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Sachin: A Billion Dreams trailer lacks Tendulkar's legendary perfection

The trailer of the long delayed biographical film on the Indian cricket superstar has some nostalgic highs but lacks punch.

Mayur Lookhar

The first trailer of Sachin: A Billion Dreams is out. The story of India’s greatest batsman Sachin Tendulkar, the film has been long overdue. Initially planned as just a documentary, it is now being presented as a biographical film. 

Sachin Tendulkar launched the trailer himself in Mumbai on Thursday. One may be crucified for being critical of it, for few dare speak against a man who has acquired demi-god status among his fans. However, the trailer of Sachin: A Billion Dreams doesn’t leave you spellbound. It lacks the punch one would expect from a film on the life of India's greatest sports personality.

Directed by James Erskine, the film has both dramatized content and actual footage of Tendulkar and the influential people in his life. A man who was worshipped on and off the field, Tendulkar's life has been filled with historic moments. 

It is amply clear that much of the story is going to be told in Tendulkar's voice. While that is understandable, the dialogues given to Tendulkar in the trailer are pretty average. The trailer promises to unveil the moments of intrigue in the life of the man whose career spanned more than two decades.

Like any cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar dreamt of winning the World Cup. It was the highest point of his career. The trailer suggests that the film is likely to revolve around this dream, a defining moment in Tendulkar's personal life.

The director has used moments of controversy as bait to get the buzz going. Neeraj Pandey had similarly tapped into Dhoni's confrontation with three senior players in the trailer for MS Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016), though the film skipped the issue entirely.

Erskine has done something similar by featuring the match-fixing controversy that rocked India's cricket-crazy populace in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The film is likely to show how the issue affected Tendulkar and his emotional response. Seeing Tendulkar's pan-India popularity, the film will also be released in five languages — Hindi, English, Tamil, Marathi and Telugu.

Tendulkar’s wife Anjali played a pivotal role in his career and life, and it is natural for the film to show her perspective. However, her fleeting presence in the trailer fails to register the emotional connection that was necessary to lift it. The presence of his children, Arjun and Sara, lift the mood of the film. The sight of Arjun, padded up, hints at the future of Tendulkar's legacy.

Since much of his professional life is an open book, it is the dramatized content, particularly his childhood, that will need to be told in an engaging manner. More than his records, it is Tendulkar’s honesty and humility that won him many admirers.This honesty is palpable in Tendulkar’s voice throughout the trailer. The goosebump-inducing moment is to hear Tendulkar say that playing cricket was like visiting a temple.

The problem with the trailer is that it lacks the adrenaline kick that is usually associated with a sports film. In cricketing parlance, it lacks the perfect timing and beauty of a Tendulkar straight drive.

Sachin: A Billion Dreams is set to be released on 26 May. Watch the trailer below: