Manoj Bajpayee’s Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai moves to theatres after OTT: It proves that web is not a threat or competition

Jun 02, 2023 06:25 PM IST

Actor Manoj Bajpayee is happy that the dividing lines between theatres and OTT space are blurring slowly, and his recent OTT release, Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai, has now released in theatres, too.

After much deliberation, Manoj Bajpayee’s recent OTT release, Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai, has finally opened on the big screen, and the actor calls it a “symbolic release”. He says it is the “first step” towards wiping away the perception that the streaming is a threat to theatre business.

Actor Manoj Bajpayee was recently seen in the web project, In Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai, in which he stars as a lawyer PC Solanki, who is not scared to take on the powerful (AFP)
Actor Manoj Bajpayee was recently seen in the web project, In Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai, in which he stars as a lawyer PC Solanki, who is not scared to take on the powerful (AFP)

The film has been released in select cinemas, in total 20 locations in four circuits — Mumbai, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar, while it continues to be available for streaming as well.

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“This is a symbolic release. There was a massive demand on social media coming from the audience asking for a theatre release, so just to appreciate the fact that there was so much excitement and they wanted this release, we are doing it,” Bajpayee tells us.

Asked who would come to watch the film as it is also available on the web, the actor shares, “I know people will come to watch because I know the love Bandaa is getting and the excitement audience has for this film. They want to experience it on the big screen, too. We are giving that opportunity to them to experience it one more time on the big screen because this is what they wanted.”

For the actor, the decision to release the film in theatres is a bonus, as he was already extremely happy with the idea at the discussion stage itself. “So far, theatrical releases eventually come out on OTT platforms after a given time frame. I hope this decision of taking an OTT film to the theatres, changes how people think about these two mediums and how they can coexist [if given a chance],” reveals the 54-year-old.

Bajpayee, who made a name for himself in the OTT space with web show The Family Name and web film Gulmohar, believes this move will also start the much needed trend in our industry, “proving that theatre and the OTT space should compliment each other rather than being looked at as a competition”.

Given that Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai is already a success with audiences heaping praises for the film and particularly Bajpayee’s performance, the actor asserts that its theatrical release will now usher in a new trend altogether where numbers would become secondary.

“Nobody was talking about the numbers when it released on OTT and even now when it’s available in theatres, people will only talk about the craft, creativity, technique, performances, lightning and camera work. And these are the things that one should be talking about [while watching a film]. The numbers are something which is a concern to producers, distributors and exhibitors and should not affect audiences,” explains the actor, who essayed the role of lawyer PC Solanki, who fought the trial against for five years against a godman accused in the rape case of a minor.

While Bajpayee continues to get appreciation from all corners including audiences and critics, he doesn’t really the “adjectives” coming his way seriously and feels it’s his job as an actor to put his best foot forward.

He tells us, “When Gulmohar came out, everyone said the same things. So, why take it as a compliment for each and every project and performance? There are many projects which are going to follow. As an artiste, I try to do justice to the role, be sincere and truthful to the character, and perform it to the best of my ability. Also, you can’t compare Gulmohar’s performance with Bandaa’s performance because their demands were different.”

Before wrapping up, he mentions, “If someone tells me you have done complete justice to the character, I would take that, but when they say it was ‘Good, better or best’, then I don’t take it seriously.”

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    Delhi-based Sugandha Rawal is a movie buff, and writes on Bollywood, Hollywood, Television, OTT and Music for the daily entertainment and lifestyle supplement, HT City.

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