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Sam Bahadur Movie Review



01 Dec 2023 | 150 Mins





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Sam Bahadur Review: Vicky Kaushal gives the performance of a lifetime in Meghna Gulzar's credible war-drama

Sam Bahadur, directed by Meghna Gulzar and starring Vicky Kaushal, Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh is a credible film that is elevated by its performances and dialogues.

Updated on Nov 30, 2023   |  09:54 PM IST  |  1M
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Vicky Kaushal

Vicky Kaushal delivers the performance of a lifetime in Sam Bahadur (Credit: RSVP)

Key Highlight

  • Vicky Kaushal delivers a performance of a lifetime in Sam Bahadur
  • Sam Bahadur plays at a theatre near you from the 1st of December, 2023

Name: Sam Bahadur

Director: Meghna Gulzar

Cast: Fatima Sana Shaikh,Sanya Malhotra,neeraj kabi,Vicky Kaushal

Writer: Meghna Gulzar

Rating: 3


Sam Bahadur is the life story of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, right from how he was named 'Sam', to the day he retires from his post. He fought 5 major wars as an army officer and is now looked-up by every individual who wishes to serve the country.

What works for Sam Bahadur:

Vicky Kaushal is what not just works but works wonders for Sam Bahadur. He nails Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw's mannerisms, accent and body language and gives one of the best performances by a mainstream actor. The film's dialogues are razer sharp. Few of them are so powerful that they will compel you to clap. The drama in the film, especially in the first half is very gripping. The war sequences have been shot lavishly and the cinematography is first rate. The movie has been woven well with actual historical footage, which not just increases the relatability but also makes it look and feel like an authentic depiction of true historical events. There's no doubt that Manekshaw's story will act as an inspiration to many army aspirants for years to come. The film will only make it more palatable for a wider set of audience that is not very used to reading.

What doesn't work for Sam Bahadur:

Sam Bahadur is episodic in nature and it may feel like one is watching short 10-minute stories of the great army general, through his eventful life. This may not look like an issue for someone who goes in to watch the film with the expectations of a documentary-drama. But for someone watching it with the expectations of it being a film that holds solid commercial value too, it, to an extent, underwhelms. The first half of Sam Bahadur is very gripping but the second half pales in comparison. Sam's life trajectory is such that the part of his life shown in the first half of the film is packed with some incredibly valorous stories and moments, something that the part of his life shown in the second half can't completely relate with. This leads to the film never matching the highs of the first half, in the second half. The pre-climax song featuring the cadets feels anti-climatic. Not only that but it acts as one of the rare portions where the film's screenplay feels like it's at a standstill.
Sam Bahadur's story could have gotten more justice in a series format than the movie format. His story just doesn't synchronise with the flow of films in general.

Watch the Sam Bahadur trailer

Performances in Sam Bahadur:

As specified above, Vicky Kaushal delivers one of the best performances by a mainstream actor in recent times. He is a performer who needs to be protected at all costs; Someone who deserves to get film scripts that match his calibre. Sanya Malhotra as Sam's wife Siloo Manekshaw is endearing. She brings simplicity to the film. Having said that, her role lacks impact. Fatima Sana Shaikh as former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is decent in her role. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Yahya Khan is terrific. His speech to the army before the partition of 1947 is perhaps the scene that gives the most goosebumps in the film. Other supporting actors in the movie do a great job and deserve heaps of praise.

Final Verdict of Sam Bahadur:

Sam Bahadur is a credible film that is elevated by Vicky Kaushal's extraordinary performance, and dialogues. The chilling story of Sam Manekshaw deserved to release in another format since neither his story compliments the film format, nor the film format does justice to his marvellous story.
You can watch Sam Bahadur at a theatre near you from the 1st of December, 2023.


A journalist who is perennially hungry for entertainment. Loves tracking and analyzing box office collections of movies. Also enjoys studying the func... Read more

Credits: Pinkvilla

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