In what was expected to be something different from the usual sports movies, makes me realise that ‘Dhoni – Untold Story’ is not different from the usual sports flicks. Like the movie ‘Azhar’ based on cricket, this movie as well ends as yet another tale of bollywood romance.
The movie opens up with Dhoni cautiously watching the 2011 World Cup final match in his dressing room, to realise the fact that he was the one who should take the responsibilty of finishing the game for India and win the cup after 28 years. As the chants of ‘Dhoni, Dhoni’ was played in the background, it did bring goosebumps to me as any other cricket fan. The the next scene does a time travelling to his birth, childhood and teenage. Dhoni started as a goalkeeper, but he was pursued by the coach to take up wicket-keeping. As his coach tries to recruit him, it turns out that he had interest in every other sports except cricket!
Rajesh Sharma(Dhoni’s school coach) has essayed his role well in the movie, infact all the supporting casts in the movie has been spot on and well executed. One would have to applaud the casting done by the director or whoever did it. The boy Dhoni, and the Dhoni we know in real life infact has resemblances. Under his coach, Dhoni grows into a matured wicket-keeper batsman and all the events that happen are shown, sequence by sequence very aptly. The movie keeps you engaged till interval, and one would have to say it was inspiring and looked set for a scintillating finish. But the director fails to keep up the good work in the second half, what follows does not seem very creative from the director. Second half of the movie shows off his exploits with the India A team, and him being selected for the Indian team. There was a big cheer from the audience in the scene where, selectors are confused about the new keeper, and they ask Sourav Ganguly for his choice of keeper and he ably gives Dhoni’s name. Thereby breaking a great jinx that there is rift between Dhoni and Ganguly. Ganguly brought Dhoni into Indian cricket scheme of things, also backed him to open up the order instead of playing at 6 or 7 like any other usual wicket keeper. If Ganguly hadn’t made that decision, Dhoni may have been just an ordinary player like Dinesh Karthik or Nayan Mongia. On his selection shows Dhoni romancing his first love Priyanka Jha(Disha Patani) and what followed was wasting some time in the name of some bollywood masala romance. After this it happens like a sequence, what every cricket fan would know before watching this movie He would score his first hundred against Pakistan, then his best score of 183 and then growing to become one of the better finishers of the game. The movie time travels to 2007, shows the despair and agonized faces of Tendulkar and Ganguly. Dhoni gets appointed the team captain and lifts the T20 World Cup, to be very honest it did bring goosebumps again. In the selection committee meeting for selecting the team for CB series in 2008, Dhoni wanted to omit the non-performing slow batsmen from the side – we all knew who were they. The bit of controversy that I found in the movie ended there. Then they showed a series of events until the movie took some time off with yet another picture perfect bollywood romance. Finally, Dhoni lifts the World Cup with that final six – when he promoted himself up the order ahead of Yuvraj Singh.
For a cricket fan, these events would have been enough to give goosebumps again and again. My mind did for sometime revisit those 2011 World Cup moments. But when I think as a movie buff, what was the untold story ? What was the added value?
Very few. It leaves a lot of questions un-answered as well. Starting from the chronological order, early on in the first half it shows Yuvraj and Dhoni being engaged in an U-19 match where Yuvraj Singh scored 358 and secure his selection for the U-19 World Cup. But after that how and when did they become friends ? There is a TV footage that shows there is rift between Sehwag and Dhoni. It was there in the news as well. Was there actually some rift or was it all bogus? How did he start as a player and become the captain of the side in such a short span of time ? Everyone speaks of Dhoni as captain cool and he was known for his calmess. Where did he unearth his calmness from ? Were there any incidents which showed he was a cool dude ? Dhoni – Sreenivasan relationship was a big enough controversy in itself while his time in Chennai Superkings. Was something fishy in that relationship? How did he end up as India Cements major shareholder ? Lots of questions could have been answered through the movie.
Neeraj Pandey shows off quite easily that he was a Dhoni fanboy by just taking the good cues from his life and avoiding all the controversial elements that could have been part of the movie. The morphing of faces between the real Dhoni and makeshift Dhoni could have been avaoided. It seemed drab, and sometimes disgusting. But finally when the viewers saw the real ‘Dhoni’ on the big screen, they were in awe and there were a lot of Dhoni chants across the cinema hall. Although Sushant did a brilliant job to enact the shots and mannerisms of Dhoni, the great man deserved a better movie. When you market the title as ‘Untold Story’ – it should have been one. It plays and toils with the emotions of the cricket fans – that’s where the marketability of the movie probably is.
Cricmatez recommends this movie if you haven’t watched the 2011 World Cup triumph. We recommend this flick to all Dhoni fans out there. It’s a tribute by a fan boy to say the least. Nothing unpredictable or untold, its something you already know about the great man!
Cricmatez rating : 2.75/5