Wednesday, October 5, 2016

M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story

Dhoni...never ever thought I'd want to write about him. Especially, as since 2000, I lost all interest in cricket.
As far as movies are concerned, we are just through watching one on cricket, and then watching another biopic (after Milkha Singh, Mary Kom, Azhar)? Yawn, yawn. But wait, don't we have Sushant Singh Rajput in it? Yep, and that evoked my interest. Still, there was a skepticism...will I be able to watch three hours of cricket?
But once I started, there was not a moment I wanted it to stop.
What is the story ? It is about how the real life cricketer, Dhoni, a small town boy makes it big as he fervently clings to his dream of playing for India. Otherwise, the movie doesn't tell you anything that you already don't know about Dhoni, the cricketer. But Sushant Singh plus director Neeraj Pandey have literally pulled off a coup with this one.
The movie  does not boast of a great script and, according to Pandey's own confession, it wasn't easy finding dramatic moments from Dhoni's life. Sushant Singh puts this across in a beautiful manner. His inscrutable expressions don't give away how his mind works...whether it is the disappointment of not getting selected, or joy of getting selected, his love life, his job as a Ticket Collector...he is in great control in the movie as he underplays the portrayal of Dhoni.
What is evident from the very beginning is the single-minded  pursuit of his goal.This certainty determines his behavior and his decisions through every phase of his life, in the process exhibiting an amazing gamut of changes (professional, personal, physical, emotional) right from his High School life to the present. We get to see a man well in control of his life. In a rare moment, one sees him break down during an adversity.
An example of subtle portrayal can be seen when his old time colleague and roommate comes to meet him. He greets him warmly despite the gaping chasm in their economic conditions but then quickly moves on as he realizes that the gap is not just economic but in a growth that reflects a broader outlook of life.
A brief insight into Dhoni's  personal life is provided through (real or fictitious) engagements with two women.The expression of those moments are beautifully captured as a younger Dhoni tries to balance between playing his first set of national matches and his love interest. The second affair sees a more mature and confident Dhoni who has done well in life..
The movie takes us through all ups and downs of his cricketing career, of the many who were catalytic in the achievement of his dreams and how he maintains these relations through life.
The movie, of course, ends with the brilliant World Cup 2011 victory, culminating into all that Dhoni had aspired for.
All along you feel as though you are watching the real much so that you wish that he indeed was the real one. For me this movie works as one that I'd score a 3.5/ 5 but  the hero's performance deserves more than a 10 on 5.
Go watch it. Rarely does one get to watch such performance!