200 NotOut Productions & Carnival Motion Pictures present “Sachin: A Billion Dreams”
Produced by: Ravi Bhagchandka
Directed by: James Erskine
Written by: James Erskine & Sivakumar Ananth
Music: A.R. Rahman
Starring: Sachin Tendulkar, Arjun Tendulkar, Mayuresh Pem, Nitin Tendulkar, Ajit Tendulkar as himself, Anjali Tendulkar, Sara Tendulkar, Harsha Bhogle, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and others
This can be described as a docu-drama and also a biopic, as it has elements of both. Sachin Tendulkar plays himself, and the film looks (back) at the life and times of one of the world’s biggest cricket aces.
Director James Erskine straightaway pitches (pun intended) Tendulkar way up there and brings in over-reverence in this five-language film. With Tendulkar himself as a narrator, we get a special box-office-friendly bonus.
Without revealing anything more than the basics for those who would like to be surprised and cheer their champion, we can say that this film obviously takes us through his glories, injuries and not-so-good times, as well as his special moments with family, friends, fans and of course, famous celebrities from many walks of life.
However, the human side of the man – a few but important controversies – have been glossed over. As we said, there is an excessive amount of reverence and the b-o angle overrides the complete honesty in this film that becomes more of a fan movie.
On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with that either!
The film chronicles his journey from being a naughty child to his brother Ajit recognizing his genius and recommending him to coach Ramakant Achrekar to train him. The young Tendulkar along with co-player Vinod Kambli made a world record of a 664-run partnership, playing for Mumbai school Shardashram Vidya Mandir against St. Xavier’s in the Harris Shield in February 1988. And that’s when the journey began.
The master’s professional achievements are far too many to fit comfortably into one 2.19-hour film. Still, watching hat is shown on a big screen can be an unforgettable experience for his lovers and all cricket buffs. And as a biopic cum docu-drama, we do see that legends like him become so only by being a potpourri (!) of perseverance, perspiration, patience, preparation and perceptive genius.
A. R. Rahman’s score goes with the film. For the glimpses we get into Sachin’s real world, this movie is a neat watch, as most of his achievements are a part of (video recorded) history. But as a film, I preferred the dramatized entertainer “M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story.” But then, that was pure (that is, inspired plus dramatized to entertain even non-cricket lovers) biopic.
However, that is my opinion, and I know I may be in the minority. For the cricket and Sachin lovers (synonymous in most cases), this one is an experience worth spending time and money on in the theater. And I am not quarreling with that view just because I prefer biopics to documentaries as a personal choice.