This time Vicky Kaushal has come on the big screen as Sam Manekshaw. The story of Manekshaw, who became the first Field Marshal of the country, is also the story of a country. The trailer of Meghna Gulzar’s ‘Sam Bahadur’ was very solid. Let us tell you how the film is.
The name given to a child swinging in his cradle by his parents turns out to be the same name as that of a thief who came to steal in the locality last night. Now the question is, what kind of ‘unique’ name should we give to the child? In the next scene, an army officer asks a new recruit about his name, but the new boy forgets his surname. This boy of Gorakh Regiment of Indian Army tells the name of his officer – Sam Bahadur. That name, which will always remain immortal in the military history of India.
From here you set out on a journey, the map of which has been made in a very interesting way by director Meghna Gulzar. Biopic is the story of a person’s life. ‘Sam Bahadur’ is also a similar story, but what is unique is that Sam’s story is also the story of a country. The story of a country taking its first breath of independence, which has yet to not only fulfill but also decide its ambitions.
Amazing direction and screenplay
There were risks in telling this story… it is a story of old times, it also has a touch of politics. On top of that, cinema with patriotic slogans and political nature has been on the rise for quite some time. So that this story does not start hurting ears!
Director Meghna Gulzar, taking all these risks, has prepared a film which seems to be a fresh, new breath among the political-patriotic biopic films which have found audiences on the basis of explosion of emotions. From the country’s independence, winning the war with Pakistan to the creation of Bangladesh, many major events of India passed through Sam’s life. But Meghna does not use sharp cinematic spices to show these incidents. She paints these incidents based on Sam’s personality. And the person lying bleeding with his body pierced by 7 bullets would say – ‘It’s nothing, a mule kicked him’; Where else is the masala of heroism available in the cinema market?
Sympathetic pain treatment
Another thing that Meghna has done very well is to keep the events on their balance and not tilt them in favor of her hero. Manekshaw is among the leaders on many occasions in ‘Sam Bahadur’. But Meghna does not do that to make her soldiers shine, she makes the characters of the leaders ugly. Nor does it show the soldiers standing on the other side of the battle in a strictly negative light.
In the film we see how the soldiers of one India are now divided into the armies of two countries. Meghna maintains this emotion that when two companions, who were sitting together in the barrack till yesterday and telling stories, meet each other standing on two sides of the border, what will their hearts be saying. But still they have to stand firm like a rock. Rather, they will start abusing each other as soon as they see each other. The biggest success of ‘Sam Bahadur’ is to escape from such cheap and non-creative maneuvers. Technical things like good cinematography, production design that seems appropriate for that era, an authentic feeling of a 60-70 year old story and good lighting are strong in the film.
Meghna does not exclude the story of Sam Manekshaw from the national story. She begins to unravel the threads of the stories that weave Sam’s character. And you can see how deeply woven the country and patriotism are in this story. Meghna’s film shows India’s first Field Marshal, one of the country’s greatest soldiers, Sam Manekshaw in the true colors of his personality. It does not show them through the lens of hyper-patriotism prevalent on social media today. The natural charm of Sam’s personality, his excellent wit, his ability to convey words with the slightest wink and his aura is the biggest fuel that drives the film.
The way Vicky Kaushal has done a wonderful job in portraying the character of Sam in its true colours, it keeps you glued to the screen. Vicky Kaushal has now reached that level of honing his talent, where he is rarely seen making any mistakes. ‘Sam Manekshaw’ is also a new manifestation of his talent. Mistakes can be seen in the film, story and screenplay, but there is no scope for error in Vicky’s work.
In the performance department, from Vicky’s lead role to the work of the rest of the cast, it is also a strong point. Sanya Malhotra in the role of Silu Manekshaw also maintains the strong level of her work. Be it Indira Gandhi as Fatima Sana Shaikh, or Yahya Khan as Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub. Be it Neeraj Kabi playing the role of Jawaharlal Nehru or Govind Namdev playing the role of Sardar Patel. Everyone’s work elevates the film. However, the prosthetic makeup of some characters is a bit distracting.
‘Sam Bahadur’ is a two and a half hour long film, which you do not feel most of the time. The film moves a little faster in the first half, but perhaps because it covers many parts of Sam’s life quickly. After the interval, as the film starts slowing down a bit, the song ‘Badhte Chalo’ comes. The war cries of different regiments of the Indian Army are heard in this song and give goosebumps. This time, Bollywood’s legend lyricist Gulzar has written a song in such a way that it gives goosebumps after reading it.
However, towards the end the momentum of the film slows down a bit. The climax also could have been a little more energetic. One small flaw in the film is that Sam’s pre-army days could have been shown a little more. If there was a glimpse of his fun-loving style from his childhood and college days in the film, it would have been more fun. But ‘Sam Bahadur’ still has the power to make you spend on tickets. The combo of Meghna Gulzar and Vicky Kaushal shows you the story of a hero in a very entertaining way in two and a half hours.