I am not a cricket fan and so the film on the life and times of Sachin Tendulkar didn’t make it to my ‘must watch’ list. Add to it the fact that it wasn’t a film like Azhar or MS Dhoni: An Untold Story that had all the elements of a true blue Bollywood film. More often than none, docudramas end up being a drag affair! But the trailer had me reanalysing by beliefs.

Directed by award winning filmmaker James Erskine, the trailer got thumbs up from not just cricket fanatics but non-cricket fans as well, yours truly included! The 2 minute short trailer had proved that the film was up to a good start. It also garnered positive reviews from celebrities – both from Bollywood and cricketing world – who saw the film on Wednesday night at the premiere.

But did Sachin Tendulkar score a century in his maiden innings on the big screen? Read on to know…

What’s it about
Sachin: A Bllion Dreams follows the real life journey of cricket’s living legend Sachin Tendulkar. While the world has been witness to his achievements on the pitch, the film takes us right back to his humble beginnings, his dreams, aspirations and how he step-by-step got closer to realizing all those! The docudrama also aims at giving fans a chance to get acquainted with Sachin Tendulkar – off the pitch and meet his goofy, witty, romantic, family guy side. It stars Sachin Tendulkar along with his family Anjali (wife), Sara (daughter) and Arjun (son) – all playing themselves. His colleagues Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly, Virat Kohli and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan amongst others make a cameo, where they talk about how Sachin and the matches he has played have been an important part of their lives. (ALSO READ: Sachin Tendulkar can’t wait to watch Priyanka Chopra’s Baywatch!)

What’s Hot
In a brief address to the media minutes before the press show began, director James Erskine said that the film is not made for just fans of the sport or of the cricketing legend, but for every Indian in the audience. Just a few minutes into the film and you know this is not your typical docudrama that strictly appeal to audience who have a keen interest on the subject it is made on. The film takes us right inside Sachin Tendulkar’s life with some interesting anecdotes shared by the master blaster himself and his friends and family, complemented with dramatization. It makes you laugh at his antics; cry at his low moments and feel proud with his every achievement – all at the same time.

It is interesting to note here that the director doesn’t make it an exasperating affair by abrupt flashbacks or sudden shifts between the highs and lows of Sachin’s journey as a cricketer and the present day Sachin – the legend as we know him. The film flows smoothly from one milestone to the next, keeping you gripped and entertained.

There are scenes that take you back to the crucial matches Sachin and the Indian team have won and lost and the director has ensured to give each of these nail biting throwback matches reasonable screen time. So much so that it will give you an adrenaline rush and keep you on the edge of your seat. These act as perfect nostalgia.

Sachin’s journey on 70mm also reveals some interesting nuances of her personality. The moment he became fearless while playing a match; the day he lost all hope and wondered if it was time to hang his boots; to the hour he realised his ultimate goal…

It also touches upon controversies in his cricket journey – The dark phase in the history of Indian cricket when the team was marred in the match fixing controversy or the politics within the board that took away captaincy from him at one point and then forced him to lead the men in blue, much against his will. It also talks about the phase when Indian team disintegrated under the leadership of Greg Chappell and how each time the team came together, played as one to realise a single dream that was shared by billions.

Very early in the film, the story establishes Sachin Tendulkar as not just a cricket sensation or a hero but a feeling. And the feeling is what you will take with you as you walk out of the theatres. (ALSO READ: Sachin A Billion Dreams Celeb review: Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Ranveer Singh emotionally moved after watching the film)

What’s Not
Well there’s nothing that will not appeal to you. But I wish Sachin spoke about his changed equation with his one-time best friend and cricket partner Vinod Kambli. Also, questions about Sachin’s low attendance (8% in 5 years) in the Rajya Sabha has been raised in the media many a times. However, he has always dodged it. The film could have been a great platform for him to come clear on this.

What to do
A fan or not – Sachin: A Billion Dreams is a must watch for every Indian. It will inspire you to chase your dreams and fill your heart with immense pride.

India.com Rating: 4 stars