Neeraj Pandey, director of A Wednesday, Special 26 and Baby had a daunting task attempting to make a biopic of someone so young and so loved. So he did what was commercially viable, he played safe.
The story writes itself. With such a subject matter it is easy to falter and easier to stay on course. While the film is good, it isn’t exceptional and the same can be said for the direction. It stretches in parts, especially in the second half, but not to the point that you lose interest.
You wonder how come everyone Dhoni encountered was nice, and why the story telling didn’t dwell in any controversy or grey areas. The story has its share of trials, but none that break the viewer to the point where confidence is painstakingly built back.
Performances are good across all actors. Sushant is stoic, reserved, humble and polite, all the glimpses of Dhoni we have to come to know. His family, his personal life, his friends and coaches etc, all feature great acting, but could have had better writing.
The film is mounted on a large budget, owing to the seamless morphing of Sushant’s face onto Dhoni. It’s done extremely well at the box office, and the real reason, is the true hero of the film, who makes an entry in the closing shot. Dhoni, who is grounded and looked up to by all of us, carries this film, like many matches he has won, effortlessly.
3/5 (1 for every hour 😉)