Rating: 4/5 Stars (Four stars)
Star Cast: Sachin Tendulkar
Director: James Erskine
What’s Good: Sachin Tendulkar’s journey in this film looks so real that you even have moments like ‘Aila, Sachin bhi aise karta hai.’ It not only celebrates the personality that he is but also Indian Cricket in all its glory.
What’s Bad: Strangely, the film may not come across as a uninteresting affair for those who are not Cricket fans but their idea of it being a feature film certainly doesn’t come true here. The docu-drama with Sachin himself narrating may not appeal to everyone.
Loo Break: Not unless Sachin Tendulkar is waiting outside that audi!
Watch or Not?: If you are waiting for the reviews to come out, I bet you aren’t true Sachin fans. It is a must-watch for all those who worship the game, worship the man and this is your chance to meet your God up, close and personal.
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is a name that has been etched in our heads as being the ‘God of Cricket’. While many may call him gifted, it is in this film, you truly see his inspiring journey and the fact that nothing comes easy without hardships.
The film chronicles his journey from being a notorious child, to his brother Ajit Tendulkar recognizing his talent and recommending him to Coach Ramakant Achrekar to train him in the game.
Being a dedicated player, a young Sachin made it to the newspapers along with co-player Vinod Kambli for making a world record of 664-run partnership, playing for Shardashram Vidya Mandir against St. Xavier’s in Harris Shield on February 24, 1988. And from there, the legendary journey began.
Sachin A Billion Dreams Review: Script Analysis
What people mostly perceive biopics to be is inspiring stories that is a tell all on the personality. Although, the Sachin biopic is more like an experience or I’d say in my case, as a 90s child, a run down the memory lane with the chance to relive some of the greatest matches of all time, to watch and gloat over India’s finest winning moments in a timeline that ends with the dream come true world cup dream. As we watch Sachin narrate about his dream to lift the World Cup, we can’t help but realize this is one dream we have all lived with him.
The film takes off with Sachin’s most precious moments when his daughter Sara was born. The Cricketer who may have taken a ton of perfect catches, is nervous as hell, holding his little one and in that moment is like any other newly turned father, who is scared to carry the little one around.
Later, we see a dramatized version of his childhood where we see how the suburban lad became Cricketing world’s biggest sensation.
While we see Sachin’s journey going upwards, the makers keep giving us the background of the Indian setting and basically paint a picture of how at the meekest of times, people have turned to this sport to become their source of happiness. Truly, how, Cricket became India’s prime religion.
As a Sachin fan, you’ll be delighted to know some little trivia about the legend like his favorite song of all time or how when under pressure, he would listen to one song on loop for an entire day. There’s also the sense of pride one derives when International players like Ricky Ponting talk about how Sachin was one hell of an inspiration to them or when Wasim Akram shares his first impression of a teenage Sachin taking on the field.
A Bollywoodish twist comes in the part where we see Sachin’s love story with wife Anjali. While some may find it a tad boring, it luckily does not take much of your time.
Coming to the Cricket timeline, while Sachin addresses his captaincy stint and also the shame of spot fixing scandal, he has nothing to say about playing under captains like Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and M. S Dhoni. Even the Greg Chapell phase is slightly rushed in the film.
Sachin A Billion Dreams Review: Star Performance
Sachin Tendulkar’s narration may seem slightly weird but then again he’s not an actor to be all comfortable with it. The voiceovers by Harsha Bhogle, Boria Majumdar, Gideon Haigh, all three who have been sport reporters for decades work well for the film.
Popular players like Virat Kohli, M S Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Brian Lara, Wasim Akram contribute to the film with their brilliant quotes.
Sachin A Billion Dreams Review: Direction, Music
I expect a lot of people to question why it took an Englishman to come up with a biopic on Sachin Tendulkar and after having watched the film, I’d say, it’s not about being an Indian or a westerner, it’s taming the fandom of this sport and the legend in a taut screenplay that was required and that’s what we get. James Erskine gives us the perfect film that if not for just Sachin fans, has a lot to offer on the Cricket front too.
The film was like one big rollercoaster ride for me from being overjoyed at watching the iconic 1996 world cup moment of Venkatesh Prasad and Aamir Sohail’s famed exchange on field to Sachin being hit on the nose by Waqar Younis’ terrible bouncer.
Erskine even made sure to entertain us by adding in a few dressing room videos of Sachin celebrating his 99th international century. Wasn’t that the dream, to get a glimpse of a what’s the mood in the dressing room like?
Some of Sachin’s home videos, such as his wedding video, play time with his kids also make their way here and that keeps reminding us of his strictly simple personality. His middle-class background has been a key contributor in shaping his personality and particularly that’s where the modesty comes from.
Emotionally, it’s hard not to tear up when Erskine takes you through Sachin’s toughest time on field, during the 1999 World Cup when he lost his father. In spite of the personal loss, the player in him didn’t back out and he scored a 140 not out against Kenya, thus dedicating his century to his late father. Also, keep your tissues handy when you once again see Sachin’s retirement speech on screen.
A R Rahman’s musical score is thumping and keeps the film’s pace up. The Sachin anthem is reverberating and one of the best moments is Rahman’s Vande Mataram being played to the iconic 2011 World Cup win post Dhoni’s winning sixer.
Sachin A Billion Dreams Review: The Last Word
Sachin:A Billion Dreams is a treat for Sachin Tendulkar fans. It’s realistic, emotional and highly inspiring. It will probably make you miss him even more on field! A 4/5 for this.
Sachin A Billion Dreams Trailer
Sachin A Billion Dreams releases on 26th May, 2017.
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