Despite all the complaints on this biopic of the Captain Cool, I just loved it. It might not be a perfect sports drama / biopic like ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ (2013) or ‘Rush’ (2013); but, the film had served its purpose seamlessly. The first half of the film is so intriguing since we are shown a lot of things that we do not know about MSD, but unfortunately the second half loses its momentum at several places. Although there are some great moments in the second half, it fails to be as interesting as the first half, since most of us knew or would have read about Dhoni as a cricketer after his entry into the Indian team. As the reviews and cricket enthusiasts say, the film does ignore some of the most important controversies in Dhoni’s career such as the issues that he had with Sehwag, VVS Lakshman and Gambhir, the case of 2013 IPL betting scandal, the 2 years ban imposed on team CSK. The film also omits few important characters from MS Dhoni’s life such as his elder brother NS Dhoni who was a popular local politician. It is true that the film fails to be impartial on speaking facts at times, and most of the film is about showing only the heroic side of this iconic cricketer! Definitely, any cinema lover would have expected an even more bold film that could have spoken out certain things clearly; it is natural for anyone to expect so, because the director is Neeraj Pandey who have made brilliant entertainers like ‘A Wednesday’, ‘Special 26’ and ‘Baby’ earlier.
In spite of all the above said issues with the actual facts that are ‘untold’ in this story of ‘Dhoni’, the film shines as a worthy & highly recommendable entertainer. It efficiently achieves its core objective – it inspires!! The film is full of wowtastic moments that uplifts the audience’s spirit. Right from the first scene where MSD says that ‘I will get in, once the next wicket falls’, it is full of rousing moments in every other scene. Who would not love watching such an inspirational guy’s life with some necessarily added slo-mo shots and extra-ordinary BGM! We do get goosebumps when Mahi accomplishes something unachievable, and we do feel sad when we see him losing or when he hears the news about his girlfriend Priyanka.
The emotional moments in the film are very well-written, which is a very big plus point. The characterisation of MS Dhoni and the way he moulds himself as a better cricketer and human are portrayed flawlessly, say the scenes which shows how Mahi handles failures & disappointments and gets ready to practice to give his best the next time – the scene where he speaks about Yuvraj’s performance and that his team had lost in the Basketball court itself, the scene where he misses the flight at Kolkatta and could not attend the Duleep Trophy match, the scene in kitchen where he hears his colleagues speaking low of him, the scene where he stays calm and composed focusing on the badminton game even after hearing the most happiest news that he could ever hear!
Sushant Singh Rajput in the titular role has done a terrific job, who has been highly successful in replicating MS Dhoni everywhere possible. What I felt as the major minuses of this film was, the length of 3+ hours which makes us feel like watching 2 different films pre & post intermission, the overdone VFX work in too many places and the length & the wrong placement of the romance episode that bothers the film’s pace a lot. Especially, the love song that is placed just 10 minutes before the climax, pulls down the film’s standard to a regular commercial Bollywood flick.
P.S: The film is being played with English subtitles in almost every theatre!
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