Bhaiyya Ji, why this? : The Tribune India

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Bhaiyya Ji, why this?

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Bhaiyya Ji, why this?

Manoj Bajpayee’s 100th film does no justice to his talent and ability.



Film: Bhaiyya Ji

Director: Apoorv Singh Karki

Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Vipin Sharma, Jatin Goswami, Suvinder Vicky, Zoya Hussain, Akash Makhija, Amrendra Sharma and Bhageerathi Bai Kadam

Parbina Rashid

Bollywood is not ready to let go of its ‘Animal’ instinct. If anything, it has found its template in the 2023 Ranbir Kapoor-starrer. We thought we had seen the ‘wildest’ side of the industry with Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s offering, but director Apoorv Singh Karki proves us wrong. So, what we witness in between a computer-generated crow refusing to partake of the food left outside for a departed soul to finally eating it is — violence, violence and violence.

The story is based on a simple premise. Ram Charan aka Bhaiyya Ji’s (Manoj Bajpayee) younger brother from another mother (literally) is killed outside the New Delhi railway station by Chandra Bhan Singh’s (Suvinder Vicky) son Abhimanyu (Jatin Goswami) and his friends in a spat over paranthas. The murder forces Bhaiyya Ji out of his retired Robinhood mode. The director is kind enough to fill us in on his background with the help of a voice-over from Bhaiyya Ji himself.

As the middle-aged ‘Family Man’ transforms from a meek would-be groom to a monster-on-the-loose, so does his fiancée Mitali (Zoya Hussain). To save her man, she joins him on the battleground, shooting any and everybody that comes within her eye-line. A voice informs us that she has been a national-level shooter. Don’t believe? Footage from her target practice is juxtaposed with the scenes when she goes pumping bullets at the enemy.

Karki does not leave anything to chance. He heavily depends on Sandeep Chowta’s deafening background score, over-the-top dialogues and suggestive songs to convey what he wants to. And, when the plot thickens and the violence becomes too much to handle, Karki, who has co-written the story with Deepak Kingrani, takes the easy way out. He simply makes everything fall into place by concocting co-incidences.

Bhaiyya Ji, after being informed about his brother’s accident, finds the ‘real’ cause of death as he finds the right cop (Vipin Sharma) who thinks nothing of giving out sensitive information, a priest in the rival camp identifies Bhaiyya Ji just by listening to a voice on the speaker phone even though Bhaiyya Ji’s area of operation is Bihar and the villain and his bratish son are thorough-bred Delhites. Everything moves in one direction to make Bhaiyya Ji extract his pound of flesh.

But despite everything happening to facilitate our hero, he takes an agonising 135 minutes to say, ‘mission accomplished’. They jump, crawl, shoot and slit (throats), and we wince till numbness takes over.

There are some funny moments too. Like the priest boasting how Bhaiyya Ji once pursued an enemy who unfortunately went into coma after being shot. Bhaiyya Ji footed the hospital bill for 10 long years for the man to come out of it and when he did, he shot him dead. Such dedication! Only if the same dedication was shown on the script! What can one say about an entire village marching to the enemy den in the national capital wielding sticks and machetes? In fact, they transport themselves from Bihar to Delhi and then back as if it’s walking distance. Cops remain out of sight amid all the mayhem. Even the politicians decide to give them a free run.

The cinematography, too, seems like having been done by an intern. Be it the action scenes or the blood fest or the explosions, they look like imports from a video game. There is a scene that shows Bhaiyya Ji falling into a river in slow motion. It makes us sad, but not for the apparent reason.

‘Bhaiyya Ji’ happens to be Bajpayee’s 100th film and this milestone of this very talented actor is drowned in Bollywood’s tried, tested and failed formula. Sad!