As I told in the Furious 7 review, this one was the second movie I saw in the back to back movie marathon and true to my word, it is one of the really best thriller crime drama movies I have seen being produced in Bollywood. Yashraj is really trying hard to change their overly dreamy, romantic movie image by investing in small budget movies like Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, and indeed a smart move because Indian audience are dearly appreciating movies which have solid content and storyline. Leaving a handful of filmmakers, there are hardly any filmmakers who really like to ‘risk’ their stocks with period films.
Film is set in war-torn Calcutta of the early 1940s, a time when Japanese and Chinese agents and smugglers were engaged in covert activities to usurp the city from British control to get a foothold in the Indian and Burmese markets. The locals, caught in the crossfire, are just too tired of the proxy war. In the midst of all this, we have our hero Byomkesh Bakshy (Sushant Singh Rajput): A socially-awkward youngster, readying himself to a meaningful life in the future. His life takes a turn for the good when he encounters Ajit Bandopadhyay (Anand Tiwari), who is searching for his missing father. This meeting begins a journey that would eventually transform a raw, analytical mind into a great detective.
The film in his first half is a little bit slow paced and their are many loose threads which leaves audience hanging. But it takes a drastic turn in second half and we are left baffled. Pre-independence Calcutta serves as the backdrop in the opening scenes, but it soon turns into a character. The attention to detail is obvious in almost every frame of the film. The film scores very heavily in its breath taking production value, who is definitely a name to watch out for in this department. Even the film’s music comes across with a likeability factor attached to it. The film also scores in the sound department. Special brownie points to the film’s cinematography for making the film look visually appealing. Film takes the enigma around the popular Bengali sleuth many notches higher!
In terms of acting I would like to give the movie additional points, because all the actors in the movie were brand new but kudos to the team, they did their jobs really well. Even the actors with minimal roles impressed me with their screen presence and attentiveness. Sushant singh, coming out of his chocolaty image, impresses in a detective mode. Anant tiwari (Ajit), at first his client but then his transforms into his dim witted sidekick. Special kudos to the villain team, which did a wonderful job that includes Neeraj Kabi (spoiler aleart ahead), who convinces as a doctor and finally scares the crap out of me as the hidden japanese. Although I will agree that director Dibanker banergee has given a great Sherlocky touch to the movie with all the side character in place with Anant Tiwari as Watson, Neeraj Kabi as Moriarity, Swastika Mukherjee as Irene Adler, Chang as Inspector Lestrade, but still it has good Indian-ness to it 🙂
Funny coincidence happened to me and my friends after the movie though! We were at the mall for the last show and it was around 2 am. My friend Chintu who is a big bollywood buff, thought he saw the actor Neeraj Kabi in the loo. He came running to us to tell us this, and funnily after that Noddy (another of my stupid friends) ran off to the loo like a maniac and came out stating may be it could be him. The man came out of the washroom, we all saw him but weren’t confident enough to approach him and say hi (we didn’t want to make a fool of our self!). But Chintu being chintu ran upto him to ask if he was Neeraj Kabi, and it turns out that it was HIM! We all went to him and appreciated his work in the movie and also his earlier movie Ship of Theseus, great coincidence 😀