M S Dhoni Movie Review: Sushant Singh Rajput’s Film is a Fanboy Account


Neeraj Pandey’s M S Dhoni – The Untold Story is a highly unusual enterprise. Never before in the history of cinema has a biopic of an active sportsman been mounted with quite this level of patronage from the subject himself.

This unabashed puff-job has been bankrolled by Dhoni’s long-time confidant and business partner Arun Pandey and personally greenlighted by the cricketer.

Objectivity isn’t, therefore, the film’s strong suit. So what remains untold inevitably puts what is told in the shade.

The director’s hands are forced. He adopts a tame, sterile, straitjacketed approach to the story, depriving M S Dhoni – The Untold Story of genuine purchase.

This is a listless cricket drama more intent on airbrushing the protagonist than on presenting a rounded, hard-nosed, neutral cinematic sketch of the man and the athlete.

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 Story does not mirror the Indian skipper’s batting style. It is neither strikingly unconventional nor particularly effective.

It is too starchy and deferential to be anything more than an effete paean to the life and times of India’s most successful cricket captain.

With the director’s focus firmly on amplifying Dhoni’s greatness, the cricketer’s many career missteps are swept under the carpet.

This film is, in the end, only a fanboy account of the journey of a Ranchi lad who went from the anonymity of being a railway ticket collector in Kharagpur to becoming one of the brightest-ever stars of Indian cricket.

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