Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Sam Bahadur Review: It’s Hard To Play Character So Closely But Vickey Kaushal Plays It Too Well

At one point in the movie, Sam Bahadur is leaving his warriors who aren’t feeling too good after giving a stirring speech. Upon seeing his back, one of them remarks, “At last, we have someone who can advise us on what to do.” His tone is not merely one of adoration; his eyes are filled with reverence.

Sam Manekshaw’s vibrant personality and impressive accomplishments have long begged for a biographical film. The 150-minute film directed by Meghna Gulzar, which highlights the pinnacles of both his personal and professional life, is as awe-inspiring and reverent as the soldier who appears on screen for a brief moment before bowing out, his duty completed. There are those who are naturally drawn to biographical films, and Sam Bahadur has a devoted following. However, the movie suffers from being overly dramatic, with the background music overpowering the significant moments and the tall people on screen. Vicky Kaushal, who plays Mankeshaw, is the only one who avoids this and maintains her tall stature throughout the entire movie. In this capacity, Kaushal finds the greatest challenge, and he excels at it.

In reality, Manekshaw was a captivating character who attracted a lot of attention from the start. Legends about him circulated, detailing his exploits both on and off the field. He was the first Indian Army officer to be appointed to the rank of Field Marshal. His troops looked up to him, and his bravery was undeniable. He always had impeccable attire. It was mandatory for guests to wear proper attire; casual attire was not accepted. He always had impeccable attire. It was mandatory for guests to wear proper attire; casual attire was not accepted. By all accounts, he was an excellent host and cook. Alongside his charisma, he was also renowned for his bluntness and caustic humour.

When Sam (Vicky Kaushal) is earning his spurs at the Military Academy early in the movie, we first see him. Sanya Malhotra, holding her own), plays the charming young Silloo in a charming relationship that ends with her becoming his wife. Despite suffering severe injuries, he survives his time in Burma during World War II. The recognition he received immediately following his incredible recovery was proof certain that he was destined for greatness: the British, who had placed the bravery medals on his chest, had set the stage for the brutal Partition and a split Army. Manekshaw was never in doubt about his loyalties, even when his companion Yahya Khan (Ayyub, nearly undetectable under layers of prosthetics and useless to boot) stayed behind in what became Pakistan.

Manekshaw was a key player in the conflict of 1971. His astute planning enabled Mrs. Gandhi to subdue the assertive Americans and decisively defeat the Pakistani army. The movie portrays her (Fatima Sana Shaikh) as a leader who doesn’t hesitate to make difficult choices, but it is less favourable of Nehru (Neeraj Kabi), who is frequently depicted to be unsure of his course of action. However, these political pranks, which featured a number of influential people at the time, such as Sardar Patel (Govind Namdeo) and other Cabinet members, don’t seem to have the same impact as they ought have. That also applies to the entire movie.

Overall, “Sam Bahadur” unfolds as a sequence of still images that provide us with information—much more telling than showing. Even when the writer attempts to heighten the suspense in sequences that are naturally suspenseful, it falls short. Take, for example, a running thread which features an irascible factotum who has clearly endeared himself to the big man. The first time we see the former twiddle the knob on his beat-up radio, muttering under his breath, we are amused. A repetition in the same vein is just not as funny.

But I was won over by Kaushal because he was spot on, with sparkling eyes and a stiff moustache. He becomes into Sam Bahadur, despite the difficulty of playing a role thus closely without turning into a caricature.

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