Planet Bollywood
Sachin A Billion Dreams
 
Producer: Ravi Bhagchandka and Carnival Motion Pictures
Director: James Erskine
Starring: Sachin Tendulkar
Music: A.R Rahman
Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
Reviewed by: Anish Mohanty  - Rating: 6.0 / 10
 
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Last year, one witnessed the arrival of two films based on the life of celebrated Indian cricketers. While Azhar was a half-baked effort to show how a cricketer was wrongfully accused of betraying his country, the biopic on Dhoni was not quite the 'untold story' one was looking forward, it was a fairly engaging fare. A film made on the life of Sachin Tendulkar, arguably India's most successful cricketer, is bound to generate a lot of hype. However, the concept of a documentary or a docu-feature is something that does not excite a large chunk of the traditional theatre visiting crowd in the country. But, given Sachin's status as a demi-god and the kind of love and craze fans have for him, one would hope the film to open new avenues for documentary filmmakers in the country and help films of this genre getting a release in theatres.

Barring a small portion which revolves around Sachin's childhood which has been acted out/dramatised, the film consists of real-life footage and commentaries by Sachin, his friends, collegeagues, relatives and other people who have known the sport star or had made some sort of an acquaintance with him. The film touches upon the notable events, achievements, failures and successes in the life of Sachin Tendulkar, the cricketer. As far as his personal life is concerned, there are references to some of the key events in his life but if you are looking to get an insight into the kind of a person that Tendulkar is, the film leaves a lot to be desired. Wife Anjali Tendulkar fondly talks about the relationship she shares with her husband and children, the kind of sacrifices (she talks about them in a straightforward manner and without any remorse) she had to make to make sure the children are brought up properly and the home is looked after well. While none of the things she speaks about serve up as any kind of a revelation but the sincerity and warmth she speaks with does leave an impact. The rest of the people interviewed share a couple of interesting things but one would have surely liked them to speak a little more about the cricketer.

One of the best things about the film is that the man himself narrates it. It is interesting to hear the legend speak about the various aspects of his life and share his own perspective on them. The controversial chapters are brought to the fore but only for a brief moment. The tension between Sachin and Azharuddin, the match-fixing scandal, one gets to see a glimpse of these incidents but they are not explored beyond a certain point. The editing spruces the narrative adequately. The old footage/s is/are juxtaposed nicely with commentaries ad present day footage. They are stitched together nicely enough for one to understand the metaphor and the underlying drama arising out of the amalgamation.

At two hours and twenty minutes, this docu-feature provides one with some heart-warming and euphoric moments in the life of Sachin Tendulkar but is far from being a befitting tribute to the legend.

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