In a country obsessed with cricket and films, a biographical film around a cricketer is like a bowl of ice cream with hot chocolate sauce poured over it. Neeraj Pandey‘s M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story is such an offering. But the only catch is that the served portion is a bit larger than the appetite. The duration of the film is 190 minutes, which is approximately the duration of a 20-20 cricket match. Sadly, the film doesn’t operate on that rhythm. On the contrary it has the qualities of the longer formats of the game. Having said that, the film also boasts of a number of positives that ensure that you don’t keep glancing at the tube-lit EXIT board on the doors of the cinema hall.

The basic plot is about a small town boy fulfilling his dreams of becoming a cricketer against all odds. It offers interesting insight into the life of captain cool. Where did he learn the helicopter shot from? How did Yuvraj Singh and he meet for the first time? How did he meet his life partner? Go, watch it for yourself as the Internet will be full of spoilers in the time to come. Let’s take a look at the film’s technical aspects.


Neeraj Pandey starts off well with this film. But as the film progresses, a monotony can be felt. This is probably because of lack of conflicts. Everyone knows about the rags to riches screenplay. But Neeraj’s understanding of humour helps in bringing showers of relief. The strength of the film lies in the fact that Sushant Singh Rajput as Mahendra Singh Dhoni is believable. That is in fact one of the key reasons why regardless of the weak moments you forgive the filmmaker and readily accept the suspension of disbelief that he has spread. The director has played on Dhoni’s key emotions such as aggression and perseverance. In the film, one of the selectors says that Mahi lacks technique so he can’t be selected. The other responds, “Technique isn’t everything, he is good at giving results and that’s what matters”. This dialogue is partially a reflection of the way the film is made, lacks technique but still works!

Casting and Performances

Actors take full control over this film. Casting Director Vicky Sidana has done a decent job in the department. Actors like Rajesh Sharma, Anupam Kher, Brijendra Kala, Mukesh Bhatt, Kumud Mishra and Herry Tangiri are fantastic. The actress who plays Dhoni’s mother also hits the right notes. The dialogues by Dilip Jha are powerful and have been delivered well by the actors.

Cinematography and VFX

Cinematographically it must have been a challenging film to work on. There are all kinds of footage in the film and matching the old and new footage has been done with a fine hand. Save for a few instances where a young Dhoni is shown, all the other sequences are pitch-perfect. The VFX of the film is to look for. And we repeat, the job of matching the old and new footage has been done with a fine hand.

Background music

The background music flows well and you never feel it overpowering the narrative.


The songs of the film are average and forgettable as you watch them in the film. But listening to them individually as an album is not as bad an experience. They however add unnecessary screen time to the film.

Product Placements

Yes, this too found abundant space in the overall scheme of things. The makers of the film knew about the kind of marketing and promotion strength that this property (The film) had. There are all kinds of brand names hitting your eyeballs here and there. At a given point in the film, there are only ads running as if the commercial break was taken way too seriously. The section is intelligently placed but has nothing to do with the brands that Dhoni himself endorsed. Nonetheless, it is funny.

The final verdict

Overall, this film is about chasing your dreams passionately. Sushant Singh Rajput clearly emerges as the man of the match. And it is one of those films that you must watch in theatres and not on the smaller screens. But going for a repeat show of the film is entirely your call based on how blue you bleed.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5