Let me begin by telling you guys that Sachin: A Billion Dreams is not a feature film. It’s a well executed documentary on the cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar who is an inspirational figure for a lot of Indians. Me being a cricket fan and also being someone who was lucky to have seen the legend play while I was growing up, this movie was in fact a trip down the memory lane revisiting all those moments of Sachinism. Director James Erskine’s Sachin: A Billion Dreams continuously gives you Goosebumps.
Unlike my other reviews I won’t have to say much here about the plot. This James Erskine movie/ documentary is taking a look at the major events in the life of Sachin Tendulkar in the chronological order. We get to see the fictionalized childhood moments and then the film goes in to all those footages that stitch the rise of the cricketing legend through all the ups and downs.
Like I already said, for those who are in the around 30 age group, Sachin: A Billion Dreams will be an extremely emotional experience. When the movie started to look at the life of Sachin Tendulkar through all those real life footages and TV footages along with the ads of those days, I was sort of imagining how my life used to be at those times. It takes you back to those days where TV was the only way to know the scores and how excited we were all seeing that little man. By merging events that happened outside the cricketing world in to the narrative, Erskine manages to give an idea about the impact of this one person on an entire country that tackled with various issues.
The movie might not have looked very closely in to certain controversies, especially the shocking match fixing episode. But it clearly hasn’t tried to skip any of those bad phases in Tendulkar’s life. The narrative goes hard at Coach Chappell. What are really impressive about this documentary are those personal family footages. It clearly shows us how cool and simple Sachin was as a family man. It looks at the vulnerable sides of the legend. You get to see a part of Gary Kirsten’s post semi final speech in the 2011 world cup, how the team behaved inside the dressing room, the fact that Sachin didn’t allow Sehwag to move from his chair during India’s chase in the 2011 world cup. All these bits make us feel like an insider.
For those of us who have grown up watching the cricketing legend’s career a lot of memorable moments and equations are there. Wasim Akram talks humorously about his first impression of SRT. Shane Warn talks about his equation with the legend. A lot of cricketers appear on the screen to talk about their personal experiences. We get to relive the joy of seeing the famous Sharjah Cup, Natwest series, the famous Kolkata test and ultimately leading to the 2011 world cup. Even the dark phases like his flawed captaincy, match fixing controversy, tennis elbow days and the disastrous 2007 world cup gets mentioned.
James Erskine has blended all those familiar facts and personal moments very effectively. The actors who performed in the recreated childhood episode were pretty effective. The writing impressively covers the ups and downs maintaining the positivity. A R Rahman’s music was terrific and Goosebumps reached a whole new level when the famous “Vande Mataram” was played during one point.
The fact that they decided to release Sachin: A Billion dreams in such a huge way even after being a documentary testifies the fact that how much we love Sachin Tendulkar. With a lot of moments that gives you Goosebumps and high dosage of nostalgia, you won’t feel disappointed.
Rating: 4/5 (I repeat, It’s a documentary)
With a lot of moments that gives you Goosebumps and high dosage of nostalgia, you won’t feel disappointed.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended