‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ movie review: The story of glory is 24 and not out

Directed By: James Erskine
Produced By: Ravi Bhagchandka, Carnival Motion Pictures
Featuring: Sachin Tendulkar, Anjali Tendulkar, Sara Tendulkar, Arjun Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni
Duration: 2 hours
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 3.5/5

Sachin: A Billion Dreams’.  This is probably the most laborious movie review I’ve written so far. When you savour a fictitious story, the parameters of judgment are easier. Moreover, you often have ways to escape out. But what do you do with a story that’s as real as your own blood, sweat, tears and laughter?

A James Erskine film, ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams‘ is a narration of legend Sachin Tendulkar’s rise to fame; and no, not a magical rise. There’s this little boy with twinkling eyes, blessed with all the energy of the universe. Always on the field with his favourite bat, Sachin doesn’t even know what talent he is watering inside. It is his brother Ajit Tendulkar who spots his passion and takes him to coach Ramakant Achekar. Impressed with the little boy’s moves, Achekar asks Ajit, “Naam Kya Bataya Tumhare Bhai Ka”?

You know the answer. We all know the answer. Sachin Tendulkar. “Sachin… Sachin… Sachin… ” is going to resonate in the air for next 24 years; or may be for as long as Indian Cricket exists?

This follows with a journey that demands you to tear your shoes, break your bones, but join your knuckles and never give up. You hold your breath as Tendulkar narrates his journey. And you’d be wrong to think it’s all glorious. The greatest stories of success are engraved in history because they’ve had their share of failure. Sachin had thoroughly flunked at some of his life’s most important matches; and happened to score a straight century while his father passed away while World Cup 1999 was going on in England.

From those India-Australia matches that gave us adrenaline rush to the World Cup final 2003. From Sachin-Sourav-Dravid’s scintillating contributions to the great match fixing scam involving both Hancy Cronye and Md. Azharuddin, the documentary is a pure nostalgic treat. There is MS Dhoni admiring Sachin’s legendary strokes, and you giggle as you remember the long-hair Jharkhand dude who once made his entry to the 22-yard. Sourav Ganguly smiles at Sachin’s dressing room antics, and you remember that man with fire in his belly, waving shirt after India won the NatWest Series in 2002. Virat Kohli, with wide open eyes, narrates how he hadn’t seen anything as magical as Sachin before, and you remember, this was the guy who played with undivided concentration on the field while his father’s dead body was lying still at his home. How wonderful, so many great souls have been touched by the greatest soul himself!

But ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ isn’t only a saga of professional achievements. The apparently shy man had an ocean of love floating underneath, which found words as he met wife Anjali at the Mumbai Airport, amid the weirdest circumstance ever. Anjali, who happened to be an MD, gave up on her own career because she knew what exactly her husband was aiming at, and how desperately he needed her undivided attention at him and the home-front. The father, who missed out on so many birthdays and school annual functions of his children, promised to devote every bit of his retired life to them; the two diamonds who will take the legacy of love and truthfulness forward. Sachin Tendulkar’s personal relationships form a very important, and probably the most special part of the film.

However, don’t kill me for saying that it could have been better. The technical aspects mellow down as a major chunk of the film depends on old footages. Although, the makers have best use of them. The lacking that is evident is that a lot of crucial events go missing. The comfortable escape from mentioning Md Azharuddin’s involvement with match fixing has struck many, I am quite sure. So has the absence of John Wright, the man who witnessed the most important phase of Indian Cricket, straight after World Cup 1986 and rightly deserved credit of many a wins.

If you’re of the generation that grew on Bhajji’s off spins, Sachin’s masterstrokes, Ganguly’s aggression and Dravid’s ‘Mr. Wall’ days, this will bring you back to Cricket once more.

And not to mention, ‘Sachin… Sachin… Sachin… ’ never dies.

Because Sachin isn’t a name. It is an emotion.

Watch trailer: