Detective Byomkesh Bakshy Movie Review - Beautiful Noir and little else
On the outset, Dibakar Bannerjee’s Byomkesh is nothing of the Byomkesh we all know from Bengali films or that DD show. Byomkesh here is more of a Sherlock or a Hercule Poirot, less of the razor sharp mind of Byomkesh Saradindu made popular years ago. Having stated that, Dibakar’s take on the sleuth’s first case is intriguing and spectacularly imagined, though it underwhelms when it comes to actual mystery.
Calcutta, and not Kolkata, is where the film is set in - the times when the Great Famine had hit this region, Japanese bombs loomed like dark clouds and opium was the escape many chose. What we see is a stylised Calcutta through the vivid imaginations of Dibakar - painfully delicate and almost like a painting. Calcutta is the actual hero in this story. As we see shadow after shadow lurk and stalk our bumbling detective, the city or the imagined version of it, engulfs you in its midst. Sadly the mystery at the core of it all is not as worthy of the lead up to it.
A young chaps father has been missing for a few days now. Byomkesh thinks the few days time is enough to presume the father is dead. The young chap doesn't want to believe this fact, yet both together set out to find the missing old man. Byomkesh finds the chaps disbelief a challenge to his ego as he sees himself slip right into a deadly quagmire too dangerous for his own liking. Villains, vamps, seductresses and deceivers all lead him into a maze that promises to keep you engaged. Right until the final reveal happens.
Mounted imaginatively, the film is beautiful. Noir to the core like only dibakar can, one falls in love with the frames. Performed well too, everyone in the cast fits the role easily and brings out the right amount of evil to their parts. Sushant Singh as the titular detective is perfect too as long as you do not compare him to legends who have played the detective earlier. He is his own Byomkesh, nothing that we have ever seen before or expect. That works very well, cause this holds the promise of a franchise. God knows we need one.
Rating: 3.5 / 5