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78%
3.37 

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THIS BAKSHY PACKS A PUNCH
Apr 03, 2015 06:13 PM 5896 Views
(Updated Apr 04, 2015 04:28 AM)

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DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY!  MOVIE REVIEW


STATUTORY WARNING:


This reviewer will not delve too much into the story of the movie, reckons a one line description will do just fine. For filmophiles who have suffered for years at the hands of sadistic reviewers including yours truly, all SPOILERS are at the end i.e. are only for those already done watching.


STORY:


The iconic Bengali private eye nay SATYANVESHI meaning ‘ Seeker of Truth ‘( that is what Bakshy babu likes to think himself as) finally makes it to Hindi cinema. About time, me thinks.


INTRO:


Hardy Boys was perhaps the first detective novel that I ever read. Then as I was growing up, the character of the eccentric Belgian Hercule Poirot had me rivetted and somehow I found the other famous creation(Miss Marple) of the same author, Agatha Christie staid and one dimensional. It was purely by accident when I chanced upon THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES that my whole world changed. Never before had I come across a hero as dark, caustic& enigmatic as the man from 22, Baker Street. He was a genius, no doubt but he had his failings too. From that day on, Holmes became synonymous with the word detective for me. Around the same time, two Indian TV serials made a big impact on me. One was the superb KARAMCHAND( Pankaj Kapur played it with great aplomb) The other directed by the great Basuda(Chatterjee) was of course, Byomkesh Bakshi.


CAST AND CREDIT:


Nikos Andritsakis, the greek cinematographer and his spellbinding work in DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY is what makes this enterprise tick. There have been umpteen number of films shot in the backdrop of Calcutta but his masterful handling here is proof why this city was once called ‘ PARIS OF THE EAST ‘ From the streets to the houses, the omnipresent tram to the people of this city everything comes alive on celluloid like never before. Kudos also to editors Namrata Rao & Manas Mittal for keeping the audience glued to their seats for most of the film’s 150 minute running time. The dialogues in sync with the ongoing proceedings are razor sharp, witty and incisive. Like when Bakshy pays an offhanded compliment to his loyal sidekick, Ajit saying ‘ Tumhe detective hona chahiye tha aur mujhe tumhaara bewakoof assistant.’


Dibakar Bannerjee shows his mettle in the way he uses snatches from the eclectic soundtrack of DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY at various crucial junctures in the film. To elucidate, check how he uses a song in the opening titles to create the right ambience for the drama about to ensue. It is said that ‘ God is in the details ‘ and Bannerjee proves this in scene after scene, frame after frame of the film. The action when it comes is fast and brutal. The screenplay is very nuanced yet it moves at a frenetic pace and the clues about the murder mystery are all revealed so subtly that in case you had not being paying attention, you are likely to be left befuddled( as has happened with some TRADE EXPERTS who have reviewed the film negatively)


The casting of Anand Tiwari( who was last seen in GO GOA GONE and probably was the best thing about the film) as Detective Bakshi’s sidekick is an inspired one and if DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY turns out to be a franchisee and a successful one at that, he will play a pivotal role. Neeraj Kabi(going by the ending is likely to be the nemesis to Bakshi’s character in the future sequels) is wonderfully understated for most part and when he explodes in the penultimate scene, it is stunning. Swastika Mukherjee as the seductive starlet plays her part to the hilt. In fact, each character in DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY is a veritable piece in the jigsaw puzzle that the story is and so each assumes equal significance.


Sushant Singh Rajput brings a rare innocence and exudes an old world charm to make this role all his own. As someone who is a little reticent, a bit shy, smokes like a chimney and has a dry sense of humor, he ably shoulders this career defining role never once going over the top. As he fumbles and tries to find his bearings in his very first case, the audience roots for him. For he is only human, being human. For a film that has so much going for it, the climax is a bit of a letdown. Having said that, this is Dibakar Bannerjee’s best film yet.


2015 has been a great year for lovers of discerning cinema( read BABY, SHAMITABH, BADLAPUR, NH 10) and you can put DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY on top of the heap. Take a bow, Bannerjee babu!


RATING: 4/5


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