Glorious tribute to the god of cricket

Glorious tribute to the god of cricket

Sachin: A Billion Dreams
Hindi (U) ***
Director: James Erskine

After his autobiography — Playing It My Way — captured the extraordinary tale of a middle-class boy who goes on to become one of the greatest cricketers ever, Sachin Tendulkar once again holds the nation’s attention with his biopic Sachin: A Billion Dreams.

It is not an easy task to make a film on a player whose whopping 24-year-old career has been extensively chronicled in different forms of media and literary works.

With Tendulkar, there is very little that cricket fans and critics aren’t aware of. The challenge for director James Erskine was to weave a fresh tale from the rich memories associated with the master batsman. With a two-and-a-half-hour docudrama, the popular sports documentarian gets most of the things right.

Right from his first association with the game at Shivaji Park in Mumbai — where his precocious talent was nurtured by Ramakant Achrekar — to his emotional final Test at the Wankhede, Sachin traces the journey of a player who was nothing less than a demigod for a cricket-crazy nation of a billion people.   

Narrated by the man himself, the film is a footage that showcases the highs and lows of his personal life and career. The trademark shots, the match-winning knocks and the enviable milestones achieved by the Master Blaster lead to a strong sense of nostalgia among the viewers, but Erskine’s triumph lies in the manner in which he has presented Tendulkar’s memorable moments with his family and friends.

The rare childhood photographs, the clippings of his marriage with Anjali and the time spent with his children and close friends are placed well in the story, giving great balance to the film.

Though not dealt in detail, the film offers the spice required in a biopic with episodes of match-fixing, Tendulkar’s strained relationship with Mohammed Azharuddin and coach Greg Chappell.

However, from the cinematic aspect, Sachin’s narration lacks pace. For a player of a superstar status, Erskine loses a great chance to provide us with riveting sequences.

Instead, the film takes a more poetic approach which appears slow and inconsistent.

Tendulkar’s struggle before he made it big feels hurried. It is here that Rahman’s music comes to the rescue. While he is poignant with his tune during Tendulkar’s first ever series against Pakistan, Rahman’s engrossing background makes portions of Tendulkar’s duel with Shane Warne enjoyable.

If obvious blemishes are ignored, Sachin is sure to enthral film lovers and is definitely a treat to his fans.

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