There was a time when NFDC, Films Division and Doordarshan used to make documentary films. Many filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Ritwik Ghatak, Girish Karnad, Gulzar, Tapan Bose, Prakash Jha, and many other directors kept making non feature films and manage to make their mark. Decades later, another internationally renowned director James Erskine has come up with a documentary film based on the life and stardom of legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.

So, let’s find out whether ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ will manage to do proper justice to the humungous caliber of Sachin Tendulkar or it might end up being yet another project trying to cash in over the popularity factor associated with it.

STORY, SCREENPLAY AND OTHER TECHNICAL DETAILS

Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ is a real life happenings related to the cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. It starts with his childhood track followed by his introduction into the world of cricket. Right since the first match till all the ups and downs in his professional life are displayed in the film. It, also showcases the personal life of this ace cricketer and tries to touch all the important aspects of Sachin’s life in a cinematic way.

As we all know that this is a documentary type of film, but kudos to the technical team for making it look like a full length feature film. The real life happenings have been presented in the form of real life footages from Sachin’s personal as well as professional life. These real life footages have been brilliantly placed in the film and forms a good screenplay. The narrative by Sachin Tendulkar is real and keeps you glued to the silver screen. Though, the dramatized version of Sachin’s childhood track could have been better as well as engaging.

But, after that there is not even a single dry spell in the entire film. The opening sequence itself, featuring real life footage of the birth of Sachin’s son Arjun along with Sachin sharing about his father’s teachings to become a better human being, sets the right mood for the film. There are plenty of scenes where either yours eyes will get moist or will have multiple goose bumps. The entire film is like a nostalgic ride featuring India’s first world cup victory, Sachin’s first test match against Pakistan, all the world cup’s played by Sachin, injury part, match-fixing track, Sachin as India’s captain part and many such scenes which are totally connectable.

The film also takes you inside the private world of Sachin’s life where he shares about his family, first bat, coach, friends, romance with Anjali, marriage, kids, father’s death and a few more. There are some sensitive topics related which have been handled in a dignified manner. All these scenes are brilliantly placed in the form of a beautiful screenplay with Sachin’s narrative, making it as a never seen before type of experience. The whole film reflects the identity of Sachin Tendulkar. The dialogues or narrative by Sachin is totally real and instantly touches your heart. People who are not associated with cricket might not experience the same magic, but still will like the film. The cinematography is of top notch and editing by Avdhesh Mohla is outstanding.  All in all Erskine has given us a phenomenal big screen adaptation of an equally amazing personality.

MUSIC

The background music by A.R Rahman works as an additional screenplay in the film. Every music piece has been rightly placed in the film. Rahman’s vocals gel beautifully with the expressive voice of Sachin and keeps you fascinated throughout the film. The usage of ‘Vande Matram’ is one of the finest in our Hindi cinema. ‘Hind Mere Jind’ and ‘Sachin Sachin’ will stay for a long time in your life. The placement of ‘Sachin Sachin’ chanting is totally apt in every scene.

Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, right, poses with music composer A.R. Rahman.

DIRECTION 

Director James Erskine displays a fantastic style in the world of documentary films. He highly succeeds in treating ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ like a full length feature film. The blend of Sachin’s narrative along with real life footages is like a masterstroke from this talented filmmaker. His contribution to Indian documentary films is quite similar to what Richard Attenborough did with ‘Gandhi’ to our bio-pics.

PERFORMANCES

The audio-video narrative by Sachin Tendulkar is amazing. He is so real, genuine and true to his words. The additional narratives by Anjali and others lend fantastic support.
VERDICT

You’re not a sachin fan if you are waiting for reviews to decide weather to watch it or not. ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ is, not a movie, but an emotion which should be experienced by everyone who has grown up and lived along with India’s pride Sachin Tendulkar. This docudrama is like a first class cricket which deserves a huge round of applause at every shot and every scene. Do yourself a favour and watch this classic only on the big screen.

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