In his first television interview, a 15-year-old Sachin Tendulkar told actor Tom Alter, “I only want to play cricket.” That, and win-ning the World Cup for India were his only childhood dreams. He reiterated the same at the trailer launch of Sachin: A Billion Dreams, which will be released on May 26. “This movie is not just about my cricket, but also other factors and other chapters in my life that I want to show everyone,” he told the media. The anticipation for the movie is so huge that its trailer has garnered more than 22 million views on YouTube.
And even if films on sports stars seem to have become a norm in the last few years—Paan Singh Tomar (2012), Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013), Mary Kom (2014), Azhar (2016), M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016) and Dangal (2016)—the treatment here has been different. Tendulkar is seen narrating his story as people close to him join in. Though a child actor recreates the cricketer’s childhood, real footage has been procured to stay true to the story. The film was touted as a docu-feature. But when we use the term while talking to director James Erskine, a film promotions manager corrects us saying it is a feature film. Format aside, the film does have all the ingredients of a feature film: a star—Sachin, music by maestro A.R. Rahman and foot-tapping numbers including a Sachin anthem by Sukhwinder Singh.