20 December 2010 | subhodeep
Good old gumshoe, in a new style
The image that I had in my mind of Byomkesh was that of Uttam Kumar in Chiriakhana, by no standards a good film, and of subsequent TV series played competently by Rajit Kapur. In essence a mild mannered, sharp witted, quintessential Bengali "Bhodrolok" with a quite observant assistant cum scribe friend Ajit.
The new Byomkesh is different in flavor, as much as the new Sherlock Holmes played by Robert Downey Jr is different from the classical Jeremy Brett edition. The good news is that, as no set standards have yet been set for Byomkesh, one would not have problems with accepting the new one. Whether Anjan Dutta has succeeded in setting a standard is for you to judge, but in my opinion it is a fair attempt but not quite there, but can definitely be improved in the next film ( hear that it would be a trilogy) Abir Chatterjee, playing Byomkesh does a good job, as does Sashwata playing Ajit. The style is a little brash, street smart. The script is faithful to the original story - so far so good - but where the film suffers a bit is in the fact that it is shot a bit like a tele-film.
The cinematography is sharp as is the lighting, which adds to the movie. However, possibly due to practical consideration ( low budget) , the film had to be shot as a three chamber drama with a few outdoor shot of a non-descript gully masquerading as 50's Calcutta, and three burning tires as riots, which leads to a claustrophobic feeling. As a period film Byomkesh disappoints.
In fairness, it is a good watchable film with a solid storyline, competently acted, directed and edited. Definitely, worth a watch and I will keep a watch for the next Byomkesh. 7/10