Dhoni is a trenchant criticism of the present day topper oriented education system. It also portrays the unreasonable parental preoccupation with their wards getting academic excellence irrespective of the children’s’ aptitudes, attitudes and their own aspirations.
Subramanyam (Prakash Raj) is a typical middle class citizen working as a small-time government employee. He is a widower and tries hard to give good education to his son Karthik (Akash Puri) and daughter. He even sells pickles to raise extra money.
Karthik is not interested in studies and he is obsessed with cricket, dreaming to become a Dhoni. This creates a gulf between him and his father. The cricket coach supports Karthik and is sure about his talent for the game. His father is angry and he even seeks a ban on cricket being shown live on TV.
Unable to bear the attitude of his adamant son, Subramanyam beats him and Karthik slips into coma. Realisation slowly dawns on him. He makes a scorching assault on the present education system on a TV show and gets the assurance of the chief minister to reduce the book-connected overload on the school going children and the special non-academic skills in the kids should be discovered and encouraged.
Prakash Raj once again gives a superlative performance. Akash, son of filmmaker Puri Jagannath is very impressive. Radhika Apte is pretty glamorous and emotes well. Brahmanandam, as usual, gives his laughter medicine. Murali Sharma is unique in his act.
Tanikella Bharani, Nazar and Gollapudi Maruthi Rao render mature performances. All others are adequate in their roles.
After Aakashamantha and Gaganam, Prakash Raj comes up with another topical theme and handles it well. Though the screenplay tends to restrain the flow of narration here and there, the director has handled the film with sensitivity and sensibility. The dialogues are meaningful in spite of being preachy in some episodes. Music, restricted to background score, by Ilayaraaja is pleasing and adds to the narration value. Guhan’s cinematography is top class. Editing by Kishore adds to the smooth flow of the film. Art director makes the scenes look quite natural Production values are good.
The film Dhoni has to be seen for its contemporary criticism of the present day education system. There are many Subramanyams around us in this society, imposing parental tyranny on the hapless children, stifling their aims, aspirations and ambitions. This theme was dealt with in Raju Hirani’s 3 Idiots ( Shankar’s remake – Snehithudu). However, the film Dhoni brings out a different perspective of the same theme.
Prakash Raj has to be congratulated for venturing into untested fields of Tollywood and bringing out a meaningful cinema.
The Cast and Crew
Prakash Raj, Radhika Apte, Mugdha Godse, Akash Puri, Tanikella Bharani, Brahmanandam, Nazar, Melkote, Hema, Ananth, Murali Sharma, Gollapudi Maruthi Rao and Others
Music Director : Ilayaraaja
Cinematography : K. V. Guhan
Editor : Kishore Te
Producer: Prakash Raj
Banner : Duet movies
Director: Prakash Raj
3 out of 5
Review by Deen Kumar