Sam Bahadur Review: Vicky Kaushal, Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh are ‘here’ to win hearts, not battles

Film: Sam Bahadur 

Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh 

Director: Meghna Gulzar

Rating: 4 moons


“I’m Okay,” was something Sam Manekshaw said often even when the scenario wasn’t ‘okay’. Indeed, nobody will be okay as his biopic, Sam Bahadur, will fill you with millions of emotions. Humour, patriotism, drama, love and bravery. One will find these all in abundance in this Meghna Gulzar directorial.


Sam Bahadur, a name given to Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, traces his journey from birth to retirement. Born to a military father, Sam’s (Vicky Kaushal) sole aim is to protect his country and countrymen. Being a charmer, his fellow mates are envious. While he wooed Silloo (Sanya Malhotra), Sam also conquered challenges at the Indian Military Academy to become one of the best. 


As Sam climbs the ladder of success, he encounters Indira (Fatima Sana Shaikh), the daughter of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who then becomes the Prime Minister of India. An interesting relationship between Sam and Indira has been established. 


Sam Bahadur explores the journey of Manekshaw who’s a real life superhero wearing the uniform. Biopics can be tricky but Meghna handles Sam Manekshaw’s story efficiently. Without making it a boring history chapter, she uses the involvement of people around Sam to build his story and world. 


The story progresses at a fast pace and rarely slows down. Touching upon important events in his life, Sam Bahadur cinematically depicts his bravery and intelligence. 


 Despite being a visual delight boasting of great performances, Sam Bahadur lacks density at certain points. The relationship between Sam-Silloo-Indira could have made for interesting and fresh takes to the film. His love story and even conflicts with Pakistan get lesser space. This hampers the conviction ability of the film. The first half ably acts as a building block whereas the second half shoots high like a missile. The conclusion, though, feels rushed. 

Meghna brings out the best in hera ctors. Giving them an open field to play with expressions and emotions, she allows them to rule the entire canvas. Sam Bahadur is yet another gripping drama from the house of Ms. Gulzar. 

Vicky Kaushal submits himself to the story and becomes Sam Bahadur right from the first frame. He gets the flamboyance and charm of a Parsi man perfectly. There isn’t a single dull moment when he’s around. Vicky delivers yet another career-defining performance. 

Sanya Malhotra is the sunshine of Sam Bahadur. Her innocence and pleasing on-screen presence has been utilised to the core and she impresses. The actress naturally wins your heart with her sweet and heartwarming performance. Silloo is Sam’s heart and the film’s too. 

Fatima Sana Shaikh might come later in the film but she covers up with her incredible performance as Indira. There’s sternness yet softness to her. Not just physically, Fatima transformed into Indira mentally and emotionally too.

The cinematography of Sam Bahadur is top notch. The hilly terrains are captured beautifully. Music is an add-on! Offering a variety of melodies to play on loop, the album is a winner. 

Sam Bahadur is an earnest and fitting tribute to Sam Manekshaw! A theatrical film that’s not to be missed.