Why on earth would any sensible director—and going by Meghna Gulzar’s record, she qualifies—cast Vicky Kaushal as General Sam Manekshaw? The wiry young gaunt actor looks nothing like the General,neither in body nor in spirit nor in speech.
Apparently the role was offered to Ranveer Singh. And it’s a pity he is not doing it. Ranveer with his boisterous personality and unplumbed energy, is the perfect fit for General Manekshaw. Unfortunately Ranveer was playing another well-known real-life character—cricketer Kapil Dev in Kabir Khan’s ’83—and didn’t want to take on another bio-pic so soon after.
It is for this reason that Deepika Padukone also opted out of Meghna Gulzar’s Sam Bahadur. After Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak where Deepika played a real-life victim of an acid attack, Gulzar Jr wanted Deepika to play Mrs Manekshaw. But Deepika was already committed to play the supporting role of Mrs Kapil Dev in ’83.
Meghna Gulzar then opted for her Raazi leading man as Manekshaw and Sanya Malhotra as his missus which seems to be compromise casting. Vicky Kaushal who comes freshly from his triumph as Udham Singh in Shoojit Sircar’s film,would find it hard to merge into General Manekshaw’s personality.
We can only pray for the best.