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Movie Review: Masterful performance by Vicky Kaushal propels Sam Bahadur

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Movie Review: Masterful performance by Vicky Kaushal propels Sam Bahadur
Movie Review: Masterful performance by Vicky Kaushal propels Sam Bahadur

Rating: 3.5/5

Starring: Vicky Kaushal, Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Neeraj Kabi, Govind Namdeo, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub.

Director: Meghna Gulzar.

Screenplay: Meghna Gulzar, Shantanu Srivastava and Bhavani Iyer.

Dialogues: Meghna Gulzar, Shantanu Srivastava and Bhavani Iyer.

Story: Meghna Gulzar, Shantanu Srivastava and Bhavani Iyer.

Producers: Ronnie Screwvala.

Streaming on: ZEE5 Global.

Meghna Gulzar’s newest directorial movie, Sam Bahadur, is a biographical fiction on India’s first Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw who was no much less well-known than any Bollywood star of his time. The movie has obtained a good cut up between bouquets and brickbats from the viewers and critics. 

Making a fictionalised characteristic movie on a global, glamorous, real-life hero was an uphill climb. But Meghna Gulzar has nailed it proper and correct, aided by the great help of her staff evident proper by the movie. However, for the biographical characteristic movie, it is very important keep in mind that the narrative fiction of the story could not exactly coincide with the recorded biography of the topic the movie is being made on however can be about how the filmmaker perceives the topic, Nehru or Gandhi or Bose, and the way the filmmaker needs his/her viewers to see the topic. 

This hole between historic reality and private notion and interpretation of the filmmaker about this reality is definitely understood if one considers completely different narrations of historical past by completely different students, every one giving an account of a nationwide determine that’s completely different from the others. The validity of the topic of the celluloid discourse (cinema) and the authenticity of the movie needn’t essentially spring from actuality however fairly, from the essence of the filmmaker’s recollections, needs and desires concerning the topic he’s making the movie on. 

Filmmakers, as inventive artistes in their very own proper, are considerably reluctant to discover celluloid translations of historical past. They are inclined to supply new interpretations of historical past, make clear little-known info concerning the topic they wish to make a movie on, and even elevate questions not raised in the middle of educational analysis.

Meghna Gulzar (right) directed Vicky Kaushal in a role that he aced. Photo courtesy: Collected.
Vicky Kaushal (left) with Sam Bahadur director Meghna Gulzar. Photo courtesy: Collected

Let us first have a look at the ‘unfavorable’ factors. The movie stays fully silent on Sam’s boyhood crammed with naughtiness and mischief after throwing a minute-long glimpse of the new child Sam whose identify is modified from the unique “Cyrus” deemed to be unfortunate. It is essential to point out how such an awesome chief truly formed as much as turn into a nationwide hero throughout a number of the most crucial phases of India’s historical past of warfare and battle.

The different issue the movie doesn’t present in any respect is Sam’s private relationship along with his two daughters first and his spouse, second. Why? He is claimed to have had a contented household life, although for many of his youth and middle-age, he was positioned away from his speedy household. Even his spouse, Siloo (Sanya Malhotra) is marginalised with the standard of being proven as the traditional, suspicious spouse who doesn’t fairly take care of her husband’s imagined proximity to Indira Gandhi (Fatima Sana Sheikh) although journalistic reportage reveals her as the perfect life companion, in public life and in private relationship, of a nationwide hero. The solely closeness we’re witness to is Sam’s passing pot-shots on the South-based manservant who speaks English tinged closely along with his personal dialect and that’s all there may be to Sam Maneckshaw’s household life.

His full identify was Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw,Sheikh, however he was referred to by individuals who knew him and interacted with him personally and professionally, both known as him “Sam” or referred to him as “Sam Manekshaw”. Another flaw lies within the fairly unconvincing performance of Fatima Sana Shaikh, who appears to be like fairly awkward and stiff as Indira Gandhi as we see the attractive PM evolve from being the reigning PM’s (Neeraj Kabi) daughter to the robust first lady PM of India. One extra unfavorable shade lies within the marginalisation of the ladies within the movie, starting with the little Sam’s mom by his spouse, adopted by his two daughters, all three fairly robust in their very own proper. Why, since Meghna herself is a lady?

Fatima Sana Shaikh (2nd from left) and Neeraj Kavi (3rd from left) played former Indian Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, respectively. Photo courtesy: Collected.
Fatima Sana Shaikh (2nd from left) performs former India Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in Sam Bahadur. Photo courtesy: Collected.

Coming to the constructive strengths of the movie, one should concede that the best power of the movie lies within the extraordinarily well- researched performance of Vicky Kaushal within the title function. There is one dramatic scene within the movie the place we discover Sam Bahadur motivating his troopers simply previous to the India-Pakistan War, 1971, when he says with conviction, “Hum Rahe Na Rahe Humare Vardi Ka Gaurav Rehna Chahiye.” The depth and fireplace in Vicky’s voice, his physique language and his method of supply underscores how he initiatives by his masterful performance,  that he was maybe born to painting Sam Bahadur.  

Vicky Kaushal has taken nice pains to mimic from documented movie clips, the way in which Sam walked slightly bent along with his fingers collectively behind him, his blue eyes, his legendary moustache a lot intimately that at occasions, it turns into troublesome to separate him from the character he’s taking part in which is saying rather a lot as Sam was a Parsee whereas Vicky is just not. The iconisation of Sam throughout his lifetime as he went on climbing the ladder of fame, energy and success comes throughout the movie, full with lovely enhancing and apt cinematography, each of which will need to have labored as challenges for the respective craftsmen, have to be seen by the movie to be believed.

Meghna Gulzar brings to the fore historic milestones starting with the Burma War by World War II, adopted by the Sino-Indian War, the Indo-Pakistan War, and the Bangladesh Liberation War the place the incidents and occasions aren’t strung collectively for their very own sake or to flesh out the narrative however to avoid wasting the visible narration from turning into overly dramatised and preachy. 

The writing by Bhavani Iyer, Shantanu Srivastava, and Meghna herself pays shut particulars to Manekshaw’s shut however cautious camaraderie with PM Gandhi. Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub as Yahya Khan and Govind Namdev as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel do justice to their characters whereas we really feel charmed by the shut friendship of Sam and Yahya Khan once they had been younger which stands in distinction when the battle between the 2 nations forces the once-close associates stand reverse one another as ‘enemies.’ The cinematography by Jay Patel is flawless, particularly in capturing the battle scenes and the soundtrack matches this ideally, although it sounds a bit too loud at locations, thereby tending to dominate the dialogue. The background rating can be overpowering, which it didn’t must be.

One of the strongest factors of the movie is its prolific use of various media picked from historical past resembling documented newspaper clippings, photos, movie clips, footage of the Indian warfare scenario starting with the bombing of Burma (now Myanmar) by the Japanese and shutting with the 1971 warfare, the change in prime ministers over Sam’s tenure put up independence invests the movie with the sensation of a warfare documentary which is apt in a biopic on a warfare veteran. This use of assorted media picked rigorously and painstakingly from the archives of historical past provides a practical dimension to the fictionalised movie. All stated and achieved, Sam Bahadur is a really highly effective movie.

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