Sushant Singh lends grit and charm to 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy'

We’ve all cheered the celebrated, dhoti-clad Bengali detective as he meticulously and delightfully solved innumerable mysteries, but unraveling his early days on the snooping trail is director Dibankar Banerjee. His 160-minute-long ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy’ explores the beginnings of the young Bengali sleuth, as the world around him erupts in a bloody battle of the early 1940s.

Dibankar joins writer Urmi Juvekar to create a world that stays partially true to Byomkesh Bakshy’s creations, and textures it like Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.

His unibrowed detective establishes his early days, when he proudly announces his name many times over, to which a young lady replies, “But, who are you?”

The recognition comes soon enough, and you watch him promptly flash the newspaper that carries his name. “I’m the detective mentioned here,” he proclaims to a top investigating officer, although the response is unexciting, and access to the information denied.

There are moments, initially, when Dibankar hints he could’ve ended up as a professor if he was lucky in love.

Framed magnificently by Nikos Andritsakis, ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy’ is set in Calcutta, as Byomkesh helps a young man find his missing father. Determined to crack it, Byomkesh works diligently, but fumbles and falters miserably.

His investigation triggers more killings, and throws up innumerable theories on what could’ve possibly caused them.

Dibankar keeps us guessing by adding in many twists and turns. Some that work, and some that don’t. But, we faithfully remain by Byomkesh’s side till the end, where Dibankar builds to a grand crescendo. Despite the buildup, it appears a tad disappointing, but the striking action he injects towards the end, promises to be an exciting prelude to more adventures with Byomkesh and his loyal sidekick Ajit.

The narrative is deliberately unhurried, and Dibankar constantly throws us innumerable clues. We hold on to each, and patiently wait for the big reveal. 

Sushant Singh Rajput owns Byomkesh, and lends him immense charm. It takes him a while to win us over, but when he does, there’s no going back.

Anand Tiwari is notable as his assistant, and leads the incredible supporting cast. Swastika Mukherjee sizzles as the enigmatic Anguri Devi, while Divya Menon holds her own as the rustic Satyawati. Neeraj Kabi is a great find as the sharp Dr Ankul Guha.

Dibankar’s whodunit is wickedly thrilling, and a good start to better things to come.

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