Thursday 30 April 2015

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! [2015]

Dibakar Banerjee’s reimagining and reinterpretation of the iconic literary character in the cheekily titled Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!, is a heady cocktail of the murky, cerebral world of Saradindu Bandopadhyay and the noirish pulpiness of hardboiled literature. The director went for ambitious stylistic deconstruction - the kind that would have the purists squirming - without supplanting the era. Set in 1940s war-torn Calcutta, with the city’s nationalistic fervour against British occupation seamlessly complementing its crime-ridden underbelly, and its multi-ethnic diaspora accentuating its flavour, and loosely adapted from the first Byomkesh novel Satyanweshi (aka “The Truth Seeker”), the film focused on the first case of the Bengali super sleuth. Byomkesh (Sushant Singh Rajput), an incredibly sharp and intelligent but asocial and arrogant university graduate, is approached by his fellow student Ajit (Anand Tiwari), who would eventually become his chronicler and life-long friend, in order to find the whereabouts of his missing father. Unaware of the violent world he’s stepping into, the strapping young man makes the acquaintance of, among others, Anguri Devi (Swastika Mukherjee), a sultry seductress with dubious motives, Dr. Anukil Guha (Neeraj Kabi), a brilliant physician who runs a small hostel, Kanai Dao (Meiyang Chang), a hostel resident with Chinese roots, and Satyawati (Divya Menon), the niece of a local politician, sister of a nationalist revolutionary and Byomkesh’s future wife, and is plunged into a world of opium traders, war-plotting, brazen lust, double crossers and vicious murderers. The dazzling cinematography made marvelous usage of colors and shadows to highlight the moody atmosphere and grotesque side of human nature, the startling art direction meticulously captured the period, and the new-age, esoteric score cemented Banerjee’s experimental intent.

Director: Dibakar Banerjee
Genre: Thriller/Crime Thriller/Mystery/Post-Noir
Language: Hindi
Country: India

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