Sachin: A Billion Dreams is one of a kind docu-drama made in India. For sport-stars we either have full fledged biopics or drama films. But this two hour film is made after watching ten thousand hours of footage from Sachin Tendulkar’s life on and off the field. The producer of the film, Ravi Bhagchandka who has been a cricketer himself, told us how this film is about the real life Baahubali — Sachin Tendulkar, and how he had to be ultra careful while making this film because it is a responsible task to show India’s superhero on-screen.
What is the kind of money that you’ve invested in Sachin: A Billion Dreams and what are the box office numbers you are looking at?
I have not put a number on this, this is a very emotional journey for me, and what number can you put on India? He (Sachin Tendulkar) is priceless for India. All the television revolution happened while he was playing. He was the one who, with a few other players, changed Indian television forever and also changed Indian endorsement scene forever. He changed a lot of things for India. We’re not chasing the money, we wanted to make the best possible film about Sachin.
On further probing about the kind of money that is invested in Indian films these days, Ravi promptly says, “It is a film about a real life Baahubali, so we really can’t predict box office numbers on it.”
Why did you decide to take up the mammoth challenge of making a film on the God of cricket — Sachin Tendulkar?
The idea to make this film came to me when I realised that India doesn’t have as many heroes as it should have. And when we have these heroes their stories need to be told. We started working on the film in 2012. It is such an inspiring and clean story. And the way the film is made, it is going to inspire people, even people who haven’t had the opportunity to know Sachin, this was my vision. I wanted people to know that one of the greatest heroes had his share of hardships, he had his struggles and even family had to struggle. Two, I wanted people to know his cricketing genius and the amount of work that went into it and thirdly, I wanted people to get inspired on how a struggle story led to such a glorious story.
Did you as a cricketer understand Sachin, the cricketer better, or the person he is?
I think, the person. Everytime Sachin told us that at this particular time this particular match was going on, and this was what he was thinking and doing, I would freak out! There were other players telling him that they were planning and plotting for thirty minutes on how to get him (Sachin) out. Bowlers for three generations have worked really hard to get his wicket. But his human story is more emotional. You can get goosebumps at his cricket stories but human stories move you. When his father passed away, or what he felt when he couldn’t score a single run, these personal stories make Sachin.
You said on the anthem launch that you watched 10 thousand hours of footage and chose 20-25 mins of footage for the film. What chunk of footage did you not use and felt it wasn’t going for the final cut?
I have been telling that I can make Sachin 1, Sachin 2, Sachin 3 and Sachin 4 with the amount of footage we have. We’ve had so many arguments with the editor and James of course on how a certain chunk of the story has to be a part of the film, but James kept on telling us that we cannot make a three hour film. We have been stone-hearted to keep some stuff out because you can’t keep on going on and on. I think we have achieved a right balance of Sachin’s life on and off the field.
Sachin: A Billion Dreams is all set to release on May 26th, 2017 and has Sachin fans already raving about the film and the anthem that was earlier launched in Mumbai.