Monday, April 6, 2015

Movie Review of Detective Byomkesh Bakshy !

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Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput (Detective Byomkesh Bakshy), Anand Tiwari (Ajit Bandyopadhyay), Swastika Mukherjee (Angoori Devi), Divya Menon (Satyawati), Neeraj Kabi (Dr. Anukul Duha), Meiyang Chang (Kanai Dao), Mark Bennington (Deputy Commissioner Wilkie), Dr. Kaushik Ghosh (Gajanan Sikdar), Shivum (Sukumar

Genre: Thriller

Direction: Dibaker Banerjee

Produced by: Aditya Chopra & Dibaker Banerjee

Production Companies: Yash Raj Films & Dibakar Banerjee Productions

Cinematographer: Nikos Andritsakis

Music: Various Artists

Film Editing by: Manas Mittal & Namrata Rao

Distributors : Yash Raj Films

Theatre Release: 3rd April, 2015

Language: Hindi

Duration: 148 minutes

The Story Frame:

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy is a film based on the Bengali writer Saradindu Bandopadhyay's iconic detective series, which was also screened as a television series from 1993 to 1997 on DD National.  The story is about a student approached by his fellow classmate to investigate the disappearance of his father. The student turned sleuth Byomkesh Bakshy on his first case embarks on a thrilling investigation that turns out to be lethal and haunting day by day. This story is set up in the backdrop of 1942 Calcutta ruled by Britishers in India.

The disappearance of Bhuvan Babu leads to a series of dots which needs to be connected to reach the real villain of the story and how Byomkesh does it with his distinct style of investigation is something to watch in the theatres. Murder, suspicion, treachery, conspiracy, nationalism, and revenge awaits you...

What happens to Byomkesh and his case, who is the actual murderer of Bhuvan,  what is the connection between the Japanese and the Indian Nationalists ... I am sure you would love to watch on screen :)

Reviewer's Thumb Mark:

Byomkesh Bakshi, the ace Bengali detective from the 1993-1997 DD National TV Series has been bottled and labeled with a different flavour by Dibaker Banerjee by naming him Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (with a 'Y' instead of an 'i" and an exclamatory mark'!'that evokes more suspense and curiosity in store for the viewers).  Amid air raids and the impending warnings of attacks of the Japanese bombings over Calcutta in World War II era the story of a student turned detective steps on a journey of unraveling the secrets of  rivalry between two-drug dealers (Shangai's Green Gang and Yang Guan)  for supremacy entangled amidst a political movement against the Britishers in India. Never did Byomkesh imagine that he would stumble upon a minefield of dangerous and fatal happenings by taking up the job of a fellow-student Ajit's father Bhuvan's missing case, that too reluctantly.

Neatly  crafted by Dibaker Banerjee (Director) and  Nikos Andritsakis (cinematographer) makes you sit with eyes glued on the screen not to miss the sequence of mystery unraveling added with thrill that pushes you to the edge of the seat wanting more.  The Calcutta of 40's is so beautifully depicted that one can't resist appreciating the work of the film maker in this regard. The cars, trams, billboards, the ramshackle buildings and the streets are a delight to watch.

In the pursuit of including too many aspects of what was happening then, the film portrays many subplots that make the viewers hard to focus with ease. The sequence are missed in the mind and before we could recollect and link, its time to lose another link and therefore leaves room to drift and lose track of the story.

The Villain Yang Guan (Neeraj Kabi) stands apart with his performance especially when he is unmasked by Byomkesh by his logical sequencing of story narration connecting the dots in front of  Sukumar, Dr.Watanabe, Satyawati (Divya Menon), Actress Angoori (Swastika Mukherjee) and Ajit. Yang Guan saying "Sach ke rang dekha hi? ... Laal" makes him look more dreadful when he fearlessly mocks Byomkesh. Meiyang Chang as Kanai Dao, a licensed opium merchant, is noticeable for his short but good performance.

Shushant Singh Rajput as the young Bengali sleuth, Byomkesh Bakshy, definitely manages to create an impact by fitting into the character so well by his acting. "Sach ke aas pass wala jhoot pakadna mushkil hota hi", and it truly seems to be when the sleuth is found to be caught in a maze difficult to come out off. I must say that Sushant handles the pivotal role with great ease.

Divya Menon as Satyawati has nothing much to offer on screen rather she is an ornamental character whom the sleuth asks to be with for the rest of his life in exchange for saving her brother Sukumar's life. Swastika Mukherjee as a seductress adds steam and twist to the plot with her presence in the middle of all the happenings.
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! definitely deserves a onetime watch. It definitely may not appeal to some who want to watch movies with a straight and simplistic narration. It may also dishearten die-hard fans of the original Byomkesh Bakshi created by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay because of  Dibaker Banerjee taking liberty to fiddle with the character to make appealing to his story line.

When the screen roles with the end titles, the dialogue - "Bakshi Babu Mere Dosti Nahi Lepaye Tho Mere Dushmani Kaise Le Paavonge...", remains there in our mind leaving us to speculate a comeback of Bakshi and Yang Guan in a sequel to settle scores with each other.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating:  3/5 (Good)