Movies Review: Detective Byomkesh Bakshy

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Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Anand Tewari, Swastika Mukherjee

Direction: Dibakar Banerjee

Rating: ***1/2

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy despite the sluggish pace makes for an engrossing watch. Dibakar Banerjee manages to recreate an old world charm and a sense of nostalgic intrigue that we felt as children while watching the Byomkesh Bakshi series on DD.

It is interesting to see how the Indian Sherlock Holmes makes rookie mistakes as we follow him on his very first adventure. Byomkesh (played by Sushant Singh Rajput) is both intuitive and gullible at the same time. He is adept at spotting even a subtle discrepancy but also has the naiveté of a novice. It is quite obvious that our protagonist had completely surrendered himself to the director and his craft and while, comparisons with the sharp Rajit Kapur are inevitable, Sushant manages to hold his own.

Dibakar Banerjee’s attention to detail is discernible. What stays with you much after you have left the theatre is how meticulously each shot has been set up. Every scene is packed with information and it’s a challenge to absorb the essence of all that is going on.

While the detailing is to the director’s credit, what is a little disappointing is that the plot seems too convoluted. The joy of watching Byomkesh Bakshi’s adventures were that they were so neatly presented that even as a 12-year-old I could completely comprehend the entire proceedings. While for the most part the film manages to keep us hooked, there are others where the plot takes such circuitous turns that keeping up becomes an arduous task.

The fact that Banerjee has more monies at his disposal now, is quite evident – the production quality is far superior to his prior projects. His supporting cast is competent, especially Anand Tewari. Our director is quite effective in getting the mood right.

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy is definitely worth a watch but is it brilliant? Not really.

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