“The best compliment for me is when someone says that they’ll pay to watch me bat. And I say I’ll pay to watch MS Dhoni. He is not the next Gilchrist. He is the first MS Dhoni.”-Adam Gilchrist.
“Dhoni has the respect of all other playing nations. I have found him to be a really strong leader.”-Glen McGrath.
“He has done a pretty good job for the team. Leading the team to such a triumph just after taking over as a captain is a great achievement.”-Ricky Ponting.
“He is a great leader by example. Someone whom I have always admired for his ability to remain balanced and has the sense of equanimity about his captaincy.”-Rahul Dravid.
“I am really honoured to play under the leadership of MSD.”-Michael Hussey.
“If you want to learn batting, bat with MS Dhoni.”-Ravinder Jadeja.
“I would go to war with Dhoni by my side.”-Gary Kirsten.
“If 15 runs are needed off the last over then the pressure is on the bowler, not MS Dhoni.”-Ian Bishop.
“I don’t think one can question MS Dhoni’s leadership.”-Virat Kohli.
He is known for his meticulous knowledge of the game, for he understands it perfectly. The way he judges whatever is happening on the field is impeccable. Captain Cool knows which bowler is out of form on the day of the match, which bowler should be used to upset the batsmen of the opponent team. His interpretation in following through all these decisions, or shall I call them ‘risks’ is phenomenal. But most importantly, he understands his own better than anything. He knows his strong power hitting and his limited singles, and he relies deeply on them. While we are anxiously contemplating about the next delivery, he is already thinking way ahead of us.
We all know how he came and conquered everyone’s hearts. But what challenges he faced, what struggles he overcame were unknown. MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, directed by Neeraj Panday, shows you every detail of Dhoni’s life. Right from his birth, to his current status.
The movie begins from the beginning, in a hospital where Paan Singh Dhoni (Anupam Kher) is waiting eagerly for his new born to arrive . A nurse comes out and announces that it’s a boy but when the doctor comes, he says that it’s a girl. Paan Singh gets confused and asks doctor to counter check. The doctor goes back and confirms that it’s a boy.
Then there is a sequence which clearly depicts Dhoni’s journey from a goal-keeper to a wicket-keeper. It is followed by a sequence which depicts his struggle in proving himself to his father. The way in which Dhoni balances his exams with the cricket league really explains his dedication to the sport.
This is followed by the sequence which shows all his struggles to get to Ranji. He gets selected for the Dilip Trophy but due to administration’s fault doesn’t make it to the very first game.
He is then asked to join Indian Railways as they offer him a job along with cricket training. So, the Ranchi boy boards the train to Kharagpur and accepts this new phase with a smile. But after few days, his job starts frustrating him for he sees no progress in his game. Thus he decides to leave his job and try for Indian Cricket Team selection. Because of his wonderful sixes, he gets selected and the rest is history.
The film grabs the game from its roots. But again, instead of the portrayal of bureaucratic grip what you see is an unquestioning commitment and passion for the game in the many officials. It would have been interesting to see Dhoni’s engagement with a world of big money and bigger misdemeanors. However, the film lets him remain in an idealistic globule.
Even when he is shown endorsing one product after another, it is showcased with a sense of satisfaction.
Sushant Singh Rajput has worked admirably within the limits and he displays a resolute determination ito get into the character whose inner life remains out of bounds. Depicting Dhoni as a loner within a crowd rather than as a sociable person, the actor perhaps gets to the movie’s core. When Dhoni has to cry from disappointment or heartbreak, he hides in a corner. When he rejoices, it is with the usual calm that Dhoni is known for.
Although, there is a run time of more than three hours, Pandey does not find the time to explain Dhoni’s rise to captaincy and his temperament on the field. He accurately depicts Dhoni’s decision to eradicate senior players from the one-day team. Being politically correct all through, the characters never name the players (Saurav Ganguly, V V S Laxman and Rahul Dravid). We never get to know his weaknesses or flaws, and the intensity that was clearly visible in the first half of the film is sorely missing in the second half.
All in all, the movie lets you know a lot more about the charismatic cricketer but misses off on a few details.
Our Verdict- 3/5.
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