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Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai

Farhad Dalal
Farhad Dalal
4 Star popcorn reviewss


Onto the final release of the weekend and I did get a chance to watch and review the new Hindi film Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai which will start streaming on Zee5 23rd May’23 onwards. And there are a couple of reasons that I was looking forward to watching this film. Firstly, the film is directed by Apoorv Singh Karki, a name synonymous with a few TVF shows like Saas Bahu Achaar Pvt Ltd and Flames. For me, it was interesting to see on how he would venture about in a non TVF content and especially given the hard-hitting subject. Secondly, the film does star Manoj Bajpayee and that is a reason in itself!

Manoj Bajpayee has been such a prolific performer for the longest time now. An actor who did show his mettle in an iconic role of Bhikhu Mhatre in Satya to constantly experimenting and dabbling with different genres with films like Gulmohar, the man is honestly one of the best actors in the circuit currently. And so the hard-hitting subject of Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai demanded a strong performer, and I was really keen on watching another one of the monumental performances of Manoj Bajpayee. So then does Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai manage to impress, lets find out.

Story & Screenplay

Based on the true events of the Asaram Bapu case of 2013, Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai follows the story of an honest lawyer who will stop at nothing in bringing justice to his client who is scarred for life following a heinous crime by a ‘saint’. The story here is sensitive and extremely hard-hitting given its subject which was also showcased earlier in the Hindi webseries Aashram. But the difference between this film and Aashram is that this film does unfold from the side of the victim. And the writing here is consistently heavy and does not provide any respite to the viewers with its storytelling. The screenplay standing at about 130 odd minutes will make me uncomfortable and angry with the turn of events which in return make for such a compelling watch.

The drama here does open with the introduction of a young teenager who along with her parents are at a police station to report a crime. As the young begins to narrate the heinous crime, you as a viewer are made to feel uncomfortable and angry right from the start, that does set the ball rolling for things to follow. The fight which did seem improbable to begin with, considering the powerful nature of the culprit(who may well have had political connections) is almost like a David vs Goliath story. There are obstacles that are thrown in very early on, and with a turn of events you are introduced to the protagonist who does add respite to the family.

The proceedings are supremely gripping and almost evenly focused on the courtroom drama. The scenes are filled with tension which did keep me invested throughout despite me being aware of the verdict of the actual case that had transpired. The events are interesting given how witnesses are either manipulated, bought or bumped off, yet the protagonist continues to march on. Now even in terms of writing, there are sharp bits of social commentary that run through as an undercurrent. The loopholes in the system are deftly showcased while also allowing the viewers a glimpse into the personal life of the protagonist. There are minor flaws with the scene transitions given how quickly the witnesses are bumped off without a proper buildup. But you do tend to overlook them due to the gripping narrative and a monumental performance of the highest order(more on that later).

The events leading up to the final act are interesting and I did like how the tension levels rise with respect to the personal life and insecurity of the protagonist. We are briefly exposed to his psyche wherein he does fear his worst, only to get back on track with the case. The final act here is hard-hitting and I know that this film is premiering on Zee5, but had this been a theatrical release, there would have been a rousing applause particularly in that moving scene wherein the rousing speech of the protagonist is bound to give you goosebumps! The screenplay here(mostly brilliantly penned) may have had a few flaws but all that is forgotten by the end of it, in what was a stirring act!

Dialogues, Music & Direction

This is a dialogues heavy film and the lines are sharp and rousing. The arguments presented through the lines are also excellent and make for such an impactful viewing. The music and BGM are raw and filled with tension that does go perfectly well with the vibe of the drama. The cinematography is brilliant and captures some stunning frames in the drama. The editing, particularly in scene transitions could have been sharper but I will let that pass. Director Apoorv Singh Karki does an exceptional job with this rather sensitive but hard-hitting subject. His ability to create moments which would potentially rile up emotions of disgust and angst is what makes the drama supremely impactful. The direction is excellent here.


The performances are really good here. Jaihind Kumar as Nu’s father, Priyanka Setia as Chanchan Mishra, Nikhil Pandey As Amit and Kaustav Sinha as Guddu have their moments to shine. Surya Mohan Kulshretha as Baba will make your blood boil simply by his looks and expressions. Adrija Sinha as Nu delivers a gut-wrenching and heartfelt performance. You always sympathize with her character which makes her character portrayal efficient. Vipin Sharma as the lawyer of Baba is wonderful to watch and his banter with Manoj Bajpayee is excellent to witness.

Which brings me to Manoj Bajpayee who delivers a monumental performance for the ages as PC Solanki. He starts off on a playful note and there are streaks of humour in his performance. This made me realise that he might be well aware of how heavy the drama is and so he did ease out the nerves through his performance. But he was absolutely rousing in the courtroom scenes particularly in the final act that made me standup in my living room and give him a loud round of applause. This performance is one of the best in his career and a true blue acting masterclass by one of the finest and refined actors in our country!


Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai is a gripping and hard-hitting courtroom drama backed by a monumental performance by Manoj Bajpayee. Available on Zee5 from 23rd May ’23 and Highly Recommended!

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