Saturday, March 02, 2024

Sam Bahadur Movie Review: Vicky Kaushal brings Sam Manekshaw to life again with same gait, roaring voice, attitude

We have brought a review of Sam Bahadur for you before its release so that you can know how much power is there in the story of the film and how much of an impression Vicky Kaushal has been able to leave.

Jaya Dwivedi Jaya Dwivedi Updated on: November 30, 2023 22:25 IST
sam bahadur review
Sam Bahadur will clash with Ranbir Kapoor-starrer AnimalPhoto:X
  • Movie Name:Sam Bahadur
  • Critics Rating: 3.5 / 5
  • Release Date: December 1, 2023
  • Director: Meghna Gulzar
  • Genre: Biography War Drama

Sam Bahadur tells the story of Indira Gandhi as a 'Sweetie' and the man who said 'I am OK' even after being shot 9 times in the chest by the Japanese. This person is none other than India's first Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. The film is releasing in theaters on Friday, December 1. Vicky Kaushal plays the titular role of Sam Manekshaw in the film. To know how the film is, how Vicky Kaushal's acting, and what the story says, you will have to read this review. Obviously, after reading this you will enjoy watching the movie more. 


The story of Sam Bahadur begins in Amritsar, Punjab, where Cyrus is born in a Parsi family. This Cyrus was none other than Sam Manekshaw's old name. The story of the film tries to touch every small and big aspect of Sam Manekshaw. The love story of a fun-loving boy begins with his recruitment in the army, due to which light moments are shown amidst the passion-filled film. The story gives a glimpse of Sam Manekshaw's struggle in 3 wars and an internal fight. The story before the interval moves forward rapidly, showing one after another the story of Sam Manekshaw's transfer, promotion, and the Nehru family becoming close to the government. 

An attempt has been made to show Sam's contribution to the India-Pakistan partition, integration of Jammu and Kashmir into India, and liberation of East Bengal from Pakistan. Not only this, Sam Manekshaw's conversation shown as close to Indira Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru in the story helps in keeping the fans engaged till the end. The story is very interesting in some places and even boring in some scenes. The good thing is that as soon as the grip of the film gets loose, the exciting scenes are effective in boosting the mood. An attempt has been made to give a lot of depth to the story, in such a situation the film seems to be struggling to cover every incident of Sam Manekshaw's life in two and a quarter hours.  


Let's start with the lead character of the film, Vicky Kaushal. The actor has become so established in the story that after seeing him, no one will be able to say that he is Vicky Kaushal. Movement, attitude, voice, style, Vicky Kaushal has adopted Sam Manekshaw in every way. It can be said that he has cheated Sam Manekshaw. Vicky Kaushal speaks Punjabi, English, Hindi, and Bengali as fluently as Sam. Being able to do this is praiseworthy for any actor. Watching Vicky Kaushal's acting is no less than a visual treat. Sanya Malhotra, who is seen as Sam Manekshaw's wife, is on top as a housewife, but she loses a bit in the role of a Parsi woman. For the first time, Sanya is being seen in a role full of simplicity and straightforwardness and she has been a perfect choice for such a character. 

Fatima Sana Shaikh is no less in the role of Indira Gandhi. Fatima Sana Shaikh's way of looking matches that of Indira Gandhi to a great extent. Just as there was never a wrinkle on Indira's face, Sana has portrayed it in her character. She has managed to do complete justice to the character of Indira. There is a different level of coordination between him and Vicky, after seeing which you will say that maybe similar coordination would have existed between Indira and Sam Manekshaw. Zeeshan Ayub plays the role of Pakistani General Yaya Khan in the film. It is also difficult to identify them. With prosthetic make-up, Zeeshan Ayub is showing off his powerful voice in the film. His friendship with Sam as a young Yaya Khan shows a true friendship. Other actors seen in small roles are also leaving their mark with strong acting. 

Direction and script

Sam Bahadur has been directed by Meghna Gulzar. For this reason, a lot of attention has been paid to the details in the story of the film. The movements of the characters and dialogue delivery are all on time and on point. Every aspect of Sam Manekshaw's story has been dealt with with great depth. Every event of his life has been presented in the form of a capsule. The beginning of each event is fun and wonderful, but the two life events are not completely connected. Because of this, the film seems disintegrated on many occasions. If a person is not concerned with history then there come many such moments where it is difficult for the audience to connect. However, this aspect can be ignored because after watching the film it is clear that a lot of deep research has been done in preparing its script. For this reason, Sam's stories and his catchphrases 'I'm OK' and 'Sweetie' have not been ignored at all.


Cinematography and editing

The special thing about the film made under the direction of Meghna Gulzar is its cinematography. Cinematic wonders were also seen in Sam Bahadur. Many over-the-shoulder shots have been used during the cinematography. Considering Sam's height, the correct display of eye level in the conversation between Indira and his wife will be seen in the film. Bird's eye view is rarely used in the film, which is contrary to the trend these days, but wherever it is, it fits perfectly and gives a good overview. Overall, anyone who has good photo sense will like the scenes of the film. 

As far as location is concerned, the film has been shot at many hill stations. However, only the actual scenes of the war have been shown, which have been taken from the library of the Government of India. In such a situation, the intelligence of the director is clearly visible. By doing this, many shortcomings have been avoided, as well as resources have been used properly. If we talk about editing, it is also excellent. The entire film has been kept in a dark tone so that the ups and downs between coloured and black and white scenes can be shown properly and it does not irritate the audience.

Music and lyrics of songs

The songs of Sam Bahadur are enough to fill the veins with enthusiasm. Apart from the peppy songs like 'Bade Chalo', 'Banda', and 'Dum Hai To Aaja', the film also has a slow-paced love song. The songs of the film are shown precisely at those moments where the story is getting a little weak. In such a situation, the songs are seen supporting the film at the right time. As far as the lyrics of the songs are concerned, they are amazing and why not, they were written by Gulzar and like always, this time also his work has been of high standard. The music of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and the voices of Arijit Singh, Shreya Ghoshal, and Vishal Dadlani are mesmerising. 


The film is a biography. In such a situation, you might be thinking that it will be boring, but Meghna has set the story in such a way that the film keeps you engaged every moment. Whereas Vicky Kaushal has been completely successful in acting. Along with the progress of Sam Manekshaw's life, he has brought out the hidden humour and romance from the world of his life. Vicky Kaushal has left no stone unturned in showing Sam Bahadur's charismatic personality, which used to make girls smile at parties. As far as shortcomings are concerned, there is only one shortcoming in the film. The story of the film appears to be broken in between, that is, the film becomes cumbersome in switching from one story to another or rather it gets stuck and this breaks the connection with the viewer. Overall the film is good, deals with history and there is no dearth of entertaining moments in the film. Therefore, definitely watch the film once, it is a full package.