'Sachin: A Billion Dreams' - Movie Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Sachin: A Billion Dreams is the highly awaited biopic based on the life of the God of Cricket aka Sachin Tendulkar. Co-produced by Ravi Bhagchandka and Carnival Motion Pictures, Sachin: A Billion Dreams is written and directed by Emmy-nominated English filmmaker James Erskine. Erskine’s previous assignments include films like One Night in Turin (2010), Shooting for Socrates (2014), and The Healer (2015). The film not only intends to throw light on Sachin Tendulkar’s cricketing journey but also endeavors to offer insights into Sachin’s personal life, touching upon the highs and the lows while playing for India—the pride and the euphoria vis-à-vis the inner pain and suffering.

‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ is being released in five languages viz. Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and English. The film’s title was chosen through a Twitter contest run by Sachin Tendulkar himself. The film’s music is composed by the Oscar-winning Indian composer A.R. Rahman. 

‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ is not just a film but a testament to the fulfillment of a nation’s dream. It serves a great homage to a living legend whose aura transcended the boundaries of caste, color, creed, and religion. 

Biopics are in vogue these days and every year so many of them are churned out. ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ couldn’t have come at a better time. It is like a breath of fresh air that will inspire other filmmakers to experiment a little with the form. Here is a biopic so rich in narrative tropes that one can’t help but appreciate its novelty. Credit goes to director James Erskine and team for showing the courage to tread a rather unconventional path. 

No one can tell the extraordinary journey of a boy who became a cricketing god better than the person himself. The fact that it is Sachin narrating his own tale adds a lot of credibility to the film. The choice of using archive footage from the matches is a really good one. It is all there in front of our eyes and that’s what precisely works for the film. Yes, there are constructed scenes in there as well (those depicting his early life as a child prodigy) but the meticulousness is astounding to say the least. Even the child actor playing the younger version of Sachin is so carefully cast.

‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ is so well shot and edited that it ends up giving goosebumps. It is not just a film but a celebration of arguably the greatest career in all of professional sports. People talk about the likes of Pele, Bradman, Maradona, etc. but ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ makes us realize that all those iconic careers pale in comparison to Sachin’s 25 year journey as the cricketing god. 

Sachin’s cricketing career has been an open book. A film about his career would do little more than making us experience a high voltage bout of nostalgia but Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ does much more than making us relive the epic moments from Sachin’s illustrious career. For, here we are presented with the key but rather unknown incidents from his life that helped shape up his incredible career.

We all have always been curious to know more about Sachin’s personal life. There is only so much of information available in the public domain. ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ finally brings out previously unseen family videos that offer powerful insights into the great man’s life. These family videos help us see a side of Sachin that has remained hidden from us all these years.

‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ is not just about Sachin. It is as much about India. The film develops an interesting parallel between Sachin and India. Sachin made his Test debut against Pakistan in November 1989 at Karachi. He played his last match, his 200th Test, against the West Indies in Mumbai in November 2013. During this period India underwent a tremendous transformation. The film offers beautiful vignettes which remind us about how India, over the last 25 years, has evolved into the country it is today.

Anyone who wants to fulfill his dream in his/her life can draw inspiration from ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’. We often overlook the sacrifices that a person makes to achieve someone in life. It is anybody’s guess that Sachin, of all people, must have made even greater sacrifices. The film also reminds us about the level of commitment, hard work and dedication that’s required to achieve success in life. The film perfectly sums up all this and without losing its punch and drama. 

All these facts make Sachin: A Billion Dreams a must watch for Indians as well as for anyone who enjoys sports.

Rating: 8/10

A version of this review was first published in Wittyfeed.

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