Sachin : A Billion Dreams : Movie Review
At the outset, let me clarify that this is a two hour plus documentary on the legendary cricket icon containing his home videos, interviews and snippets of all the crucial matches he has played in his illustrious career spanning more than two decades. Normally, such a documentary would have found a release on star sports channel during one of their no-cricket off day. But since the name – Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar – commands a God like status in this country where cricket is considered a religion, it has not only got a proper theatrical release but is also pulling in the crowds who can’t get enough of their favorite player.
Indeed, the SoBo single screen I visited last evening turned in to a mini stadium where the crowd was cheering, whistling, clapping and shouting “SACHIN SACHIN…” in echo to the similar uproar on screen.
All important matches of Sachin are included in the film and interspersed with comments from the master blaster himself as well as some stalwarts of international cricket like Sir Viv Richards and Sir Don Bradman who had famously remarked that Sachin played like him.
Sachin is the narrator of his own story, starting linearly from his middle class upbringing (only his childhood scenes are recreated and enacted by actors) to his first match in Pakistan where he faced the likes of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis and ending with his retirement speech. Every incident of his life is dutifully chronicled and to his credit, Sachin has been candid enough to provide us insights on how he braved through some of the lows in his career particularly his failure as a captain and India’s disastrous turn at the 2007 world cup. The tennis elbow injury which threatened to end his career also gets due coverage.
There are also his personal home videos where he is having a good time with his close friends and family. His father’s influence on him is heartfelt. So is the strong support from his brother Ajit and wife Anjali. The clip where he imparts his son Arjun some cricketing lessons is also an interesting watch. His liking for a certain Bappi Lahiri song is amusing.
In effect, Sachin a billion dreams is an ernest attempt to highlight the life of India’s greatest cricketer. Unlike ‘Azhar’ and ‘MS Dhoni The Untold story’ (both 2016) which were highly fictionalised accounts, this one feels more real and in your face. When Emraan Hashmi playing Azhar in his biopic, spoke about his insecurity with Sachin climbing up the ranks, it didn’t create that much impact. Watch the real Mohd. Azharuddin’s look as he eyes a young Sachin signing a few autographs in this docudrama. That is the real thing, man!