Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Friday 10 April 2015

Movie Title

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!


Dibakar Banerjee

Star Cast

Sushant Singh Rajput, Anand Tiwari, Divya Menon, Swastika Mukherjee, Meiyang Chang

Kolkata in the '40s, a missing person, his distraught son, and student Byomkesh Bakshy(Sushant Singh Rajput) who happens to dabble in detective work.The distraught son Ajit (Anand Tiwari) approaches an indifferent Byomkesh for help.When Bakshy makes fun of his situation, Ajit punches him. He then proceeds tobecome Bakshy's assistant as they unravel the mystery. Such unlikely friendships andinteresting equations are rife in the movie.

But what is the case? A man is missing, Bakshy is on his trail, a politician seems to beinvolved, a glamorous actress named Anguri Devi appears, freedom fighters are bayingfor blood, there is unrest among the drug mafia, and the timid house-help serves chaiwith shaky hands.

Anyone could be involved in this, and in the larger crime linked to this man'sdisappearance.

And as we watch Bakshy get deeper into the case, we often stop and admire the sightsand sounds unfolding (often distractingly) in the background. In fact, there is aninteresting scene where Bakshy is sitting in a tram in the foreground, merely as anaccessory, while the vehicle movies slowly and we watch the bustling street scenes ofpre-Independence Kolkata. Kudos to Vandana Kataria for an excellent productiondesign and cinematographer Nikos Andritsakis for capturing its every texture.Now, the film begins on a gruesome note, and there is enough grime to keep your toescurled. There are brutal murders, all the characters are suspect, some move stealthily inthe dark, and motivations run deeper than one thought.

Writer Urmi Jivekar and co-writer and director Dibakar Banerjee, in a very Tarantino-esque turn, brings in hearty black humour in the midst of it all. The film also hasincredibly arresting portions like the detective and the culprit sitting across, playing asort of game, where Bakshy guesses his modus operandi and the villain looks onadmiringly, apologizing for the mistakes that got him caught. Sneha Khanwalkar'ssuperb, trippy music adds to the fun.

The film is a triumphant whodunit as, even if you guess the culprit, you won't guess hismotive. And the film keeps you hooked through the trials and tribulations that Bakshyencounters in cracking the case.

But the biggest strength of the film yet is the character of Byomkesh Bakshy, firstcreated by Bengali writer, Shardindu Bandhopadhya decades ago. Bakshy has thesharpest mind, instincts, and courage veering on stupidity, but also carries thehumbleness and awkwardness of an amateur. He's a genius who doesn't brag andcomes across as a whiz kid, who's still learning the ropes, but is still good enough tonail the biggest fish.

Sushant Singh Rajput plays Bakshy with an understated elegance. He plays Bakshy assomeone who appears calmer than he actually is, the passion brimming under thesurface. Rajput gets the portrayal right-from the passion, to the humour to the innateclumsiness and lack of success with love.

The scene-stealing supporting cast, especially Anand Tiwari, Swastika Mukherjee, Neeraj Kabi and Meiyang Chang, is an absolute treat.

The actor (keep guessing) playing the central villain is so formidable, he transforms thischaracter into one of the most reprehensible onscreen villains one has seen off-late. Where the film falters is that it leaves too many unanswered questions. However, if youavoid being too exacting, this is an unputdownable film.

Dibakar Banerjee (Love Sex Aur Dhokha, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!) serves up a filmthat's an immersing whodunit with memorable characters, set against 1940s Kolkatathat was in the midst of known and unknown strife. Whether you are on tenterhooks asanother murky twist unfolds, or you laugh despite yourself even though the joke isoutrageously taking place in a scene full of dead bodies, you'll definitely enjoy this film.

One also recommends you follow Bakshy's fondness for chai and follow it up with adiscussion on the red herrings and what could happen next. Yes, the film leaves youwith a sequel possibility, and this one will be awaited!

Rating: 4 stars

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