The trailer of ‘MS Dhoni – The Untold Story’ is out and as of writing this report, it has already received over 2,543,617 views on YouTube in a day. While the trailer manages to tell us almost the entire life story of Indian ODI captain in just over three minutes, the most interesting thing it tells us is about the lead actor Sushant Singh Rajput – that he can play a helicopter shot, made popular by Dhoni, and yet wear the aggression of a Virat Kohli to intimidate the opposition. I can’t say for sure if it is the director’s way of doing ‘cinematic justice’ or an attempt to attract the majority of cricket fans who have swiftly transitioned to the Kohli-era of Indian cricket, which has just begun.
Young cricket fans, who were either in Class 11 or Class 12 at the time when Dhoni made his international debut, would recall that the wicketkeeper-batsman rarely had aggression on his face, not when he hit Pakistani bowlers all around the park enroute his maiden ODI century (148) in Pakistan, not even when his strokes made then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf his fan. Dhoni has been calmness personified, with some rare tensed moments throughout his journey – an attribute that earned him the moniker of Captain Cool. And it has remained with him even after lifting two World Cups and a Champions Trophy.
However, the above assessment is not to discredit the tremendous efforts Rajput may have put in to perfect the helicopter shot or the last ball six that brought ODI World Cup to India after 28 years in 2011. It took me at least 10 attempts to fully appreciate Rajput’s last shot in the trailer. It may take you even more or just one view. But you will notice the Kohli-Dhoni hybridness in it. While the real Dhoni broke into a smile after that winning shot, Rajput gives a stare that is typical of Kohli. Am I complaining? No. Kohli is the most natural successor to Dhoni – like a storm after a prolonged phase of calmness. I hope that Rajput’s depiction of the hybridness will bring cricket fans to threatres – unless they have already cocooned themselves in their transition