Starring: Sushant Singh Rajput, Anupam Kher, Rajesh Sharma, Bhumika Chawla, Kumud Mishra, Disha Patani, Kiara Advani, Harry Tangri

Director: Neeraj Pandey

Release: 190 minutes

Rating: Two and a half stars


MS Dhoni: The Untold Story gets off the mark during the perhaps the biggest day in Dhoni's life - April 2, 2011, the ICC Cricket World Cup final at Wankhede Stadium.

 

While we have seen the on-field scenes a million times since that day, the movie gives us glimpses of the Indian dressing room - with a restless skipper watching the match on television.

 

India's best performer that World Cup, Yuvraj Singh was padded up, ready to walk into the field next. As soon as Muttiah Muralitharan came into the attack, Dhoni is seen informing Gary Kirsten that he will promote himself up the order ahead of Yuvraj.  

 

From this iconic opening scene, we are taken back to the 1980s, Dhoni's childhood days in Ranchi (when cricket was not in his mind) and a rambling, sometimes disjointed view of Dhoni's life.

 

Before your expectations go to another level, please note that 'The Untold Story' does not feature much of what most fans have been waiting to see.

 

There is hardly anything that is 'untold.'

 

 

For example, there is no mention of the infamous IPL scandal, and there are no dressing room scenes with his teammates either.

 

The only interesting revelation in the film is the role of Dhoni's friends - Chittu, Param and Santosh (who taught Dhoni his trademark 'helicopter' shot) - in his career. From helping him financially to driving him a thousand kilometres, they were with him at every step until he reached the top level.

 

The biggest flaw in the biopic is that the film miserably fails to smoothly connect the past scenes from Ranchi to the night of the World Cup final in 2011.  The movie mostly feels like watching Dhoni's life on fast-forward.

 

Sushant Singh Rajput is the only bright spot in the film. Sushant's hard work over nine months has paid off. His perfect replication of all of Dhoni's mannerisms - hand movements, pulling sleeves and checking stances - is nearly unbelievable.

 

But quibbles about accuracy, screenplay and flow of story aside, director Neeraj Pandey knows how to glue his viewers to their seats. Pandey is well aware of the fact that half the audience will settle for a typical Bollywood drama coated with a little bit of the sport.

 

And of course, there is plenty of loud music to pump up emotion and drama. There are even two romantic tracks.

 

To round off, the movie follows the standard formula - it begins at the climax, takes you back to the past to focus on struggles, hits all the low points, has a tragic love life and finally ends with the hero coming out as a winner.

 

For all that, it falls firmly in the 'one-time watch' category.

 

Watch it for the Reel Dhoni. This movie surely will go as one of the best performances in Sushant's acting career!