Watching a documentary on a 70 mm screen may sound an interesting idea. Sachin Tendulkar is a worldwide phenomenon. Making a documentary on him on such a huge scale as far as documentaries are concerned is a fascinating idea. Almost the entire India religiously follows him so automatically box office earnings are taken care of and it also makes for a good business plan. Documentary is more or less knowing the person but is there anything the world does not know about Sachin Tendulkar and his passion for cricket.
Sachin: A Billion Dreams starts off slow with Sachin becoming father for the first time. Opening credits roll and post that is the cinematic recreation of Sachin’s childhood. The actors here are perfectly casted. This goes on for not more than fifteen minutes. Sachin is around sixteen now and he is playing exceptionally well as per his age. He has become the most talked about boy in the world of cricket. By then Sachin had slowly started getting famous and his major life events were being captured, be it his interviews or the visits he made during cricket tours. Almost the entire film is just the compilation of these footage from various sources with Sachin narrating it. Sometimes his family, friends and other cricketers make a special appearance to talk about him.
We know Sachin is the youngest Indian player to score a century. We know the school and coach of Sachin. We know Sachin was the captain of Indian Cricket Team, he was removed as a captain due to his poor performance and then again elected. We know it was the saddest time for Indian Cricket when the players were accused of match fixing. We know India lost 2003 World Cup to Australia. We know India performed very poor in 2007 World Cup. We know about Sachin’s double century. We know India won 2011 World Cup. We know Sachin retired in November 2013. Yet is there any strong reason to watch Sachin: A Billion Dreams on the big screen?
Sachin: A Billion Dreams is like a TV show with not enough excitement as an entertaining film. Yes, there are emotional moments in the film trying very hard to connect with you. Film also sneaks into Sachin’s personal life but it only limits to his passion for the sport. It does not talk about Sachin’s Rajya Sabha membership, Indian Premier League, his strong presence in brand world, his equation with Vinod Kambli. We would have loved to know his life after retirement even if it is just a year or two. Unfortunately Sachin: A Billion Dreams makes a biopic made with much more cinematic liberties look better than a simple documentary. There is no difference between Sachin: A Billion Dreams as a film or as a special show on TV scheduled for a Saturday night or a Sunday afternoon. The film limits itself to the die hard fans of Sachin Tendulkar and people passionate about cricket. James Erskine fails to create the required connection with the audience.
Leaving all this aside for a moment Sachin: A Billion Dreams is worth a one time watch for the inspiring figure he has been for the entire nation. The film does not look inspiring even for a minute though. While watching the film you do feel proud to belong to the nation same as him. Lastly no matter what there cant be another Sachin Tendulkar for almost a century more.