When was the last time you saw a non-superstar actor’s film releasing on 3000 plus screens, dubbed in multiple languages and opening to a houseful first show at most multiplexes? That’s what happened today when MS Dhoni film opened in cinema screens across the country. While cricketer Dhoni may not have opened any innings for India, his reel life story opened in a fashion reminiscent of Sehwag’s blockbuster opening blitzkriegs. Audience — especially college going youngsters — flocked to theatres to catch the first show on Day One. Three multiplexes that we checked were running almost packed to its entire capacity. And like on the field, Captain Cool left everyone impressed with his reel-life story too.
At Carnival cinema, the occupancy was almost 90 percent and same was the case at PVR Icon in Mumbai. The audience comprised of a good mix of males as well as females and none had any reason to complain despite the movie being in excess of three hours long.
Said a cinegoer, “This is truly an inspiring tale. We didn’t quite know the story of how Dhoni became Dhoni the cricketer. His struggle and his rise to stardom from humble beginnings made for a riveting watch.”
High praise came in for Sushant Singh Rajput from all quarters. Said a female viewer, “Credit has to go to the director for choosing an actor and not a superstar to play one of India’s greatest cricketers. Sushant looks and plays like Dhoni. Half way into the film, we almost forgot that we were watching Sushant. It felt like we were seeing Dhoni. Sushant has performed really well right from getting the accent right to displaying those helicopter shots.”
For a majority, it was the first half of the film that held a great grip. Opined another viewer, “The film dips through a bit in the second half when the romance Dhoni is showcased. The songs were not quite needed as they take away the bite and seriousness of the film. Disha, however, has done quite well although her role is a short one.”
The VFX sequences were greatly admired by viewers. “They have integrated the cricket scenes well and morphed Sushant so well into it that it looks like he was present the time when it happened.”
The response inside theatres were overwhelming with even multiplex audience indulging in a few claps seeing the inspirational sequences on screen. While multiplexes have been buzzing with great fervour, real hysteria was witnessed in Gaiety where movie-goers queued up to watch the film. “The kind of craze that we are seeing for the movie is something that we usually witness for a Shah Rukh or Salman Khan film,” said a viewer just before heading inside to watch the first show.
With no other films in sight to offer competition, MS Dhoni looks all set to coolly finish off in style like he does on the cricket field.