Bhaiyya Ji review: Manoj Bajpayee buckles under this deafening actioner

The famed actor's 100th outing is a hotch-potch of a 'mass' genre film that Hindi cinema has yet to properly crack.

BySwaroop Kodur

Published:May 25, 2024

A poster of the film Bhaiyya Ji

Bhaiyya Ji (Hindi)

24-05-2024, Action/Crime Drama, 2 hours 15 minutes U/A
  • Main Cast:Manoj Bajpayee, Suvinder Vicky, Vipin Sharma, and Jatin Goswami
  • Director:Apoorv Singh Karki
  • Producer:Vinod Bhanushali, Kamlesh Bhanushali, and Shabana Raza Bajpayee
  • Music Director:Aditya Dev and Manoj Tiwari
  • Cinematography:Arjun Kukreti



If the Hollywood flicks Taken (2008) or John Wick (2014) were originally assigned to filmmaker Boyapati Srinu, the result might be Bhaiyya Ji.

Those familiar with the Telugu director’s work would know exactly the visuals I am trying to conjure up.

And those who aren’t, well, that visual mostly includes a vengeful man taking on an entire load of bad guys while defying gravity, as things move about in ultra slow-motion.

Not to forget that the background score is nearly ear-splitting in these proceedings.

But even Boyapati Srinu, at his unabashed best, might reckon that the latest Manoj Bajpayee film is banking on these decorations a bit too much and very little on a well-written script.

Bhaiyya Ji is billed to be a full-blown, no-holds-barred actioner that begins its journey on a strong emotional note.

But as the story unfolds in its own willy-nilly way, the emotional core is fast forgotten and what’s left behind is mostly a blaring, mind-numbing saga that has very little redeeming about itself.

Written by Deepak Kingrani and directed by Apoorv Singh Karki (of Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai fame), Bhaiyya Ji is best described as a head-long plunge of an older brother (Bajpayee) into the revenge he seeks for his kid brother’s murder.

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Apoorv Singh Karki directorial Bhaiyya Ji

Apoorv Singh Karki’s directorial ‘Bhaiyya Ji’. (X)

The plot is simple: Ram Charan Tripathi alias Bhaiyya Ji, a young patriarch in rural Bihar, is all set to get married and is keenly looking forward to his brother Vedant arriving from Delhi.

Vedant is young and spunky whereas his bhaiyya is uptight and is easily prone to breaking into a speech about Sanskar at any given chance.

The vibe between them is father-son-like and bhaiyyaji is a doting presence. When Vedant doesn’t show up as promised, he knows immediately that something’s amiss.

What follows isn’t a giveaway by any means. Long story short, we learn that Vedant didn’t die in a car accident as a Delhi cop callously puts it but he was killed savagely by the very vile Abhimanyu Singh.

Our killer happens to be the son of an even more vile and crazed politician named Chandrabhan Singh (Surinder Vicky) and asking this baapbeta to have any remorse about the incident is arguably the most futile effort out there.

Ram Charan, a silent witness thus far, presents a meek exterior and takes everything in as any bereaved father/brother would.

But a monster lurks within him who is raring to be unleashed and who better than the diabolical duo to face the wrath? Cometh the hour, cometh the monster then.

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Bad writing

So far, so good? Well, yes, but just as you get your hopes up, Bhaiyya Ji goes full throttle and soon drives itself into a wall.

Thanks to a rather clunky voice-over we learn that Manoj Bajpayee’s gangster days are a legend in their own right back in Bihar. And, out of nowhere, the gangster returns to Delhi and is at Chandrabhan’s residence to politely request him to surrender his son to him.

On paper, this has to be an epic moment—two powerhouse actors coming face-to-face and utilising the tension that exists between the characters to create something special out of it. And to their credit, both Bajpayee and Vicky try their best.

But the writing remains so hell-bent on wanting to titillate us with mindless action alone squanders this opportunity and how.

So many things about Bhaiyya Ji then begin to refuse to make sense.

When Ram Charan arrives in Delhi, about half his whole village accompanies him because his clout is such. But a few action blocks later, the man finds himself all alone on a bridge fighting a couple of dozen men and almost bleeding to death.

People shuttle between Delhi and interior Bihar like it’s only a cab ride and the power-play between the two parties fluctuates so jarringly and so constantly that you just cannot keep track after a point.

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Not Manoj Bajpayee’s best

Manoj Bajpayee in Bhaiyya Ji

Manoj Bajpayee in ‘Bhaiyya Ji’. (X)

The film also brims with enterprising characters that the screenplay sidelines offhandedly.

Ram Charan is perennially followed and aided by a group of old men who, as appearances go, look a lot like humble pensioners but in reality, they reveal to be small-time gangsters themselves at one point.

Similarly, the character of Choti Amma (Bhaiyya Ji‘s stepmother) comes forth as a woman full of intrigue. Still, her positioning in the film is so all over the place that you don’t realise how or why she entered/exited a scene.

But the film was always meant to be a Manoj Bajpayee vehicle. The famed actor is evidently in the mood to treat everyone with something special in his 100th outing and he gives this uncharacteristic role a wholehearted go.

Bajpayee is perhaps incapable of delivering a bad performance but what’s worrying this time around is that he doesn’t try to do things his way. Instead, he almost forces himself into a mould that he doesn’t properly fit in and the result is middling at best.

Surinder Vicky, whose performances in the web series Cat (2022) and Kohrra (2023) remain fresh, surrenders to his role and does a fine job at not hesitating.

Zoya Hussain is relegated to the backdrop for most parts but she gets to do some ass-kicking herself at some point; if there’s anything to take back from the film, it is the climactic action sequence that involves her and Bajpayee in perfect rhythm, blazing guns and all.

Final take

Ultimately, Bhaiyya Ji comes across as not just a wasted effort but also a lazy one.

While the writing suffers from a lack of a clear sense of pacing or drama, the direction goes overboard on several counts. What we get consequently is a hotch-potch of a “mass” genre movie that Hindi cinema has yet to properly crack.

(Views expressed here are personal.)