Film: Sam Bahadur
Director: Meghna Gulzar
Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Neeraj Kabi, Edward Sonnenblick, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub
New Delhi: ‘Sam Bahadur’ is a straight-ahead war drama that brings the best of Vicky Kaushal before you. Based on the dynamic life of India’s first Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. A Bollywood-style celebration of heroism in a war setting, ‘Sam Bahadur’ celebrates the career of Manekshaw in the army that spanned over four decades and five wars.
Vicky Kaushal has indeed watched, and memorised, how the real-life Sam Manekshaw maneuvers. Just like the war hero, Vicky aced the art of being sweet with undertones of cockiness. Whatever the film’s cinematic faults, it’s hard to emerge from the theater unmoved or without having the urge to laud the real and reel hero.
Vicky Kaushal As Sam Bahadur
Sam Manekshaw (Vicky Kaushal) is simply a pro-conscience man. He’s morally upright, strategic and devoutly patriotic. What strikes a chord is the other side of Manekshaw where the noble soldier is seen off-battle in heartwarming scenes at home – having fun with dogs, nok-jhok with wife Silloo (Sanya Malhotra) and moments of humorous scuffles with household help, Swami.
The movie begins and Vicky casts a spell with his body language that talks indisputably like a hero glazed with a strong, patronizing accent and when he speaks with smart breaks in between – fear is evoked, and listener is engaged. Even Mrs. Gandhi swayed, sweety.
Sam Bahadur – A Bumpy Ride
Absurdly enough, the film has shoddily produced war scenes, ‘Sam Bahadur’ is more like a poor cousin of Sunny Deol’s iconic film ‘Border’ (1997). As a result, the film fails to make the viewers feel the brutality of a fierce battle. With limited soldiers, tanks and guns, the movie simply tracks between oh-so-many timeline title cards, thereby losing its arc and might make viewers feel if there was better use of their time.
Indira Gandhi – Why so cute?
There are many describing words which can be used for the Iron Lady of India, but Fatima Sana Shaikh’s portrayal of Mrs Gandhi makes the hard-hearted Prime Minister look – cute! Fatima’s dimples can be held accountable for it!
With a (surprise) cameo initially, the Meghna Gulzar-directorial makes you time travel to the heartbreaking times of the Partition. Little in quantity but quality sound tracks set the tone right but don’t match up with Vicky Kaushal’s powerful surgical strike – ‘Uri’.
Shot at multiple picturesque locations, ‘Sam Bahadur’ is made on a clear-cut war movie template. The film plays well on patriotism that tugs on your heartstrings often but a strong lack in promotional strategy from the makers might not give what Vicky Kaushal has been ardently waiting for. Nevertheless, go, watch it!