Being assigned by mid-day to review Sachin: A Billion Dreams is like somebody pulling you out of a long queue and gifting you a big-match ticket. For a hard-core Tendulkar fan, this film is a hypnotic synopsis of Sachin’s international cricketing career. It takes you through the most significant moments of his life while also showcasing the thought that went behind the surge in form at key points in a career that spanned over a quarter of a century.
Sachin’s journey begins with him as a little prankster and ends with him as India’s most-loved hero and international sensation. I heard that several of his Mumbai and India teammates got emotional when they saw the segment that dwelled on the death of his father in 1999. I was no exception. Memories of that sad day during the World Cup came rushing in, but I was probably more
saddened yesterday than I was back then. None of it was a put-on, just sorrow in true, up-close style.
Sachin’s family played a critical role in his career and the film does well to highlight their unconditional support and sacrifice.
While watching the film, I was reminded of what Sachin once said: “Being on the field is like going to a temple.” There were many memorable scenes I can recall, but what got me excited were the bits when the audience chanted, “Sachiin.. Sachin!” I felt as if the cinema hall had turned into a stadium.
Sachin has said the chants reminded him of his responsibilities. For me, this is how Sachin made a billion dreams come true. My eyes were moist while watching the footage of his farewell test. It was as if my hero, who had conquered all on field, had closed his cricketing book.
There were scenes I would have loved to see, but didn’t make it to the film, like Sunil Gavaskar gifting him a pair of ultra-light pads and consoling him through a letter, written on a car bonnet, I believe, after he didn’t win the Bombay Cricket Association’s Junior Cricketer of the Year Award in 1986-87. How wonderful it would have been to see Sachin serve as a ball boy at the Wankhede Stadium during the 1987 World Cup, and of course, the selection meeting that picked him for India in 1989.
Yet, Sachin: A Billion Dreams is worth your money. The film drives home many truths. For me, the biggest of them all was this – It’s not easy being Sachin Tendulkar!