Note: This isn’t exactly a review of the film, but a tribute of sorts to arguably the greatest cricketer of all time. ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ isn’t a feature film, but a docu-drama highlighting the ups and downs of a man who we have grown up to love, respect and adore.
There’s not much left to be said about Sachin Tendulkar, perhaps our country’s greatest cricket ever. We all know his story, his struggles and his achievements by heart now. We have been enthralled by him and we have been entertained by him for close to 3 decades now. He’s the single greatest source of hope and pride for our young nation, and the mood of an entire nation depended on how he wielded his wooden bat in the cricket field.
But, inspite of the familiarity of his story, we still don’t know the real man. He’s been notorious for shying away from showing his emotions. We don’t know his personal stand on a lot of issues which cropped up throughout his playing career. We don’t know how he reacted to the many controversies which erupted during his tenure in the Indian cricket team. The movie Sachin: A Billion Dreams aims to give us a glimpse into his personal life and into his mind.
Sachin: A Billion Dreams is without a doubt the biggest docudrama which has been made and released on such a large scale in India. And let’s just say that it deserves to be seen by every Indian who grew up during the 90s and 2000s after the Indian economy was liberated. His story mirrors the story of the resurgent country. The rise from a middle class background to becoming the most accomplished batsman in history was no mean feat. And this docudrama takes us through all those moments.
It is an emotional roller coaster ride from the moment we are introduced to a young Sachin (the actor playing the young master blaster looks like his clone). The moment he first picks up a Kashmiri bat, the moment he meets his coach Ramakant Achrekar are all cleverly brought alive. Him being selected as the youngest cricketer, his struggles against pace bowlers, the tour of Pakistan are all included. We see his side of the story. The desert storm in Sharjah, the 1996 world cup fiasco, the match fixing controversy are not at all glossed upon. We get a real insight into how Sachin dealt with it all.
We get to see his painful struggle of losing his father during the 1999 world cup and then returning to England soon after to score a century. How did he manage to still keep a level head even after being the most pressured man in world cricket? We know now. Being removed as a captain not just once but twice adversely affected his mettle but he battled it and came back stronger.
We also get a look at his family life. His relationship with his wife Anjali, who left medical practice to look after the family is an admirable one. His relationship with his two children is also idealistic. The way his brother and parents egged him on to play the game he loved playing is brought to the forefront here.
The director realised the material he had on his hands and used all of his resources to make a faithful and sincere ode to the man many of us belonging to different religions know as God of cricket. He didn’t overlook the controversies and the hard times. This is the tone a docudrama should ideally have. Taking us through the highs and lows of this genuine superstar who never let his fame damage his humility and sincerity.
Sachin: A Billion Dreams will remind us of the reason we fell in love with the man. It will also remind us why so many lost their interest in the game after he retired There was no one like him before, and there’s not going to be anyone after him either. (We don’t switch-off the television after a batsman gets out anymore, do we?) Sachin: A Billion Dreams will take us on a journey of a man from Mumbai but it will also take us on a journey of India – a rooted, humble story of tremendous success. It will inspire everyone to scream out “Sachin, Sachin” once again.
No Rating. Go watch it.