Laced with a fine performance SIRF EK BANDAA KAAFI HAI is a gripping courtroom drama

Bandaa Review {3.5/5} & Review Rating

SIRF EK BANDAA KAAFI HAI is the story of a man who fights for justice single-handedly. The year is 2013. A 16-year-old girl Nu Singh (Adrija Sinha) approaches the cops along with her family in Delhi and complains that the influential Baba (Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha) sexually assaulted her. The incident took place in Jodhpur and hence, the Jodhpur police arrests Baba based on this complaint. Noor’s family learn that their lawyer has taken up the case simply to extort money from Baba’s team. They inform the cops about it who recommend the family to hire the services of Poonam Chand Solanki aka P C Solanki (Manoj Bajpayee). The righteous lawyer with a deep understanding of sexual crime cases decides to accept the case, despite challenges. His thorough knowledge of POCSO (Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences Act) and other provisions of the law prove handy and prevent Baba from getting bail. But the challenges remain. Several witnesses in the case get eliminated and there’s a threat to P C Solanki’s life as well. What happens next forms the rest of the film.


Deepak Kingrani’s story (Story research by Vijay Chaturvedi) is powerful. That it is inspired by a real incident adds to the shock and intrigue value. Deepak Kingrani’s screenplay is effective. The courtroom scenes, especially, are well thought out and keep the interest going. In some scenes, however, the writing falters. Deepak Kingrani’s dialogues are one of the film’s biggest strengths. A film like this ought to have strong punchlines and in this regard, the dialogue writer comes out with flying colours.

Apoorv Singh Karki’s direction is first-rate. He makes good use of the powerful script and dialogues and adds the required drama to the narrative. The way he has helmed simple scenes and enhanced the impact is praiseworthy, like Baba’s arrest, Baba greeting his followers and distributing sweets outside the court, Solanki narrating the road accident story etc. Also, aspects, not connected to the main plot, contribute a lot to the film. For instance, the bond between P C Solanki and the defence lawyer. Also, P C Solanki, being a small-time lawyer in a small town, is shown to be star-struck when prominent lawyers are appointed to defend Baba. However, the way Solanki maintains a balance between being a fanboy and being an upright lawyer is a masterstroke both by Manoj Bajpayee and the director.

On the flipside, the film gets a bit haphazard in the middle, which comes as a shock since the film flows smoothly in the first 45 minutes. The makers fail to explain to the viewers who Mahesh Bhavchandani was. Also, the track of Baba’s son is not properly executed and will leave viewers confused. Secondly, in several places, one might feel that there’s a lack of tension in the narrative. It becomes predictable and repetitive after a point to see P C Solanki managing to counter every argument put forward by the defence very easily. One wishes there were scenes where P C Solanki is cornered or that he’s able to bounce back after facing some challenging situations in the court.

Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai | Official Trailer | Manoj Bajpayee | A ZEE5 Original Film

Speaking of performances, Manoj Bajpayee hits the ball out of the park. He has delivered several memorable performances but his act in SIRF EK BANDAA KAAFI HAI stands out. The way he gets into the skin of his character is seen to be believed. Several of his scenes are memorable and watch out for him in the climax. Vipin Sharma (Pramod Sharma) generates an impact with his solid performance. Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha is apt for the part and leaves a mark. Adrija Sinha plays a challenging character with ease. Durga Sharma (Nu’s mother) and Jai Hind Kumar (Nu’s father) are fine. Abhijit Lahiri (Ram Chandvani) rocks the show, though he’s there for just one scene. The same goes for Saurabh Sharma (Nu’s first lawyer). Archana Dani (Mrs Bapat; school principal) is excellent and her scene would have been greeted with claps in cinemas, had this film not been a direct-to-OTT release. Ikhlaque Ahmed Khan (Judge) is dependable. Kaustav Sharma (Bittu; Solanki’s junior) is decent. Priyanka Setia (Inspector Chanchal Mishra) has a good screen presence but doesn’t have much to do in the film. Manish Mishra (Inspector Amit Sial) is passable. Vivek Sinha (Baba’s son) is wasted. The actors playing Venkateshwar Swamy and Solanki’s mother are fair.

There are only two songs in the film. ‘Bandeya’ is memorable to an extent due to Sonu Nigam’s soulful voice. ‘Bandaa’ is played in the opening credits. Sandeep Chowta’s background score is topnotch. Arjun Kukreti’s cinematography is satisfactory. Rabindra Kumar Sonar’s costumes for Manoj Bajpayee and Avani Pratap Gumber’s costumes for other actors are straight out of life. Mohammed Amin Khatib’s action is limited yet effective. Sumeet Kotian’s editing is sharp but gets haphazard at places

On the whole, SIRF EK BANDAA KAAFI HAI is a gripping courtroom drama and is laced with one of the finest performances by Manoj Bajpayee.

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