Sachin: A Billion Dreams could have been a cracker of a feature film. Instead, apart from its initial sparkling reenactment of Tendulkar's notoriously naughty childhood, it walks down a safe, supervised, documentary road.
Sachin Tendulkar, the diplomatic sports ambassador then takes over to narrating what we Indian cricketing fans more or less know.This 95% documentary/ 5% film is mostly a chronological compilation of everything available on YouTube.
Don't look for new insights, outspoken statements or controversies. Anjali Tendulkar is the only one to let go, revealing how she had to forsake her glittering medical career for Sachin. She also tells of a grumpy, disturbed Sachin, his guilt and agony apparent while captaining the side.
There is a distant hint at Mohammad Azharuddin, envy and that's it. The rest is hero worshipping and awe galore. The home videos do add a touch of exclusivity. There are some nice revelations too, but not enough.
Also, director James Erskine's positioning of the little master's journey running parallel to the Indian story is an underutilized film element.
Finally, Sachin: A Billion Dreams is a watered down, yet an undeniably powerful tale because of Tendulkar's mammoth and legendary efforts rather than the filmmaking. Catch it for the nostalgia and the legendary.
If you are a die-hard Tendulkar fan, this is your reliving-the-journey moment.