Sachin Tendulkar, Anjali Tendulkar, Arjun Tendulkar, Sara Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Mayuresh Prem
Sachin-A Billion Dreams cannot be reviewed as a film simply because it is not one. It is a reverential chant, an emotion… it is a trip down memory lane and most importantly, it is an inspiration.
I am not a cricket fan, but even if I was from Mars I would have come out of the theatres feeling overwhelmed because SACHIN – A BILLION DREAM plays on your emotions just like the master blaster does on the court. And the game plan is simple – play to win, and boy, it sure does.
It is in James Erskine’s repertoire to make sports films! He knows how to stretch the boundaries of these films. Aware that as these films go beyond the sport into the cinematic realm where emotions are a notch-higher than sportsmanship, James builds the life of Sachin Tendulkar in a story that has drama, emotions and a lot of cricketing action. But when dealing with a phenomenon like Sachin Tendulkar and peddling his illustrious career across the country that worships him, you are walking on a thin ice. Especially if you know how fanatic we are about our celebrities! But the smart man that James is, he played his audience right till the last ball. The film is pilgrimage for every cricket fan who has seen a struggling India take centre-stage with the appearance of Tendulkar in the cricketing scene. Of course, his last speech strategically moves the audience at the conclusion of the film, leaving the audience emotional and inspired in equal measures.
Taking actual montages from the glorious cricketing journey of Tendulkar and his personal videos too, with a narration by the man himself, is the brilliance of his film. Anyone who has followed Sachin’s career as a cricketer knows the number of records the man has broken but they haven’t scratched the surface and known the man. SACHIN – A BILLION DREAMS helps his fans get there half way. The sweet courtship with his wife Anjali, his kids… his pressures as a man single-handedly carrying India to the top of the game is beautifully documented. But if there is another side to Sachin, he has firmly refused James an entry.
The film matches Sachin’s pace, but not his depth because there are many questions, many scandals, many rumours left unanswered. Yet, given the fact that Sachin has guarded his privacy so staunchly, the little that the film tells us about the man is enough to make his billion fans happy. Also across India, each of us have a Sachin-moment etched in our hearts, be it his ruthless trashing of Shane Warne on the court, the first time he lifted the cup or his final goodbye to the field, every Tendulkar fan through this film journeys with the master-blaster. This is enough to want to keep going back to the theatres. A special mention, seeing the pride of india act was also a treat. We have seen him do it in ads, but film sure might have tested his skills through fire. Sachin has always delivered, his voice through the narration, his life through the movie stays with you when you walk out of the theatres.... hoping he comes back, hoping there are more like him… Trusting every underdog, despite his circumstance, can reach the top of the game if he is willing to work hard, work sincere and work passionately.