From Vicky Kaushal’s powerful performance to Meghna Gulzar’s directorial excellence, here are 5 reasons why you should watch this war biopic, portraying the life of field marshal Sam Manekshaw.
Vicky Kaushal in a still from Sam Bahadur
Starring the versatile Vicky Kaushal and helmed by Meghna Gulzar, the historical war drama Sam Bahadur hit the theatres on December 1 and soon became an audience favourite. The 148-minute war spectacle, highlighting the life of India's first field marshal, Sam Manekshaw, touches upon the themes of bravery, patriotism, sacrifice and leadership. Made on a shoestring budget of ₹55 crore only, the film has grossed ₹128.16 crore thus far. Moreover, it also won big at the recently held 69th Filmfare Awards.
A little after a month of its theatrical run, Sam Bahadur started streaming on ZEE5 on January 26, 2024. Well, just in time, we’d say, since, after all, Republic Day was a good day to launch a war drama on an OTT platform, right? Here are the top five reasons why we think you should not miss watching this thrilling war escapade:
An intriguing sneak peek into Sam Manekshaw’s life
The film's protagonist, Sam Manekshaw, is an intriguing individual. Over the course of his forty-year tenure, the former Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army witnessed five wars. He was India's first field marshal and crafted the victory in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war that resulted in the formation of Bangladesh. His narrative is so compelling that it looks like it was meant for the big screen and OTT platforms alike.
Vicky Kaushal’s adaptability for different roles
Jog your memory and you'll recall Vicky ‘Versatile’ Kaushal in an officer’s attire in Uri: The Surgical Strike in 2019. Fast forward five years, and Vicky Kaushal has learned, adapted and taken his performance up by a million notches, including the talk-of-the-town Sam Bahadur. His physique was shaped by intense physical training to resemble that of a field marshal. In addition to faithfully imitating Sam Manekshaw's distinctive slender posture, Kaushal also thoroughly embraced the icon's psychological traits.
Meghna Gulzar’s directorial excellence
Raised by the sensitivity of ace film lyricist Gulzar and the complexity of roles and emotions portrayed by veteran actress Rakhi, the offspring in Meghna Gulzar outdoes herself with every other film she makes. Unquestionably, the screenwriter and director in her brought forth a mix of her parental legacy while giving all her heart to the film. Interestingly, her second collaboration with Vicky Kaushal is reason enough to watch the flick on ZEE5 right away.
A strong ensemble cast featuring Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra
Sam Bahadur has an unusual ensemble cast, which includes Badhai Ho lead actress Sanya Malhotra as Sam's wife, Silloo Manekshaw. Jawaharlal Nehru is portrayed by Neeraj Kabi, while Dangal fame Fatima Sana Shaikh plays India's Prime Minister at the time, Indira Gandhi. Govind Namdev, who portrays Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, who portrays Yahya Khan, the third Pakistani president, are among the other cast members. These artists have all demonstrated that they are at the top of their game and can give powerful performances.
Universal themes of patriotism, bravery, and sacrifice
The 1971 Indo-Pakistan War, in which Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw led the Indian Army, that ultimately resulted in the independence of Bangladesh, provides a context for Sam Bahadur. Aside from the evident historical background, the film explores themes that are universal to all Indians, regardless of generation: bravery, patriotism, and sacrifice. It is essential viewing because of its gripping plot and emotional resonance.