Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Anupam Kher, Rajesh Sharma, Bhumika Chawla, Kumud Mishra, Disha Patani, Kiara Advani, Harry Tangri
Director: Neeraj Pandey
The viewers have to accept that this is biopic of MS Dhoni not a dash board of Mahi’s talent or the dashboard of statistics of Indian cricket in his time. Garnering the widest ever openings for a Hindi film of 4,500 screens across the country. India love Bollywood, marries India’s true religion cricket. It is Fox Star Studios’ attempt; to go behind and understand the person that India’s Captain Cool actually is.
We have all seen him play, we have not shared his journey so far, seen him sweat and felt his tears of failures and success. The wait is over the final product looks very positive and it is understandable that the buzz around the film has been sky high. The movie is about the cricketing great and the people who supported him to be what he is through success and failure.
This movie is a walk from his childhood through days of struggle, the bullies, and his luck, his ticket collector days, his dreams which stayed constant, his efforts which grew with him, not about his arrival as the star wicketkeeper-batsman-captain of the Indian cricket team. Friday morning saw rushes like the T20 booking counter.
A sincere, dedicated and very genuine youngster with lots of promise, Mahi he is more interested in football, badminton and tennis. Then his first coach played by Rajesh Sharma realizes the amazing talent and potential. Then begins the transition and the acceptance of why and which sport to take on as a career.
As is the steady norm of conservatively thinking fathers -Anupam Kher- likes to follow the beaten easier path of study, get a job and settle. Support comes with a sigh here.
His mother who can see no harm in her sons wishes. His unfathomable solid help and support his sister played by Bhumika Chawla.
His friends who get his kit to school so that he does not miss the practice believes in undying friendship and loyalty and are in awe of his talent and are just happy being Mahi’s friends.
Mahis goal is part of his life. To be part of the Indian team and play for his country and by now the audience also by now wants him to succeed that is the sincerity of this offering. Mahi, can be restricted, but not conquered. Negativity is a motivation for him and he does not see disappointment as an obstacle.
The film is Dhoni centric and extremely positive as the match winner for the Indian side. For die hard cricket fans, the lack of a lot of footage on contemporary greats could be a little irksome, but there is no complaining. There are some superb shots some beautiful moments when team-mates and cricketing gods strategizing and planning the next move is absent. That makes it refreshing especially his interaction with Yuvraj (Harry Tangdi)
Disha Patani portrays Priyanka Jha who was Dhoni’s first love. There are the usual romantic interludes showing Mahi as a person capable of love and feelings, his moment of depression when she dies in a car accident which motivates him to push his boundaries further. He finally weds Sakshi played by Kiara Advani a sweet attempt.
BCCI and its selection processes, privileged sporting enclaves, the various cricketing bodies are all mentioned in passing, indicating the reality of all this.
Sushant Singh Rajput is brilliant in his attempt at the portrayal of this reservoir of talent. He does share the cricketers urge to achieve in his chosen path and keeps trying and failing, to rise again surmount roadblocks. Sushant who resembles the original idol himself, has done extensive research on his physical form to mannerisms to the actual reactions and feeling. The quality of cricketing on screen is excellent with the lead actor picking up nuances of the cricketer’s brilliant knocks and achievements on the pitch.
The movie may not show a lot of rivalry, his relation with his seniors, his mood swings with the media etc but what it has is Mahendra Singh Dhoni, cricketer, a master strategist, and a captain who led from the front. He has worked his way to be a true champion and as the final scenes show the real man, we are left in awe. But again he is one of us. Apna Dhoni, genuine and rooted.
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