Sam Bahadur Review: Vicky Kaushal is the Lone Warrior

Rahul Desai

In Short, He’s a Blast To Watch

You can tell Kaushal is enjoying the heck out of it – that sing-song voice, the performative charm, the lilting gait, the British hangover, the silver-tongued swag. 

When He Pushes, The Film-Making Pulls

Yet, in spite of starring in a biopic that spans at least four wars, Vicky Kaushal’s biggest war is with the film itself. For most of its 150-minute running time, there’s an intense tussle between the pedigree of the actor and the dullness of the narrative.

Summarising a Life

For starters, the structure of Sam Bahadur lacks depth. It’s so safe, so straightforward, that I almost expected to see a “storytelling is injurious to health” disclaimer at the bottom. It unfolds in glib episodes.

Losing and Almost-Winning

In terms of politics and treatment, Sam Bahadur is another addition to Bollywood’s fast-growing Bangladesh Liberation War multiverse. a space shared by mainstream Indian war movies that use the tragedies of 1971 as disposable tubes for its own skincare routine.

I Suppose The Word I’ve Also Been Looking For Is ‘Disappointing’

Sam Bahadur is created by the team behind Raazi (2018), a rare espionage thriller that humanized the ‘enemy’ and investigated the very nature of patriotism.

There’s a Thin Line

Between Sam Manekshaw winning and Sam Bahadur losing. The biopic makes the mistake of conveying him through the lens of modern nationalism. It believes in what he stands for, but only talks the walk.