Sachin – A Billion Google Searches

A dozen news channels
A hundred quora questions
Tens of specials on Star Sports
What new did Sachin – A Billion Dreams have to offer? Let’s find out.

The movie tells us nothing more than we already know or could’ve googled ourselves. The movie is a well made documentary drama. But in terms of storytelling there is nothing new to look forward to. It uses footage from news pieces and interviews of the young master blaster, which is fresh but not enough to salvage the movie.

Just like M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, the first half is adequately slow-paced and goes in-depth of the cricketing legend’s rise. But the second half seems too rushed with the story switching gears from World Cup-Injury-World cup-World cup-Retirement.
It probably gives you the feeling that the movie was much longer but was cut-short to match the usual Bollywood movie time-frame.

A point to remember here is that MSD’s biopic, spoke about a facet of his personal life that the fans had no idea about which is not the case with Sachin.

The cut-to present day sequences added no context to the stories being told and gave the feeling that they were shot just because they could.

As many fans had complaints against his autobiography to be too diplomatic and not as revealing as it was expected. But that can be also explained by the fact that we are used to grand reveals by players long after they’ve retired because largely because they were too afraid to reveal them earlier. Sachin- a man of his stature probably didn’t have anything he wanted to hide so we’ll have to go by that assumption.

But his opinions on a few subjects would’ve been nice. His comments on the match-fixing scandal were basically saying what’s the point talking about things you don’t have any evidence on. No mention/comments on the captains that he played under. His role in the selection of captains after he declined the job.

OR on why didn’t he retire after the biggest moment of his career (winning the World Cup, that to at home) which was basically his endgame since 2007.

There was also no comment on his friendship with Vinod Kambli. Just a few pictures and a formal mention of their legendary partnership that got them noticed. The movie lacked meat and gave the impression that it could’ve been a good view if it was a television or a Netflix special instead of a full-fledged movie. In its current form it seemed nothing more than an attempt to cash-in on the nostalgia surrounding the legend.

What about the billion dreams?
Another major letdown was the lack of mention of the billion dreamers. The title chosen by the fans as part of the marketing of the movie turned out to not hold much substance as the movie played out. The movie’s apt title created a mental image of the madness around the aura known as Sachin Tendulkar. The title speaks of the loyal fans that supported him to the extreme no matter what circumstance.

There were a few celebrities talking about how watching Indian cricket was basically watching Sachin wave his magic on the field, but that was it. There was no memorable mention of the fans and the fanaticism surrounding the legend. A movie titled and marketed on the nation’s love for the master spoke very little about that love and barely spoke to those fans. Ironically, the movie embodies the age-old argument/critique of Sachin making it ‘all about himself’. But then again the movie was based on his life; it’s just that the name selection made no sense.

Silver lining:
The real protagonist appeared to be his wife Anjali, who beautifully conveyed her acceptance of being his second love after cricket. She brought out and highlighted the human-side of Sachin, one that’s taken for granted thanks to his ‘god’-like stature amongst fans. How she mentioned that she supported one Tendulkar go through the ups and downs of cricket and how their son Arjun was on his own was a very powerful statement.

There maybe no grace in defeat but acceptance shows depth of character. Not talking about his 100th century at all since it came in a losing cause against Bangladesh; a team Sachin never expected to lose against back in 2007 as he mentioned earlier in the movie. The context there was how Greg Chappel’s tenure left a bad taste in the mouth of Indian Cricket.

The second half of the movie shows Sachin unapologetic in his demeanour considering he spoke of his failures (albeit briefly) in his younger days. A couple of currently-endorsed brand plugins were used to explain how him becoming a big-money brand was needed to secure his family and rightfully so.

The impact of this man on the game of cricket and India in particular would make you watch the movie regardless of the reviews. Yet it leaves you with a sense of longing and doesn’t change anything you feel about the little master. You walk out of the theatres slightly disappointed, but with the echoes of Sachin-Sachin looping inside your head wondering if you were better off re-watching the Star Sports specials that had aired around his retirement.

James Erskine has done a great job in understanding the emotion behind Tendulkar… But he probably overlooked the fact that story he heard for the first time is something a billion people have been living for over two decades. Oh and also A.R. Rahman has given the music for the movie but there’s nothing else noteworthy about that bit.

What’s your opinion on Sachin – A Billion Dreams? Let us know in the comments section!

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