Vicky Kaushal’s Spirited Performance Shines in Sam Bahadur – A Review

Vicky Kaushal’s Spirited Performance Shines in Sam Bahadur – A Review

The film “Sam Bahadur” is an ambitious biographical movie that covers the life of Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw. Spanning four decades of military service, five wars, anti-insurgency operations, and encounters with Prime Ministers, the film manages to capture the essence of Manekshaw’s remarkable journey. Although the film may feel rushed at times, it never fails to provide an engaging and captivating experience.

Driven by a spirited performance from Vicky Kaushal, “Sam Bahadur” offers a well-rounded and rousing portrayal of the legendary army officer. Manekshaw’s grit, gallantry, joie de vivre, power of repartee, and unwavering sense of purpose are beautifully brought to life on the screen.

Rather than being an action-heavy war movie, “Sam Bahadur” focuses more on intense character development. It successfully blends the story of an illustrious life with the exploits of a remarkable soldier and leader. The screenplay effectively selects incidents and encounters that add a vivid and vibrant quality to the film. It not only delves into the life of an individual but also provides insights into the nation’s eventful history.

Despite some gaps in the narrative, “Sam Bahadur” manages to maintain its consistently arresting saga. The film seamlessly transitions between different time periods, covering significant events from the early 1940s to the early 1970s. The screenwriters skillfully incorporate enough narrative elements to do justice to Manekshaw’s charismatic personality and his impact on the nation’s history.

The portrayal of Manekshaw by Vicky Kaushal is commendable. He strikes a perfect balance between authenticity and avoiding caricature, bringing the character to life with distinct mannerisms and charm. Kaushal’s performance adds liveliness to the film, showcasing his versatility as an actor.

One of the remarkable aspects of “Sam Bahadur” is its ability to celebrate the bravery of India’s soldiers without resorting to flag-waving militarism. The film thoughtfully navigates the life-threatening situations faced by infantrymen, offering a balanced perspective. Battle scenes and punchlines are present, but they never overshadow the more subtle components that make up this lively biopic.

The film also explores the personal aspects of Manekshaw’s life, highlighting his relationship with his wife and family. It portrays a time when love for the nation was not tainted by religious exceptionalism, emphasizing the celebration of unity in diversity. The various regiments’ war cries in the climactic passages symbolize the different backgrounds of Indian soldiers marching towards a common goal.

While “Sam Bahadur” does stumble a bit in its portrayal of Jawaharlal Nehru, it provides a more detailed and impactful representation of Indira Gandhi. The film showcases her interactions with Manekshaw, where she almost steals the spotlight from him. These scenes, along with the inclusion of newsreel footage and historical events, add depth and keep the film engaging throughout.

Ultimately, “Sam Bahadur” is not just a one-man show. It is a testament to Meghna Gulzar’s skillful direction, striking the perfect balance between ambition and restraint. Without her guidance, the film’s central performance and emotional payoff would not have been as remarkable.

The cast, including Vicky Kaushal, Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, and Neeraj Kabi, deliver commendable performances under Gulzar’s direction.

“Sam Bahadur” is a captivating biopic that successfully captures the essence of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw’s extraordinary life. It is a film that does justice to his legacy and the nation’s history, providing a vivid and engaging cinematic experience.