Director : Neeraj Pandey
Music : Amaal Mallik
Lyrics : Manoj Muntashir
Starring : Sushant Singh Rajput, Kiara Advani, Anupam Kher, Herry Tangri, Bhoomika Chawla and Disha Patani
Almost doomed by the curse of the second half, Neeraj Pandey's much touted biopic on Indian cricket living legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni - MS DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY starring Sushant Singh Rajput gets to the finish line to make at least the 'fan' happy despite its playing safe, mushy and sloppy running.
Stumped by the fact that it's the A WEDNESDAY, SPECIAL CHABBIS fame Neeraj Pandey behind this divine amalgamation of cinema and cricket with a living legend like Dhoni in the center stage. The expectations are bound to go as high as 'Mahi''s helicopter shots, but BABY the bold and meaningful Neeraj Pandey makes us flabbergasted by playing safe to the gallery where we rarely catch the magic that made Dhoni the MS Dhoni we know.
Instead, this picture makes the Indian captain who brought back India's world cup glory in 2011 after 28 years, a filmy hero, a cricket angel rather than a tough, determined and inspirational sports figure who fought against all odds to become a darling of the nation.
The writers Pandey himself with Nandu Kamte and Dilip Jha (dialogues) open the film with MS Dhoni (Sushant Singh Rajput) sitting in the dressing room and ready to take his stance in the famous cricket world cup finals in 2011. Cut to Ranchi, its circa 1981 a simpleton government official Pan Singh (Anupam Kher) is patiently waiting in an hospital, his wife is about to deliver and the good news comes. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Sushant Singh Rajput) aka 'Mahi' is born and its life as usual. Pan Singh wants Mahi to concentrate on studies and just not end up as a water machine mechanic like him. Mahi loves sports but cricket is not his first choice. Due to non-availability of the school team's wicket keeper due to board exams, Mahi - an amateur teen goal keeper catches attention of the school cricket coach. Mahi's first encounter with gloves and later with the English willow begins that reflects the middle-class milieu and how an extra ordinary talent finally makes it to the Indian eleven by doing odd ticket collectors job and support from his friends who never let him down.
An underdog making it big in the international arena will always remain a favorite amongst audience. But what yorks (read beats) this biopic from being an inspirational insight on how Mahi reached those heights as an influential captain who took bold decisions and what made him do so. What makes him 'captain cool', how he dealt with his short comings (broken English) to become one of the finely spoken Indian captain of our times etc, are surprisingly missing from this film. The detailing of Dhoni's inspirational rise as a player and as a captain is ignored. How he learned the tricks and how he mastered his opponents and made his decisions are not known. Aamir Khan's LAGAAN, though not a biopic had its share of detailing on how he learns the game and forms a team. Neeraj Pandey's biopic falls empty in this department.
As Mahi enters the Indian squad, it's all feel good with two back to back romances first with Kiara Advani followed by Disha Patani that makes this undesirably mushy.