Sachin A Billion Dreams movie review: A trip down memory lane

first_imgSachin: A Billion Dreams takes a look at the highs and lows of Sachin Tendulkar’s life. Here is our Sachin: A Billion Dreams movie review.Sachin A Billion Dreams Cast: Sachin Tendulkar, Anjali Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Sunil Gavaskar, Arjun Tendulkar, Shane Warne and othersSachin A Billion Dreams Direction: James ErskineSachin A Billion Dreams Rating: (4/5)Director James Erskine does not try much in his film Sachin: A Billion Dreams. The content is already explosive. It is the stuff of blockbusters, the life of Sachin Tendulkar, that is. Throughout the two-hour-plus running time, most of the film consists of footage from Sachin’s pivotal moments on the 22 yards, occasionally punctuated by Sachin’s commentary in the present day. Rest of the time, other players or family members are looking back, eyes glowing, and speaking of Sachin Tendulkar in the superlative. There was no way this could go wrong and it did not.In India, Sachin Tendulkar is considered a god. Others might be Dada, Mahi, the Wall, sure, but, they are mortals. Sachin is not. As such, there was no way for the film to not be hagiographic. But be that as it may, the docudrama never feels boring or tedious. Especially because the intended audience for the film is already in love with the hero. The heroism of Sachin Tendulkar has been established in public consciousness for over two decades. Cricket-watching Indians who grew up with Sachin Tendulkar know his entire cricketing history by heart. Those who are not into cricket but still stand in front of the television while India plays know what Sachin means.advertisementTherefore, for the viewers, Sachin Tendulkar, the man at the centre of the film, Sachin: A Billion Dreams, is already a superhero, and everybody knows his story. There is nothing that is unheard of, such as in the case of, say, Indian boxer Mary Kom whose biopic released in 2014. There is no untold story here, unlike the case of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose biopic came last year. Generations of Indians have been witness to the Sachin story and his tales have been repeated again and again for years, in articles, sports programmes, among you, your father, your uncle and the eldest in the family discussing his records, his centuries, his hits and misses an infinite number of times. In such a case, all that Sachin: A Billion Dreams could do, and did do, is that it repeated the story just one more time. And that worked.A young Sachin Tendulkar, his parents, his coach Ramakant Achrekar are played by actors for the first 15 minutes. This stretch feels like one of those ‘dramatisation’ sequences of real events that you see in news channels. Right around the time Sachin Tendulkar makes his debut in international cricket, the film switches to documentary-mode and from thereon, it never stops to take a breath.(L to R) Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Azharuddin during the 1989 Indian tour of Pakistan Sachin: A Billion Dreams covers Sachin Tendulkar debuting against Pakistan in 1989, then him rising through the ranks to become one of the most talented batsmen in the world. The film shows how Sachin’s maddening popularity led to the spread of cricket-mania across the country which directly profited BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and the sports channels. Sachin’s father, Ramesh Tendulkar, dies in the middle of the 1999 World Cup and within a couple of days, he is back on the field. The film shows Sachin Tendulkar feeling uncomfortable with captaincy and how it affected his batting. It gives a look at Sachin trying to cope with the match-fixing scandal in 2000. After that, Sachin picks himself up and with a new captain, Sourav Ganguly, the team appears to have a shot at the World Cup in 2003. Then, tennis elbow, Greg Chappell, 18 centuries in three years, the World Cup win in 2011, finally retirement…. you know how it went.Certain events, that had the potential to portray Sachin Tendulkar in an ambiguous manner, such as the Mike Denness-ball tampering incident or the Harbhajan Singh-racism controversy during the 2007-08 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, are not touched. His friendship with Vinod Kambli which trod rough waters is left out. All in all, there is nothing about Sachin Tendulkar in Sachin: A Billion Dreams that you did not already know. That there are no grey areas in the film can be an issue to only one of two kinds of people in the world. The rest don’t need to read the review.ALSO READ: Virat-Anushka join Sachin Tendulkar and Anjali for a Billion Dreams premiereadvertisementWATCH: Fans will get to see my romance with Anjali, Sachin Tendulkar tells India Today about his filmlast_img

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