Sachin : A Billion Dreams
STORY : Sachin Tendulkar plays himself in this sports-docudrama that traces the life and times of one of the world’s biggest cricket phenomenas.​

REVIEW : When the protagonist has been the collective voice and conscience of India’s cricketing history, then he’s a tough subject to make a film on. Naturally, James Erskine puts Sachin on a pedestal and tells the story with an unnatural amount of reverence.

It’s a treat to get a peek into Sachin’s childhood. And it’s also a fan-shriek moment to see footage of him in his personal space, looped to Dire Straits and Bappi Lahiri with his wife Anjali, his children—Arjun and Sara, his family and friends. The fact that Sachin is the sutradhar(narrator)who walks the viewer through his victories and injuries is an additional bonus.

Tendulkar fanatics can also feel the adrenaline rush because the film revisits his introduction to the world—yes, the time when he hit Pakistan’s Abdul Qadir for four sixes in one over at the 1989 Exhibition Match. And yet another indelible memory revisited here, is the one in which he reduced Australia’s Shane Warne into a punching bag in the 1998 Chennai test against the Aussies. His achievements are far too many to be accommodated in one film! Cynics may argue that YouTube has it all, but for those whom Sachin is an emotion, watching this footage on the big screen and without constantly having to hit the search button, the experience is priceless.

But, wait there’s a flip side too. Most controversies around the cricketing God are glossed over. Many of us (me included) die-hard Sachin fans are ready to face the fact that our icon may have displayed feet of clay on occasion. However, the film doesn’t take chances. Sachin’s poor performances in some key matches and his reluctance to comment on some of his boorish seniors are just touched on fleetingly.

The hagiographic narrative continues with commentators, critics and colleagues--Dhoni, Kohli, Ganguly, Sehwag and Harbhajan are (sigh!) only eulogizing the Little Master.

Academically though this film is important one because for a nation that revers cricket, it serves as a reminder that prodigies may be born, but they become Sachin Tendulkar only through perseverance, patience and preparation. Go India go.

(By: Times Of India)
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