finely executed cricket scenes, and to the film’s terrific ensemble of actors led by Sushant Singh Rajput who does some of his best work here.
If you are a diehard fan of MS Dhoni and cricket (in that order), you are bound to love this film, which reveres its protagonist. Despite the glorification, what works is Sushant’s impeccable portrayal of a stoic Dhoni and the latter’s inspiring untold story - his journey from being a ticket collector to a renowned attacking batsman/wicket-keeper/captain. However the biopic loses its momentum in the second half with Dhoni’s love life getting undue prominence. Also, the cricketer’s questionable decisions or possible vices are mostly overlooked. His tiff with the senior players (Sehwag, Gambhir), rivalry with Yuvraj Singh, love-hate relationship with the media, team politics and criticism faced on occasions, barely find a passing reference. As a full-fledged biopic, this one-dimensional approach towards the lead character leaves you a tad discontented. But since you see the film through Dhoni’s eyes, it’s justified as one rarely sees faults in oneself.
The film doesn't challenge our perception as much as amiably pat it into place, yet -- thanks largely to a remarkably committed performance by the leading man -- the film scores like a champ. Playing one of the most famous men in the country, Sushant Singh Rajput doesn't put a foot wrong. Literally. Right from that walk, his body language as Dhoni is immaculate, and he nails everything: the swagger, the trademark shots, the oddly effete nail-biting manner.