CAST: Manoj Bajpayee,Vipin Sharma, Adrija, Jaihind Kumar, Durga Sharma
DIRECTOR: Apoorv Singh Karki
Manoj Bajpayee’s Sirf Ek Banda Kaafi Hai is inspired by the real-life events surrounding the conviction of Godman Asaram Bapu. While Bobby Deol’s series Ashram was also inspired by the Godman; this movie is the story of lawyer P C Solanki who survived the attempts by powerful allies of the Godman in burying the case, eliminating the witnesses, and discrediting the victim.
In the intense battle between a movie’s storytelling and its lead actor, “Sirf Ek Banda Kaafi Hai” presents a gripping narrative inspired by real events of the case of this self-styled godman being charged with the rape of a minor in his ashram.
Manoj Bajpayee shines as B. C. Solanki, the determined lawyer who fights for justice with a clinical and persuasive trial against the flaws of the Indian judicial system.
While the film’s premise is compelling, it struggles against its own manipulative treatment and commercial courtroom tropes. Bajpayee’s emphatic performance engages in a perpetual battle with the film’s over-the-top aesthetics and aggressive storytelling. As viewers, we become the judges presiding over this struggle, witnessing the clash between a talented actor and the movie’s loud and formulaic approach.
The movie’s simplistic style, reminiscent of packaged TV shows, sets the stage from the start. The exaggerated opening credits and aggressive background score attempt to create tension, but often feel forced. Additionally, the film suffers from an inconsistent tone and a lack of attention to detail, with characters and plot elements lacking depth and believability.
However, amidst these shortcomings, Bajpayee stands out as the true highlight of the film. His portrayal of Solanki brings depth and authenticity to the character, elevating him beyond the clichés of the genre. Bajpayee’s nuanced performance captures Solanki’s quirks, fears, and determination, making him a relatable and compelling protagonist. His portrayal also explores the complexities of religion and faith, offering a refreshing perspective within the character’s cultural context.
While “Sirf Ek Banda Kaafi Hai” may not be considered prestige television, Bajpayee’s outstanding performance makes it worth watching. Do not miss his monologue at the end where he quotes the Ramayan with conviction. He surpasses the film’s shallow arguments and rises above its noise, becoming the driving force that turns it from a bad watch into a watchable story.
Ultimately, his portrayal serves as a powerful reminder of the nuances and complexities of contemporary India. Sometimes, one man truly is enough to make a difference. Manoj Bajpayee should be an Indian national treasure, who is always enough to change the fate of a story.