A journey inspired by the spirit of Mahendra Singh Dhoni!
Let’s Talk Movie!
Flashback to 2011, a moment frozen in time – MS Dhoni knocks one out of the park and India clinches the World Cup after 28 years; a long cherished dream! And it’s the Indian captain who shines (literally). Not to take anything away from Gautam Gambhir who played a fantastic knock of 97 runs to set the stage up; but it had to be Dhoni to take India across the finish line. And I’ve seen him do it time and time again – steady a sinking ship and take it winningly to shore. It’s almost like he has a knack of coming through in times of dire need. And he does it in a way only he can – a ‘cool’ and ‘calm’ swag. Or at least so he portrays. Well, ultimately that’s what matters. Win or lose, you know our country is in good hands cricket-wise. Dhoni had already brought elation to the nation when he captained and won the inaugural T20 World Cup. But the World Cup was on the wait list of every Indian. A double whammy indeed!
The movie forays into the life of Mahendra Singh Dhoni – from his early days right up to being (hands down) India’s most successful captain. The best part about the entire journey – the Dhoni you see is the Dhoni you know! Sushant Singh Rajput completely surrenders himself to cloning Dhoni. He looks and feels the role right down to his humility, mannerisms and body language. Rajput plays the ideal candidate and there is nobody better suited to play the part (other than Dhoni himself). While you do get some insight into Dhoni’s life, personal life and love interests, there is still a lot left to be desired about Mahendra Singh Dhoni the person. And that probably works in favour of the film and fans. The film also stays clear of cricketing controversies and justifiably so; instead it highlights and amplifies the good that Dhoni has brought to Indian cricket. It lets an exemplary journey remain as is. Remember, Indians do tend to get overly emotional and religious when it comes to cricket. And they probably already got their dose of that with Azhar, which released just a couple months, prior.
Through the course of the movie they also clarify that Dhoni was not the creator of the ‘Helicopter’ or ‘Thappad’ shot (as it was initially called). It was taught to him by his long-time childhood friend Santosh Lal. Dhoni had always admired his batting style. Sadly, Santosh succumbed to pancreatitis at the tender age of 32. Not only did he share his talent but also in turn gave so much to Indian cricket to cheer about. May his soul rest in peace!
Director Neeraj Pandey (I personally admire his body of work) who has previously delivered cutting edge films like A Wednesday, Special 26 and Baby works wonders again in this quasi-biopic. Fox Star Studios, Inspired Entertainment, Friday Film Works and Arun Pandey jointly produce it. It also stars Disha Patani, Kiara Advani, Bhumika Chawla and Anupam Kher.
In the closing moments of the movie, you finally see a beaming MS Dhoni and that is undoubtedly the high point of the film; amidst much enthusiasm, cheers and claps from the audience.
And well, in our minds the myth of this legit legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni lives on.
– Varun Kumar | Enterapped