Sam Bahadur (2023) Movie: Biopic Of An Eminent War Hero

Home » Movie Review » Sam Bahadur (2023) Movie: Biopic Of An Eminent War Hero
Sam Bahadur (2023) Movie Featured Image

Sam Bahadur is a biopic of an eminent war hero Sam Manekshaw. Sam is renowned as an extraordinaire Field Marshal of India, he is loved by the common folks of the grateful nation.

The director Meghna Gulzar delivers a captivating film, even though she follows the less engaging documentary style of film-making. And lead actor Vicky Kaushal shines as Sam.

Synopsis (official) of the Sam Bahadur (Sam बहादुर/2023) Movie

To the Indian army, to the nation and its people, this film presents to you a glimpse into the life of India’s Greatest Soldier, Sam Manekshaw. It revolves around the high and low points of Sam Manekshaw who became the first Indian Army officer to be promoted to the rank of Field Marshal. It is a tribute to Field Marshal Sam HFJ Manekshaw, MC, India’s first Field Marshal and a legendary Army General.

His career witnessed the shaping of India’s geopolitical borders. His life was marked by significant milestones, from fighting in World War II to being the Chief of Army Staff during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. It led to the creation of Bangladesh. This film explores his dynamic personality and his unparalleled military career. Besides it offers a glimpse into the life of a no-nonsense Army Commander, also known as “Sam Bahadur” by the soldiers he led.

Spoiler Free Review of the Sam Bahadur (Sam बहादुर/2023) Movie

The introduction

A couple of years ago, we saw the following insightful interview of the terrific military general Sam Manekshaw on YouTube. That interview was an extended chat session between Sam and his doting young grandson. Most of this conversation was shot in his home name Stavka* in the popular hill station in the Southern part of India.

In War and Peace - The Life of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, MC | Check out his real life video interview on YouTube.

Please note that the *Stavka term refers to the General Headquarters of the Russian armed forces and subsequently in the Soviet Union. It was also mentioned in War and Peace novel.

Vicky, Sanya and Fatima have done a wonderful job

Now, when we watched this biographic movie based on his life, we felt that actor Vicky Kaushal had done most things right. He has also gotten very close to his nuanced personal style, for instance, his smart personality, mischievous eyes, mannerisms of the no-nonsense Indian army man, and a dedicated family man. As an actor, he has portrayed his character with a lot of depth and understanding.

Then there is Sanya Malhotra, who charmingly plays his wife Silloo Manekshaw. Then there is the unrecognizable Fatima Sana Shaikh, who plays the Iron Lady PM Indira Gandhi. These two have played their part perfectly. As the spotlight was entirely on Sam, the other actors in its ensemble cast did not have much to do.

Meghna Gulzar has done a great job, too

Meghna Gulzar has adopted an episodic style to narrate almost 5 decades of Sam’s life story. She has focused her attention on all the highlights of his life. Then there are quite a few sensitive Historical issues like British Colonialism, World War II, the war in Burma, the partitions of India and Pakistan, the China War, the creation of Bangladesh, etc.

Given all these complex issues, both as a writer and film director Meghna has done a very good job of focusing on Sam. She has recreated the different eras of India as well as made his actors perform well in the film. In addition, we liked that her film talks about the necessity of a good pension scheme for the soldiers in India – a matter of ongoing debate in India about Agniveer and other issues involving the Indian army.

We loved the ‘Banda’ song in it

Also, being a Hindi movie, the songs are mandatory. So, it has four songs – Badhte Chalo, Banda, Itni Si Baat and Dum Hai Toh Aaja. These songs are penned by Gulzar with their music composed by the trio of Shankar, Ehsaan, & Loy. Our favourite one is the Banda song. It rightly defines the character of Sam Manekshaw – the patriotic soldier of India.

But, what did we not like in this Hindi film?

No doubt, Sam has been immaculately portrayed by Vicky Kaushal. Except perhaps his exaggerated hunching (crouching) posture shown in the film, which we did not like. The Indian soldiers at a young age are asked to stand upright. We think Sam did not have a hunch when he joined the Indian Army in the pre-independence era. Maybe his posture changed in the post-Burma war, perhaps because of the extensive bullet wounds.

Besides, we did not like the way this film tried to undermine the towering historical personalities of Nehru, Patel, Indira, and others. Maybe it is due to prevailing politics in India.

The conclusion

This story is about the Gentleman Soldier – perhaps one of the most excellent military commanders that India has ever produced in this modern age. No wonder, he is loved by the commoners of the grateful nation India and other sub-continental nations. It is a remarkable movie to watch, in case you wish to know about the true hero Sam Bahadur.

Ratings of the 2023 Hindi biopic about India’s first Field Marshal

FM’s rating4.25/5
FM’s short commentsThis biopic of true Indian War hero Sam Manekshaw is a great cinematic experience. This film takes us into the historical journey of Sam as well as modern India in a couple of hours. Even though this movie feels more like a docu-drama, we really enjoyed his historical journey.
FM Rating of Sam Bahadur (Sam बहादुर/2023) Movie

Poster of the 2023 Hindi biopic about India’s first Field Marshal

Sam Bahadur (2023) Movie Poster
Sam Bahadur (Sam बहादुर/2023) Movie Poster

“If anyone tell you he is not afraid, he is a liar of or he is Gurkha.”

Sam Manekshaw (said in real life)

Key details of the 2023 Hindi biopic about India’s first Field Marshal

GenreBiography, Drama, War
Original languageHindi language (a bit of Punjabi, Gujarati, etc).

Please note that the Bahadur (बहादुर) means Brave, besides, Bahadur is a common middle name in the Nepalese community that forms the core cadres of the Gurkha regiment in the Indian Army.
ReleasedDecember, 2023
Duration2 hours 30 minutes
WritersBhavani Iyer, Shantanu Srivastava, Meghna Gulzar
DirectorMeghna Gulzar
CastVicky Kaushal (Sam Manekshaw), Sanya Malhotra (Silloo Manekshaw), Fatima Sana Shaikh (Indira Gandhi), Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub (Yahya Khan), Neeraj Kabi (Jawaharlal Nehru), Govind Namdeo (Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel), Darius Chinoy (Air Chief Marshal P C Lal), etc.
DistributorsRSVP Films
About – Sam Bahadur (Sam बहादुर/2023) Movie.

Trailer of the 2023 Hindi biopic about India’s first Field Marshal

Trailer – Sam Bahadur (Sam बहादुर/2023) Movie.

In case you like to see more Hindi movies about wars fought by India, read about the Pippa (2023) movie too.

Featured Image & Poster of the Sam Bahadur (2023) Movie | RSVP Film

Discover more from Focus Magazine

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Scroll to Top