Dear Dibakar, I saw Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! Don't know about the name change and the dubious exclamation mark - were you trying to go Tarantino on us (Inglourious Basterds)?, but the movie rang a lot of bells in my head - mostly out of tune. It was a great effort, but was lacking in a very basic department - story. Or rather, the execution of it. First and foremost, although the memory of Rajit Kapoor lingered, I went in to the cinema hall - expecting something like LSD, Shanghai, Oye Lucky - not in terms of similarity of story, but in execution and overall storytelling. The influences of the recent Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes with a tougher Watson/Ajit was right in my face and too obvious to be missed. Most important of all, I think Byomkesh's plot overreached itself. The involvement of the Chinese, Japanese, Burmese, opium, drug trade was more in tune with Nihar Ranjan Gupta's Kiriti Ray, rather than Byomkesh. It was quite evident that it was more Kiriti Ray than Byomkesh who was the detective in the film. I know we all have our influences, but such an obvious one? Maybe not to the rest of the world, but it was definitely obvious to some Bengalis like me. Next, Sushant Singh Rajput was miscast in the role - he may be handsome, and girls may be crazy about him, but he lacked the screen presence that I so desired in Byomkesh. More importantly, his dialog delivery was hopeless. I couldn't understand a single word he uttered. Now, if I talk about Niraj Kabi - his articulation and diction was superb. I became a fan of his performance after Ship of Theseus, which was par excellence. Also, Meiyang Chang - his Hindi was flawless. Anyway, as the film trundled on, I found that Anukul Babu is more interesting, rather than Byomkesh himself. I found myself wondering if that was your intention. Byomkesh, whenever he appears, is in half-light, but when Anukul Babu comes in, he is always clearly seen. I am sorry, but this worked like a sleeping pill for me and I dozed off. There were too many sub-plots that were hanging around and I found the final execution like a metaphysical conceit, only that it failed to make me see the lantern lit at the end of 2.5 hours. I don't know if the film-land powerhouses forced your hand in some of the scenes, but I felt telling myself, during the film, "Why did Dibakar do this? He could have done it like this." and my thoughts trailed on. As a movie- goer, this should not have happened. Although the effort put into the production design, the authenticity of wartime Kolkata during the final days of the Raj was superb - but I think somewhere, the big picture was lost. In the presence of the city, the story suffered. The plot twists were confusing and sadly, Sneha Khanwalkar's rock music did not gel well. The music was full of promise in the trailers, hinting towards a hard-hitting experience with some mind- boggling twists, but although I simply loved Sneha's music in Gangs of Wasseypur, her music stands in isolation in the film. There was no great WTF moment for me. There was no big tell for me. I know who the villain is; it seemed redundant for me to know about the Young Guns, Yang Guang, Green Gang link post intermission. And what was Anukul Babu doing at the end - transforming into a ninja warrior? With such a vicious man on his tail, Byomkesh should have been attacked quite early in the film. Now, to the trigger of the whole story, Ajit's omni-present absent chameleon-like father – Bhuvan Banerjee; I mean give the dude a break. At one point he is drug doctor, next a womanizer, next a blackmailer, next a good guy who was dented and painted; I mean what was happening? The initial murders seemed redundant. Maybe Dibakar should have taken some ideas from Alan Moore's From Hell? The first scene where Byomkesh is introduced, he is decked by the mild- mannered Ajit. Huh? Who died and made him El Superbeasto? Byomkesh is swooning at the sight of death/dead bodies, puking away, and here is Ajit, flailing his arms and fists and feet in his four-eyed darkness on persons unknown in a dark alley. And here is the poster with a larger than life dhoti clad gentleman jumping across the Howrah Bridge like Sukhen Das on steroids (on an aside, do watch Rastaar Chhele). I found myself asking the question, why in God's name would Byomkesh help out an unknown person in the way he did? The cause was not sufficient enough nor was the Ajit/Byomkesh dynamic explored well enough. Even if he took up the case on a lark – we need to be told, perhaps a little 4th Wall would have helped here – that he is a seeker of truth? Next, Swastika – well yeah, she was a Mata Hari figure, a moll, a stereotypical femme, but that was all to it. Had she been the one who killed Anukul Babu at the end; her character would have been given a depth and importance. Now, that I think of it, it is the word "depth" that was missing from all the period-drama poseurs in this flotsam-jetsam of a film. A final word on the accents used in the film. And this is where Basu Chatterjee succeeded. I don't need Hindi speakers speaking in a Bengali tone, nor do I need to hear Bengalis talk in jilted Hindi. The Doordarshan serials with Rajit Kapoor, KK Raina, Sadhu Meher, Utpal Dutt, etc. all spoke proper Hindi, without sounding like affected monkey-capped stereotyped Bengalis. Would you watch it? No. Maybe. I don't know. I can say a lot of other things, but I can't say a yes. Sorry Dibakar, maybe I will wait for your next feature.