Sam Bahadur Review Roundup | A Portrait of a Legend with Mixed Results 2023

Sam Bahadur, a biopic on the illustrious Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, has sparked diverse reactions from critics and audiences. Here’s a peek into the review landscape:

Sam Bahadur

Sam Bahadur Manekshaw: A Legend Forged in Fire

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, affectionately known as Sam Bahadur (“Sam the Brave“), was a colossal figure in Indian history, leaving an indelible mark on the nation’s military landscape. To call him simply a soldier would be an understatement – he was a brilliant strategist, a charismatic leader, and a man of unwavering integrity.

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Born in 1914, Manekshaw witnessed the tumultuous period of Indian independence firsthand. He joined the Indian Army in 1932, rising through the ranks with his exceptional leadership and courage. He fought valiantly in World War II and the subsequent Indo-Pakistani wars, earning accolades for his strategic maneuvers and inspiring his troops with his unwavering resolve.

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Sam Bahadur’s crowning glory came in 1971, during the pivotal Indo-Pakistani war. As Chief of the Army Staff, he masterminded the lightning-fast liberation of Bangladesh, earning him the coveted rank of Field Marshal – the first and only ever in Indian history.

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Beyond his military prowess, Manekshaw was known for his wit, bluntness, and unwavering commitment to his principles. He possessed a profound understanding of human nature and the ability to connect with soldiers from all walks of life. His iconic handlebar mustache and booming voice became as much a part of his legend as his victories on the battlefield.

Even after retirement, Sam Bahadur remained a beloved figure, revered for his wisdom and patriotism. He passed away in 2008, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire generations of Indians.

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If you want to delve deeper into this remarkable life, I recommend watching the recently released biopic “Sam Bahadur,” featuring Vicky Kaushal in the lead role. You can also find numerous books and articles that document his incredible journey.

So, remember the name Sam Bahadur Manekshaw, a towering figure whose courage, wit, and leadership forever etched him in the annals of Indian history.

 

Sam Bahadur Review Roundup

Praises:

Vicky Kaushal’s Transformation:
  • Vicky Kaushal’s portrayal of Sam Manekshaw is widely applauded. Critics commend his physical resemblance, the nuances he brings to the character, and his ability to capture Manekshaw’s charisma and wit.
Meghna Gulzar’s Direction:
  • Director Meghna Gulzar’s meticulous attention to detail and sensitive handling of the subject matter received appreciation. The film’s visual grandeur and evocative music are also acknowledged.
Patriotic Appeal:
  • The film resonates with viewers seeking a patriotic narrative, especially those interested in Indian military history and Sam Manekshaw’s legacy.

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Criticisms:

Docudrama-like Narration:
  • Some reviewers find the film’s episodic structure and focus on factual events limiting. They miss a deeper exploration of Manekshaw’s emotions and internal conflicts.
Lack of Emotional Connection:
  • Certain critics feel the film fails to create a strong emotional bond with the characters. The pacing is deemed uneven, hindering audience engagement.
Clichéd Bollywood Elements:
  • Despite its historical setting, some viewers find remnants of typical Bollywood tropes like exaggerated heroism and oversimplified conflicts.

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The cast of Sam Bahadur

Sam Bahadur boasts a talented ensemble cast, bringing to life the story of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and the historical events surrounding him. Here are some key members of the cast:

Lead Roles:

  • Vicky Kaushal: Plays the titular role of Sam Manekshaw, showcasing his transformation into the iconic war hero.
  • Fatima Sana Shaikh: Portrays the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, a crucial figure in Manekshaw’s military career and a prominent historical figure.
  • Sanya Malhotra: Takes on the role of Silloo Manekshaw, Sam’s wife and a source of strength and support throughout his life.

Supporting Cast:

  • Neeraj Kabi: Enacts the role of Jawaharlal Nehru, another influential Prime Minister who interacted with Manekshaw.
  • Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub: Plays Yahya Khan, the Pakistani military leader during the 1971 war.
  • Edward Sonnenblick: Portrays Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India who played a role in the partition and subsequent conflicts.
  • Kalki Koechlin: Appears in a smaller yet significant role, adding another layer to the narrative.

Other Notable Cast Members:

  • Darius Chinoy: Air Chief Marshal P C Lal
  • Richard Bhakti Klein: Ambassador Keating
  • Ujjwal Chopra: Major Kaul
  • Krishnakant Singh Bundela: Subedar Gurbaksh Singh
  • Upen Chauhan: Tikka Khan

 

Here are some additional resources for you to form your own opinion:

IMDb Reviews: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10786774/

Times of India Review: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2023/dec/01/sam-bahadur-review-meghna-gulzar-brave-manekshaw-indian-war-hero

The Hindu Review: https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/sam-bahadur-movie-review-an-adulatory-tribute-to-indias-most-beloved-soldier/article67596021.ece

Bollywood Hungama Review: https://www.bollywoodhungama.com/movie/sam-bahadur/critic-review/sam-bahadur-movie-review/sam-bahadur-is-a-well-intentioned-biopic/

Remember, film reviews are subjective, and it’s always best to watch the movie yourself to see if it resonates with you.

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Overall

Sam Bahadur delivers a visually stunning and technically proficient tribute to Sam Manekshaw. Vicky Kaushal’s performance shines, and the film offers a glimpse into an important chapter of Indian history. However, the episodic narrative and lack of emotional depth leave some viewers wanting more.

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