Dear Sachin Tendulkar, Greetings of the Day. I am writing this heartfelt open letter to you barely hours after having witnessed your journey on the silver screen, thanks to Sachin: A Billion Dreams that hit the theatres today. The film has received a thumbs up from the critics and your fans have apparently flocked to the theatres to ‘worship’ you on the 35 mm screen. After all, cricket is considered as a religion in this country and you are hailed as its only deity.
Directed by James Erskine, Sachin: A Billion Dreams, in fact, is a docu-feature on the batting icon who brought the nation together whenever he stepped out into the field to bat. In Bollywood, there have been biopics that had A-listers essaying the role of the sporting icons. But Sachin: A Billion Dreams is an account straight from the heart of the protagonist himself. The filmmaker deserves an applause for making the 2.20-hour long film a cinematic treat worth watching.
The film has some unseen clips which help us know you more as a person. The videos of your late father speaking about you is indeed emotional. Plus, we get to hear your mother revisit the old memories—and these are no less nostalgic. It is indeed heartening to see that despite earning widespread popularity, you continued to remain the same Mumbaikar who hangs out with same old friends and prefers to have vada paavs. We cannot forget the sacrifices done by your better half Anjali, who gave up her practice as a paediatrician for your sake.
Every cricket fan wants to relive the moments when you made our country proud with some stellar performances on the field. Be it your sending off the Australian speedsters with the likes of Damien Fleming and Michael Kasprowicz during the ‘Desert Storm’ knock of 134 at Sharjah in 1998, or dispatching Shoaib Akhtar’s rising delivery for a classic six, we cannot stop ourselves to watch them again on a loop.
Every cricketer wishes to win a World Cup for his country. You dreamt of it right through the childhood and worked towards it. The film chronicled some highs and lows during the coveted tournaments you played while donning blue jersey (6 tournaments). Your honest revelations about the horrifying moments following the humiliating defeats to Sri Lanka in 1996 semis and 2007 group stage ties as well as the euphoric victory in the final of 2011 World Cup in Wankhede were awaited.
Although I am quite satisfied with the film and rate it as a splendid docu-feature made on sports, there are few misses which if avoided could have made it a masterpiece. I was expecting you to speak something about your childhood friend Vinod Kambli. He does appear few times in the film but your silence left me surprised. Nobody knows what transpired between both of you.
Secondly, you should have spoken about some of the precious moments you shared with your teammates Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. After all, you comprised the Big 5 with Sehwag as the fifth partner in the famed Indian batting line-up.
Last but not the least, a word or two about your alleged hostilities with the former skipper Mohammad Azharuddin would have put rumours about a power struggle within the ranks in those days to rest. But since you don’t want to reveal it, that’s fine. Nevertheless, all I want to do is thank you for a wonderful cinematic experience.
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