9 April 2015 | PrashunChakraborty
Could have been a lot better
All of us have seen films from which we expect good things but once the film is over we come out after having seen an average product, happens quite often to me and this film is guilty of it. Detective Byomkesh Bakshi (or as Yashraj Films has forcefully inserted it self in the title with BakshY) does a lot of things right, it hired an excellent director- Dibakar Banerjee and spent a lot of time, effort and money in building the DBB's 1943 Calcutta. My words can do no justice to how beautiful and lively the atmosphere and the setting of the film was, this was the highlight of the film by far, the production values are excellent, a complete standout aspect. DBB also sports excellent acting especially by Neeraj Kabi (who stole the show in Ship of Thesus) and decent acting by Sushant Singh Rajput. I have always considered Sushant Singh Rajput and Anushka Sharma typical 6-7/10 actors, decent, gets the job done, but no where even close to being good and though the boy does his best he doesn't exceed his limits and capabilities. Now I am no Byomkesh Bakshi expert but having seen some handful episodes on TV he was as what us Bengallis describe as "Bhadralok" meaning intelligent, gentlemanly and a scholar, DBB's Bakshy is intelligent but not suave and gentlemanly, he squirms at the sight of sexy women and I don't think even later films will make this right. DBB's Bakshy is more relatable to the common man but isn't as cultured as you'd expect Byomkesh to be.
Now on to the main gripe, the plot, the plot is BAD and it's the worst kind of bad, it's promising and engaging, though I had some minor grievances but the first half of the film was great, and then it turns into a hot mess. Why does a detective story about a missing person have to be so big? It is insulting to the viewer's intelligence that the mystery of a missing person eventually becomes a borderline international war with drugs, Chinese opium smugglers and Japanese Katanas & armies. This is not only not Byomkesh Bakshi but a very badly written film where every loose end of the film is killed off, Person A knows too much, person A turns up dead, Person B knows too much let's drop the poor slugger like a sack of potatoes, while you are at it don't forget to slit Person C's throat. This is not how you write a detective mystery. The climax is bit satisfying to watch but illogical like the rest of the film. Illogical and Byomkesh Bakshi never thought I would be using those words in a single sentence. Further, Dibakar Banerjee doesn't understand that it was cool to bombard us with hard rock almost Rammestein level of music in 1943 Calcutta maybe once or twice but by the 50th time loud jarring music appears on the screen it feels very forced, unorganinc, unnecessary and yes out of place. Still better than an average Hindi movie for example it has almost no action scenes, your protagonist can't swing a punch to save his life showcasing he is a thinker not a fighter and the direction is great too showing some brilliance of Byomkesh but the plot of the film itself is ludicrous. Some research has yielded that there are a few recent Bengalli Byomkesh films which are better and more authentic without being over the top spy thrillers, why not just adapt them to the screen rather than this hot mess? Overall, a decent start to the franchise with excellent world building but ultimately soulless, and needs work.