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1. A Missed Opportunity for Cinematic Brilliance

In the highly-anticipated film “Sam Bahadur,” director Meghna Gulzar aims to bring the legendary Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw to life, with Vicky Kaushal in the lead role. However, despite the promising elements, the movie falls short of delivering the narrative fireworks and depth needed to elevate it beyond a straightforward retelling.

2. Kaushal’s Charisma Rescues the Character

While the overall impact of the film may miss the mark, Vicky Kaushal’s portrayal of Sam Manekshaw stands out as a commendable performance. In a year where Kaushal faced underwhelming roles, “Sam Bahadur” allowed him to showcase his magic, reminiscent of his outstanding performances in films like “Sardar Udham” and “Raazi.”

3. Emotional Depth Through Supporting Characters

Sanya Malhotra, portraying Sam’s wife Silloo Bode, adds emotional depth to the narrative, complementing Kaushal’s maverick energy with a compelling performance. However, Fatima Sana Shaikh’s portrayal of Indira Gandhi falls short, with casting choices contributing to the unsteady depiction.

4. Musical Missteps and Cinematic Struggles

The film’s musical score, surprising given the talent of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, is criticized as loud, distracting, and unmelodious. Despite effective use of archival footage, the movie grapples with passive linearity and staccato time leaps.

5. Moments of Sweetness Amidst Disjointed Narratives

“Sam Bahadur” finds moments of sweetness and engagement in individual segments depicting Manekshaw’s life, expertly executed by cinematographer Jay I Patel. However, the film’s attempts to weave these segments together often result in a disjointed feel, requiring some slack due to its largely sanguine tone.

6. A Standout Performance in Need of Deeper Exploration

While Vicky Kaushal’s performance remains a standout, “Sam Bahadur” leaves audiences yearning for more cinematic brilliance and a deeper exploration of its central character. Despite its strengths, the film falls short of reaching the heights set by Gulzar’s previous successes.

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