Sunday, February 7, 2016

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy

For the first time in many years, I felt like going to a theater and watching a Hindi movie. I must admit, I was a little nervous about the decision.

Detective Byomkesh Bakshi (or Bakshy as YRF like to call him), the classic bengali cult figure, portrayed and immortalized by Uttam Kumar (wiki link) , then by Rajat Kapur (wiki link) written by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay (wiki), is revered by many around the world.

When I found out that Dibakar Bannerjee was about to direct the film, I was thrilled, for this is the guy who had delivered some of my favorite Indian movies namely: Khosla ka Ghosla, and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!

Expectations were naturally, quite high, but in the end, I was disappointed.

But before I get into what was terrible in the movie, let me talk about the good parts.

I really liked the fact that there was an effort to bring classic detectives back in to mainstream cinema, and YRF was quite shrewd with their choice, as Byomkesh was liked by the Indian audiences of the past (Rajat Kapur, dir: Basu Chatterjee).

YRF meant that the film had a huge budget, so parts of old Calcutta can be rebuilt as a set, so that shone through in the movie.

There was no complaints about sound design and production design, for an Indian movie that is, both were quite good.

The story was good, not great, not average, but good. I was happy about that.

This is where the good parts end, now let me talk about the things that were downright sad.

The Acting: Nothing against the individuals, Sushant Singh and Swastika Mukherjee, but the only guy who gets acting credits for this film is Anand Tiwari as Ajit, Byomkesh's faithful chronicler and partner in "searching for the truth" or Satyanweshi (seeker of truth). 

The uni-brow Byomkesh just does not cut it. The acting leaves a lot to be desired, and I left the theater feeling that there was so much more he could have done with the role.

Swastika Mukherjee was absolutely horrible with her role, and was a major disappointment.

The last gripe that I have for the film was its editing. The length could have been way shorter, and I felt that it was unnecessarily lengthy in some places, and could have been more fast paced. But that is just me speaking. In general Bollywood movies tend to be a little bit longer than they should be.

The movie ends at a very interesting juncture, and there might be a possibility of a sequel, but seeing that the movie hasn't made money, I doubt if YRF will bet their money on a part 2.