Subramanian (Prakash Raj) represents the typical lower middle class widower with 2 kids Karthik (Akash) and Kaveri (Sriteja), who finds it hard to make ends meet for his day-to-day living and survives the rat race as a government servant in addition to doing some odd jobs like pickle business and so on. He nurtures his fantasies of making his son an MBA degree holder, while his son dreams to become a cricketer like Dhoni (and hence the title). The clash of the thoughts between the father and son leads to a showdown, wherein the father understands the flaws in the system in which we live and exposes the same and faces the consequences with audacity.
Prakash Raj might have had some other reason for the title, but I can find one more analogy the title shares a metaphor with our very own Indian captain in a sense that Captain Dhoni made his initial mark with his ability to score runs with his unorthodox yet productive shots like the helicopter shot which was out of the books, and so does the movie by taking an unorthodox stand on our orthodox and regimentary societal norms, especially the ones in the educational system. The movie was neat and tidy, with some simple yet powerful dialogs and a meaningful message.
Prakash Raj has always had an eye for good cinema, which was proved time and again with the sort of movies that got released from his stable. This time with the directors hat, he had delivered an ace. As far as his performance goes, it was fantastic as always to say the least; especially when he conveys the inability of a lower middle class man with some subtle yet powerful emotions and also in the scenes where he fights hard to stay positive amidst all misers. Waiting for more in the coming days as a director too!!
Akash, who donned the role of Prakashs son had sparks in his eyes, but was not up to the mark while portraying the emotional outbursts, though manages to pass muster.
Radhika Apte, with a delicate role had delivered a subtle performance, though she had got little scope to showcase her acting skills.
The supporting cast including Prakash Rajs kacheri neighbours, rowdy Gunny, womanizer Shaam and Bramhanandam, have all been well chosen and gelled naturally with the story.
Music by Ilayaraja was average and no song could be remembered after leaving the theatre, though the background score blended well with the proceedings.
Camera by K.V.Guhan had nothing special to offer, though a special thanks for keeping the angles easy on the eyes without much shake or twist. Editing by Kishore was crispy enough and made the proceedings zip through, especially in the first half.
On the downside, the movie got a bit melodramatic towards the end, where it became a sort of preachy.
Also, Prakash Raj had judiciously utilized some cinematic liberties where he takes up the societys problem with the chief minister for major reforms and suddenly everyone appears from the blue to help him out of the mess, etc.
Since the movie was a bilingual, some of the characters lip sync was not synced to the Tamil dialogs, which was a minor irritant.
Even with all these shortcomings, Dhoni can be watched for its positive message packed with punch.
Though the real Dhoni might have a tough time in the coming weeks in Australia, I dont see a reason for that to happen with its reel counterpart, which might make a successful run at the South Indian box office, at least for the next few weeks.view less