Suparn S. Varma’s Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai is directed by Apoorv Singh Karki. The film is based on the real-life events of the Asaram Bapu case. We all know the heinous crimes committed by this self-proclaimed saint. For those who don’t know, Asaram Bapu raped a 16-year-old minor in 2013 and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2018. He is currently serving his life term at Jodhpur prison.
Sirf Ekk Bandaa Kaafi Hai starts with a family going to the Police Station to register an FIR. Their daughter has been raped by the Baba after he called her to his ashram on the pretext of freeing her from the evil souls. The girl is scared while filing a complaint, and after knowing about the FIR, the media gathers outside the station. Nu Singh, a 16-year-old girl went to Bhindwara Ashram School run by the same Baba. The man took advantage of her situation, touched her private parts, and raped her.
While the girl was struggling to tell her truth to the world, the same Baba could be seen sitting in a Satsang and preaching lines like “Without spiritualism, wisdom can’t be awakened”. Surely his words don’t match his actions and the Police come to arrest him while he was sitting in this gathering. This angered his followers as in their eyes he was the messenger of God or even God himself. There was outrage in Jodhpur City, and a curfew was imposed.
PC Solanki was advised to the rape survivor’s family by a woman constable as he understands POCSO (The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012) better than anyone in the city. Before agreeing to fight the case, Solanki asks questions to the mother, father, and child separately to understand clearly what had happened. After he agreed to take the case, the girl’s father asked him what amount he’ll take. The response is one of the best things that I’ve ever heard. He said that the girl’s smile would be his fee.
Solanki knew very well that he has to win every hearing of the case because if Baba is granted bail then he’ll fly to some destination from which it’ll be difficult for him to grab him back to court. Many witnesses are killed in this process, and the case is fought for five long years amidst which the Baba’s lawyers made several excuses like the girl being a major or his deteriorating health. Various high-profile lawyers are brought to fight the case among which one said to Solanki that Baba is a good man as he made several hospitals and schools. Solanki replies, “Making schools and hospitals don’t give license to rape”. Every argument made by Solanki in the court made sure that the Baba doesn’t receive bail.
I liked everything about the film, like its cast, plot, and storytelling; however, I couldn’t understand that PC Solanki won every hearing. This thing went in the favor of the rape survivor, but it is hard to believe that a case would go so smoothly without facing any setbacks, especially in India. The killing of the witnesses was included, but other than that, the film was smooth and clear from the start. My only question is if any case in India can be a winner in every hearing. Even in real-life incidents, be it the Asaram Bapu case from which the film is inspired, the journey wasn’t smooth.
The film might be an uncomfortable watch for the followers of this rapist and as the reports are to be believed, they even sent a legal notice to the makers of Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai. Films like this need to be made to inspire children that they’re not alone and the fight will continue till the truth comes out. Manoj Bajpayee nailed the role of real-life PC Solanki who fought in the Asaram Bapu case and he knows how to keep the viewers engaged. Kudos to this actor who keeps his projects realistic and always brings meaningful projects to the screen. This courtroom drama is undoubtedly amongst the best performances of the actor, and I pray and hope that he continues to deliver the same.
I insist all the readers watch Sirf Ek Banda Kaafi Hai with their families. The film has a great plot, an unblemished performance from the King of OTT Manoj Bajpayee, and a perfect portrayal of emotions. Manoj Bajpayee’s way of portraying the fear he is going through is among the best scenes I have seen till now. He didn’t show anyone he was afraid, but through his expressions, you know that the man is afraid himself but is keeping a strong front to help the 16-year-old girl who handed over her truth to him.
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