As a kid, I used to be a great fan of detective based T.V series like 'Karamchand', 'Bhim Bhavani', 'Tehkikat', 'Suraag' and even 'Byomkesh Bakshy'. This fascination introduced me to the short stories based on 'Byomkesh Bakshy', 'Feluda' and 'Prof.Shonku'. The detailing and the pattern of solving the crime used to be highly engrossing. Sadly, when it came to films there were none to be found. Though we did witness films like 'Detective', 'The Perfect Murder', 'Apradhi Kaun?', 'Gumnaam', 'Kaun?Kaise?', 'Khoj', 'Plot No 5' and many more, which were mostly on lines of crime thrillers inspired by the work of Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Maria Corelli, James Hadley Chase, Suhas Shirvalkar or Surendra Mohan Pathak. Thus, right from the announcement of 'Byomkesh Bakshy' being converted into a full-fledged feature film to it being made followed by the promo and now its release, my curiosity and expectation level was at its peak. So, let's find out whether 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy' will finally give us an out and out proper detective film in our Hindi cinema or might be on lines of last year's debacles like 'Samrat & Co' and 'Bobby Jasoos'.
'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy' is the story of a private detective Byomkesh Bakshy (Sushant Singh Rajput), who is approached by Ajit (Anand Tiwari) to investigate the disappearance of his father. Byomkesh starts investigating the case from the lodge where Ajit's father used to stay and befriends Dr.Anukul Guha (Neeraj Kabi). The clues Byomkesh gets, leads him to an actor Anguri Devi (Swastika Mukherjee), a politician Gajanan Sikdar (Dr.Kaushik Ghosh) and a few more, along with a drug kingpin. How does Byomkesh solve this mystery is what the film is all about.Screenplay & Technicalities:
The story is as we know, based on the fictional characters created by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay and has been brilliantly transformed into the big screen by Dibakar Banerjee and Urmi Juvekar. Right from the first scene of the film the movie is set on its right course without wandering even for a minute into the unwanted territories. Every scene is important and full of detailing with the script of the film. There are no sidetracks to dilute the flow of the film. However, the slow narrative pattern might not go well with the normal cine-goers, but is apt for such type of slow detective genre, which gradually grows on you with every scene of the film. There are some great scenes like the whole credit title sequence followed by Sushant meeting Neeraj Kabi in the guesthouse, Sushant-Anand Tiwari being followed in the streets of Kolkata, the whole opium track followed by Sushant-Swastika scenes, the revelation towards the finale followed by graphic based end credits. Nevertheless, more than the scenes, what makes 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy', is the minute detailing attached to the film. It has one of the finest artworks in our Hindi cinema, the brilliant set up of Kolkata from the early 40's era is something worth watching for sure. The makers and the setup (trams, posters, newspapers, hoardings, transportation, costume, magazines, accessories, etc) transform you into the world of 1942. The movie might not appeal to the people who need spoon-feeding and who are die hard lovers of escapist cinema, as there is a lot of things happening in the film, leaving not a single breathing space for such type of cine-goers. Nikos Andritsakis's cinematography is outstanding, as the sets and whole feel of the film looks real and believable.
Music & Direction:
Music is good, but fails to gel with the flow of the film. It is more international, thus misses the connect with the film. 'Jaanam' is brilliantly presented. The background music is outstanding and does full justice to the feel of the film.
Director Dibakar Banerjee gives us probably the true dark detective film with 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy'. He will satisfy all his fans and all those who love to see artistic films or are big admirers of proper detective films. His vision and detailing enhances the film to international standards and sets up a benchmark for Indian cinema. He might not be as real or simple in comparison with the films made by Satyajit Ray, Rituporno Ghosh, Anjan Dutt, Manju Dey and few more Bengali film makers, but has his own unique style and matches up to the true level of this genre. How we wished he would have presented it in a bit moderate manner in order to appeal the normal cine-lovers. In addition, the finale part should have been hard-hitting rather than being simple and creative.Performances:
Sushant Singh Rajput is cute and charming. He adds the much-needed innocence to his character with help of his pure smile and soft dialogue delivery. He might not be as appealing as Rajit Kapoor (from Byomkesh Bakshy T.V series), but will still set its own identity. Neeraj Kabi is brilliant in his role. Anand Tiwari is good and adds up as a good support to the lead character. Swastika Mukherjee looks charming and does her part with total grace. Meiyang Chang and Divya Menon needed more detailing.
Final Verdict: So bol meri "FILMI KHOPDI" iss film mein kitna hain Dum?
Dum??? Well, the movie has all the dum needed for a dark and slowly enthralling detective based film. It is one of the good films we have recently witnessed in our Hindi cinema. Though, the masala film lovers will be highly disappointed with this movie as they might find it slow, boring and will fail to understand the plot line of the film. As for all those who love reading good detective stories, 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy' is an arty case of mystery, which is worth solving for sure.Ratings - 3.5*/5