Director: James Erskine
Sachin Tendulkar is not a name, but an emotion. Director James Erskine brings for you all an emotional documentation of Sachin's journey on celluloid, right from his childhood to becoming India's most celebrated player, his failures as an Indian captain to winning the 2011 World Cup at the Wankhede stadium, Mumbai against Sri Lanka and much more.
These 133 minutes of Sachin's journey is a good effort by the entire team. Featuring Sachin himself along with his family members and close friends, the docu-drama is interesting enough to hold the viewers. Credit should be given to the technical team of the film which was able to bring out the correct emotions from the highlights of his interesting life. Music by A R Rahman, however, is average.
James Erskine has touched upon several issues like his bad phase when his name appeared in the match-fixing controversy, his health issues due to overexertion, how he resigned from the Indian captaincy and later fulfilled his dream by winning the World Cup in 2011 at his home ground, Mumbai, that are noticeable.
The documentary is very well researched with the tidbits of his life. His wife Anjali, kids Sara and Arjun, close friends, parents and siblings played an important role in the film. Their real-life footages just add more beauty to the film. The film also showcases his emotional bond with his father, coach and kids that will leave you in tears. Sachin's retirement speech in the climax will give you goosebumps.
Unlike the biopics made on M S Dhoni and Mohammad Azharuddin, Sachin: A Billion Dreams is much more engaging since it is a factual presentation of his life with all real-life characters on a big canvas.
It is amazing to see Sachin's life on silver screen which is played by several good actors in the docu-drama.
All said and done, his life story surely deserves a standing ovation, but doesn't need a documentary to be presented into a film for celluloid. There were reports that the director and the makers of the film wanted to make a proper biopic on Sachin but the Master Blaster wasn't keen on the idea and hence decided to make a documentary.
Overall, it is a good watch, but at the end, it's a documentary which is a compilation of real-life footages. The idea of promoting it as a film is a little weird. It is like any other documentary made on several sportspersons that are available online. Or perhaps it's Sachin's vast popularity across the globe that the director thought of the idea of making it.