The film is at its most watchable when dramatising fun anecdotes from Manekshaw’s life. When he takes a round of machine-gun fire to the chest, nobody thinks he can survive. A doctor asks Manekshaw what happened to him; he replies that he was kicked by a mule and the doctor determines that any man with such a sense of humour must be saved at all costs.
Where this approach lands the film in trouble is in the overall shape of the drama – the incidents and set-pieces are neatly done, but the structure is somewhat episodic. It’s a perennial problem for biopics; how to give events the momentum of fiction when the underlying narrative is fact. This leaves the film feeling like a demonstration of the variously attributed maxim that history is simply one damned thing after another.