Saturday 4 April 2015

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy


"The idea is big, the execution small. The villain is a hero, the hero a mouthpiece. "

'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy' is a film that was meant to be a great work of art right from the war-torn Calcutta of the 1943 to the bigger concepts that evolve as the detective solves the mystery behind a missing person. What held back the film was that too much attention was payed to get the setting right and in doing so, the makers did away with what actually holds people for 2 hours in a film.

The only thing to like about our hero detective is that he is not a modern day Sherlock Holmes. He is just like any other human, with feelings and mannerism, and is simply 'ahead of the curve' in order to be able to solve the mystery at hand. When the case of someone's missing father is brought to him, he loosely gives a list of 4 options predicting the person's fate and is done with it. At everything else, he is a fail. Sushant Singh Rajput is an overhyped actor. He can't act out even the good dialogues that the script gives to his character. What got him this film is a mystery Sherlock can't solve. I say this because he ruins any tension that the film is able to create. It seems he is just put there to be a mouthpiece for a hidden narrator of the film. And what more, he is a plot tool to provide exposition at every moment preventing you from thinking anything on your own.

All this being said, the setting of the film is plain classy. The costumes, the sets, the old tram on the streets of Calcutta and the vintage cars on the circles are all a buildup for a movie that should have delivered a lot but doesn't. Also, the film is based largely on dialogue and still Dibakar Banerjee has done a good work as a director. It is dark Yes but what actually carries a dark detective film is an exposition free narrative or a charismatic hero. Sadly, we get none. But what we do get is an awesome villain and an awe-inspiring female lead in the form of Anguri Devi played by Swastika Mukherjee. That however is all that the movie offers.

Bandwidth Verdict: Take back Rajput and his expository mouthpiece and the movie will rock. But its too late for that. One time watch if you have nothing else to do.                                                          

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