The latest film helmed by director Meghna Gulzar cynically portrays the adventures and witticisms of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. Sam Bahadur Review, It comes after two stunning hits, Talvar (2015) and Raazi (2018), directed by Meghna Gulzar.

With roles in Sardar Udham (2021) and Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019), among other fictitious and real-life projects, Vicky Kaushal plays a soldier on a mission against the enemy of the nation. In conclusion, it narrates the tale of one of the country’s most illustrious fighters, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, a near-mythological behemoth who, despite being shot nine times by a Japanese soldier, survived World War II.

Advantages of Sam Bahadur: A Star-Studded Production

There you are, twiddling and wriggling for the longest time, waiting for that one, flawless movie moment. Your mouth opens wide at the attempt at humor by writer Bhavani Iyer and director Meghna Gulzar. But ultimately, you are completely unable to grasp Sam Bahadur’s argument.

When I left the theater, I had the impression that I had just received an updated copy of the annual web listicle you read about Manekshaw, the man who was famous for giving battlezone proverbs and bracelets to the country’s then-prime minister, proudly sporting a bushy handlebar mustache, and feeding him humble pie.

Mixed Messaging and Unclear Intentions

The primary reason biopics are a murky genre is that they are usually confined by length and veracity constraints, with an episodic format. Notable films in this genre can be distinguished by their setting and the way their central conflict is framed.

The plot of this year’s film Oppenheimer centered on the protagonist’s security clearance being canceled. Sam Bahadur tells the story of the renowned protagonist without much fanfare, deviation, or criticism of Manekshaw’s current acceptance as the quintessential sigma male.

A hagiography is the outcome of its unwavering focus on capitalizing on the benefits of bringing his legend to life on screen. Yahya Khan (Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub), Manekshaw’s Pakistani counterpart, is portrayed with more nuance, though not before some frightening prosthetics and aging makeup.

Sam Bahadur Review, Performance Highlights and Casting Critique

Your attention must be maintained on this film by Vicky Kaushal alone. After an essentially poor year in terms of characters created for him in Govinda Naam Mera, Zara Hatke Zara Bachke, and The Great Indian Family, Sam Bahadur gives Kaushal the kind of magic to work that he has demonstrated in Sardar Udham, Raazi (2018), and Masaan (2015).

Though Manekshaw is known for his easy charm, snappy wit, and changed vocalization—which, in the hands of a less accomplished actor, could easily be misconstrued for a caricature—Kaushal, who constantly radiates confidence, has a firm grip on the role. His off-screen honesty and self-accepting demeanor perfectly capture the protagonist’s optimism and unwavering faith in his talents.

Sam’s enchanting wife Silloo Bode, played by Sanya Malhotra, balances Sam’s free-spirited energy with an ease that has been seen in Jawan and Kathal most recently. She gives the Manekshaw family an emotional anchor. There are numerous indications throughout the film that Manekshaw’s triumphs are at Silloo’s and their daughters’ expense. However, most of the flaws in Fatima Sana Shaikh’s portrayal of Indira Gandhi can be linked to the casting choice.

Technical Aspects: Soundtrack, Cinematography, and Historical Footage

Badhte Chalo is a rather inoffensive and unglamorous war song. Given Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s obvious musical brilliance and their prior excellent work with Gulzar, and Raazi, it is unexpected that the film’s soundtrack is loud, obtrusive, and unmelodious.

Notwithstanding the film’s lackluster background score, Sam Bahadur expertly uses historical footage to uphold the story and give the proceedings a genuine sense. Nonetheless, this explains the film’s passive linearity and staccato temporal jumps.

Inconsistencies and Challenges in Thread Connection

In the distinct aspects of Manekshaw’s life that come together to form the movie’s main plot, Sam Bahadur comes across as endearing and fascinating. The air strikes and warfare scenes in Burma are skillfully filmed, imagined, and acted, thanks to the skills of cinematographer Jay I. Patel.

These scenes could just justify watching this larger-than-life vignette reel in theaters. But because of the overall cheerful tone of the movie, the threads that bind them together

—such as Manekshaw’s banter with his cook who carries a radio set, the lead actor’s ballroom meet-cute with his lady, or the scene where he makes the widely recognized statement about fear and Gurkhas—feel disorganized and sorely need to be allowed some wiggle room.

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