Sachin - A Billion Dreams - Review

wogma rating: Pride of your DVD shelf (?)
quick review:

There are many heartwarming moments in this film. And at least a few when I am sure most of us won't be able to hold back our tears.

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There are many heartwarming moments in this film. And at least a few when I am sure most of us won't be able to hold back our tears. It all feels so real. But of course, it is a documentary. However, what the trailer didn't reveal is that it is a documentary in the first-person narrative. Well, most of it is voiced by Sachin, thus making it semi-autobiographical. Yes, no Karan Johar or Simi Garewal here to extract sensational information. And no Amitabh Bachchan to drown everything with the loftiness of a baritone voiceover. Instead Sachin himself, along with myriad other accomplices, in all his earnestness.

Also, in the trailer what felt like a tribute to the ace cricketer, turns out to be his tribute to those who influenced or contributed to his career and life. So, the focus is not so much on celebrating Sachin, but on understanding him, knowing him.

It is euphoric, yes, it is bound to be. It is about cricket. But still it manages to stay low-keyed. And in this restrained tonality is embedded a good deal of exposition of his journey, all the crests, and troughs. The narrative strategy is simple--to focus on key people close to him, while following the timeline of his cricket career. Life and career are thus more-or-less equally addressed, and instances from life and subsequent reflections on them, help us understand his cricket better.

The voiceover is unconvoluted (no Gulzar here) yet many lines are as deep as Gulzar's. The editing is no mean feat. Pre-recorded footage, most important of which is a plethora of home videos, is stitched seamlessly. The soundtrack by A. R. Rahman is unobtrusive. In fact, the same can be said of every department. Even though Sachin is speaking to us through a medium, it seems unmediated.

Alongside his voice, it is heartwarming to hear a fair deal of his wife Anjali's thoughts too. She exposes his vulnerable side. Sachin too admits to it, but Anjali offers a more intimate view of the person as a husband, as a doting father, as a cricket-coach to his son Arjun, and as a semi-introverted partner.

I am yet to read a feminist commentary on the documentary, but I am sure it will speak of how a hero's journey is a patriarchal construct, in which women play supporting, sacrificial, roles. But, the fact is that this documentary is all about a hero's journey, one who is entrenched in the patriarchal system. Hope you will forgive him.

To this end, it was odd that while Arjuns cricket training was discussed, the career goals of Sara, the elder of his two children, were not included. I wish we could get to know her interests too.

That little oddity apart, Sachin is a satisfying watch. And, yet it will leave you asking for more. So, don't miss it. Go watch it in theaters.

This review is by guest reviewer Jeet. Jeet is a workaholic turned film addict, and vice-versa. Basically, when he is not working, he is watching films. And when he isn't watching films, he is working. The funny thing is films are also a part of his work. Go figure! Jeet also blogs at https://www.facebook.com/groups/736281183136110/.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Mild, solely while referring to events in the history
  • Language: Impactful and clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A shirtless Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, apart from that none. (
  • Concept: A heros journey
  • General Look and Feel: A montage of pre-recorded and new footage

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 4
  • Story: 4
  • Lead Actors: 4
  • Character Artists: 4
  • Dialogues: 5
  • Screenplay: 4
  • Music Director: 4
  • Lyrics: 3

Sachin - A Billion Dreams - Movie Details

Sachin - A Billion Dreams - Trailer

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Comments (1)

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Fan:

I was wary to watch this movie as I knew that it was made in a documentary format. However, after having watched it I can state that I immensely enjoyed the film. And I believe that most of the people would enjoy this film, even if they are not hardcore Sachin fans.

The film is nicely made with a mix of real life videos juxtaposed with reconstructed pieces with actors. It is always a pleasure to see the rise of a legend from humble beginnings. Lots of goosebump moments, lots of thrills to catch snippets of some of the proudest moments of Indian cricket. Special mention to the treatment meted out by a 16 year old to the arrogance of a senior Abdul Qadir - and scoring a swashbuckling 53 runs from 18 balls.

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