Dibakar Bannerjee returns to the screens, and the results are smashingly effective.
The crime drama noir detective Byomkesh Bakshy has made his Hindi movie debut, and believe me, what an exhilarating experience it is!
The film starts from its roots. Bakshy is making his debut as a detective. He is seen jumping, walking through the streets in questionable disguise, and throughout the mysterious strolls of his, throughout his disrobing of the complications, the film admirably gets the pulp fiction genre of it right.
But the film, performative sorts and figuratively struggles to keep pace with Saradindu Bandopadhyay's original, with narrative strands which don't quite pull off seamlessly. But Sushant Singh Rajput is quite a saving grace as Byomkesh, his absurd looks matching his unconventional performance.
But the film merely manages to keep pace as a display of its filmmaker's abilities. Bannerjee has effectively stages the notions of moral ambiguity and fatalism of the gore. But with another crew, the film could have been so much more other than a superb visual framework for a detective thriller.
Believe me, the film is slick and unpredictable, but it had room for much more. It's merely 3 out of 5 for the film, one being for Saradindu's eighty-four yer old story making its additional half star. But for Sushant Singh Rajput and Dibakar Bannerjee's near-perfect chemistry, its an additional star which makes it a recommendable 3.5 out of 5 for 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!'. I guess walking with no expectations is the best manner to enjoy the film.
A Worthy Watch Especially For Dibakar's Vision And Shushant's Acting If Not For Others.It Begins Slow And Remains Slow For Sometimes But As The Mystery & Thrill Begins It Becomes Interesting.I Loved Last 10odd Mins.Waiting For It's Sequel, Which Should Be Better
A friend tells me why Banerjee decided to replace the "i" to "y" in the title Bakshy because he wanted to "create a balance (sic)" and God knows what he meant by that. Maybe he wanted to differentiate between the loads of previous adaptations and samplings from his magnum opus. Anyway, the purpose gets almost fulfilled.
World War II is happening and the frame focuses on pre-Independent Calcutta. Byomkesh Bakshy (Rajput), our own (aspiring) detective, is approached by Ajit (Tiwari) to investigate the disappearance of his scientist father. Bakshy sets out and gets entangled in a mesh of illegal opium trade, politics, nationalism, and fight over power - all in the backdrop of the ever formidable War. The story picks up, goes haywire, picks up, goes haywire, and picks up to become a titillating thriller which demands rapt attention if one hopes to understand the plot better.
The film is multi-layered, with Bakshy jumping streets, throwing wits, figuring out his foolishness, getting apprehended, and finally inching near the truth through a complicated maze. So there is a high chance that the audience may be divided into many types: the ones who delve into the plot and figure out the whole drama along with all the niceties, the ones who get the picture, but are confused about certain factors, the ones who know what the film is about, but have no idea who the villain is and what his intentions are, and the ones who sneer at their own lack of ability to construe the whole rave.
Yes, the plot is intense with gory and vivid depictions of War and its side-stories through the eyes of India. One will feel the adrenaline rush, watching the fiction unfold through twists and turns. But the biggest problem is that the antagonist is revealed by the interval and all you have in the second half is the build up. Of course this buildup is not raw, but climactic.
Banerjee has truly transitioned India's own, calm and cool detective into an excitable character, and with the gritty story, it is already being nominated as a future cult classic. The attention to details (from fear of anachronism) and production design is the biggest highlight of the whole film, and will definitely mesmerize people who can grasp it. Plus, the sound mixing is the most brilliant work I have seen in Bollywood so far. The indie score/music is brilliant, but it may divide the audience, because of heavy and shameful use towards the end. Inventive camera work that will keep you at the edge of your seat, but the screenplay had equal potential to push you back, and there is where one experiences exhaustion. The cast is good, and Rajput can be lauded. His efforts are clearly visible.
BOTTOM LINE: All in all, a great effort by the team for adapting a highly revered character into silver screen without spoiling it. 6/10 - average.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
Gore/Violence: Strong | Drugs/Smoking: Medium