Detective Byomkesh Bakshy: Bollywood’s first well mounted detective flick
In Bollywood you do not have many detective flicks as compared to the regional cinema, especially Bengali wherein Feluda, Byomkesh Bakshy & Kaka Moni has been adapted for silver screen and detective flicks are quite common.
Dibakar Banerjee adapt the famous detective from Bengali literature Byomkesh Bakshy created by Sharadindu Bandhopadhyay and merges three Sharadindu Bandhopadhyay’s stories of Byomkesh Bakshy, Satyanweshi, Pother Kanta & Arthamanartham.
The movie creates the riveting story set in 1942 Calcutta in the midst of War. Byomkesh Bakshy (Sushant Singh Rajput) who is just out of college and jobless is approached by Ajit Bandhopadhyay (Anand Tiwari) to help him find his missing father. Byomkesh agrees to help Ajit, and then starts a web of conspiracy and Byomkesh unravels a sinister plot of destroying Calcutta.
The screenplay written by Dibakar Banerjee & Urmi Juvekar has many twists and keeps your mind guessing. Especially the first half the story flows smoothly with a high interval point. Where Dibakar loses the plot is in the second half where he tries to merge many plots and ends up confusing the viewers. Another issue with the narration is its pace, at many points the movie slows down in pace which should not have been the case, especially all the sequences of Byomkesh and the movie actress Angoori Devi. Still I must say Dibakar has been successful to a great extent in creating the tension and suspense which is the prime ingredient of any thriller.
Dialogues written by Dibakar Banerjee & Urmi Juvekar is realistic and the dialect has been kept keeping in mind the era the movie is based. Thank God that the movie does not show the Chinese and Japanese speaking in Hindi when they are speaking amongst them. Dibakar keeps it in Chinese and Japanese with English sub titles, I think he should have also added Hindi sub titles as well.
There are four major reasons which take the movie many notches high.
First being the performances. Honey Trehan the casting director has done a brilliant job of aptly casting actors who suit the role and have performed brilliantly. Starting with Sushant Singh Rajput who has the title role of Byomkesh Bakshy, he is completely in sync with the character, right from the looks to the language to the body language; every aspect has been researched and portrayed brilliantly by Sushant. I must say that Sushant is improving leaps and bounds with every movie. Swastika Mukherjee, an export from Bengali movies, debuts in Bollywood as Angoori Devi the movie actress, who brings the oomph factor in the movie. Swastika is Mata Hari personified and does a brilliant job of a seductress. Her looks, her way of speaking, her mysterious gait everything is spot on, she shines with her performance. One actor who steals the show is Neeraj Kabi who plays Dr. Anukul Guha, he is brilliant in every frame that he is in and steals the thunder from other actors in the frame, I must say a stellar performance. Anand Tiwari as Ajit, Byomkesh’s friend is another actor who shines with his excellent portrayal. Divya Menon who debuts as Stayawati in the movie, shows confidence and makes an impressive debut. The rest of the cast Meiyang Chang, Kaushik Ghosh, Takanori Kikuchi, Mark Bennington do a brilliant job.
Second being Nikos Andritsakis’s cinematography which captures 1940’s India and Calcutta with élan. Right from the by lanes of old Calcutta to the high profile clubs to the hustle bustle of the city; everything has been captured brilliantly and gives the movie a certain edge with its visuals.
Third being the production design by Vandana Kataria. She re-created 1940’s Calcutta with minutest details, right from the props to the trams to the vintage cars and even the billboards and ads in shops everything is well researched. You will not feel that it is a created movie set; it is so natural and realistic.
Fourth being the costume design by Manish Malhotra, Manoshi Nath & Rushi Sharma. The look of every character right from the clothes to the way they look everything is well researched and blends with the narration.
Dibakar Banerjee I must say does a decent job in creating the world of Byomkesh Bakshy to near perfection. A little bit of a tighter script would have made it a classic. For a movie which is a few notch lower than a classic with Three & a Half Star.
Movie Rating: (3.5 / 5)
Watch the trailer :