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  • So finally, Byomkesh comes to Bollywood!! A well-scripted movie with an original story.Just the base is taken from the original work.The movie seems a bit slow at times but overall, you remain glued to your seats in the anticipation of what's coming next. Its not just another Bollywood thriller. The movie demands the attention of the viewer. In the end, you want for more! Sushant has played the role brilliantly. Other actors are commendable too.There are no irritating songs in the movie, and the dark background music adds to the mystery. Kudos to Dibakar Bannerjee for directing and YRF for producing this movie. And the story is not yet over.... there's more to come!
  • Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! is based on the popular sleuth character created by the Bengali writer Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!" stars Sushant Singh Rajput, Neeraj Kabi, Anand Tiwari, Swastika Mukherjee, Meiyang Chang, and Divya Menon in major roles. The movie is set in 1942-43 Calcutta (now Kolkata) with the carefully chosen World War II backdrop in an attempt to resonate the ever bustling tempo of the city of joy with the chaos and hysteria of war. But, did the attempt succeed? Well, we will certainly try to find an answer to this and many other pertinent questions during the course of this article. But, before we do that, let's first focus on the plot details and various other filmmaking aspects.

    The title "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!" in itself gives a lot away without leaving much to the imagination—irrespective of whether one is already acquainted with Byomkesh Bakshi or not. There's no denying that Byomkesh Bakshi is a cult figure but it's nowhere as famous as say a Sherlock Holmes or a James Bond. Hence the smartly chosen title "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!" and not just "Byomkesh Bakshy!" or "Byomkesh!"! The problem with nondescript titles based on relatively lesser known fictional characters is that they defy reasonable marketing strategies to attract the mass audiences. By why change Bakshi to Bakshy? And why use an exclamation mark with the name? Well, according to Dibankar Banerjee, these playful little adjustments have been made to make it more adventurous than generic. Clearly, Banerjee doesn't merely seem interested in adapting the stories of Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. He has his eyes set on a bigger and a more challenging goal: to transform pulp into cinema while adding his own creative touches in the process and simultaneously ensuring that the spirit of the source material remains intact.

    "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!" is targeted towards a new audience and is bound to disappoint the purists (they can still find solace in the 1993 Television series telecasted on Doordarshan). However, Byomkesh Bakshi enthusiasts can still enjoy the film if they choose to approach it with an open mind. Banerjee seems to have a penchant for making dark films like "Shanghai" and "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!". Made in the tradition of Hollywood whodunits, "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!" is a richly textured detective story with a multilayered narrative. And while Dibankar may refuse to acknowledge it, the film noir influence just cannot be overlooked and is not limited to the presence of femme fatales and private eyes.

    It's never a cinch to recreate a certain epoch in history and the fact that Banerjee and team meticulously reconstructed the 1940s Calcutta not only speak volumes about their commitment but actually help orchestrate an enchanting mise-en-scène that adds great detail to a sprawling period piece like "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!" Add to this a thick plot, actors who can act with conviction, some brilliantly crafted dialogue, thrash metal music, Leone's signature camera movements, Welles' characteristic use of shadows and silhouettes, and shades of Tarantino-esque violence. Voila! We have crafted a palpable atmosphere that will hold the viewer in a vice- like grip until the end credits began to roll.

    Banerjee's film is not original by any stretch of imagination, for he has borrowed ideas from various other filmmakers. But, there is no shame in borrowing ideas as long as one can concoct them into something unique. One of the greatest merits of the film is that it brilliantly serves the purpose of a suspense thriller. Some viewers may complain that the film is a bit predictable at times but the truth is that it keeps the viewer guessing throughout—the whole truth and the real motives of the various characters aren't revealed until the very end. There is a subtle difference between suspense and mystery and "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!" for the most part falls in the former category (yes, there is mystery but the suspense element is stronger). So, there's no denying that Banerjee and team do succeed in their endeavor!

    Overall, "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!" can best be described as a marriage of commercial and experimental filmmaking. It is entertainment galore but not at the expense of creative freedom. In the context of contemporary Hindi cinema, "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!" is nothing short of a monumental achievement. And those who think that Hindi cinema is not good enough to make great suspense thrillers anymore (Of course, the great Vijay Anand was the pioneer of the genre in Hindi cinema) certainly need to watch this film. Dibakar Banerjee needs to be congratulated for eliciting worthy performances from his entire cast of actors. Sushant Singh Rajput seems to have finally got the big break that he has been waiting for. Again his portrayal of Bandyopadhyay's sleuth may not satisfy the purists but nonetheless he manages to make his mark. Amidst a series of memorable performances, it's Neeraj Kabi's portrayal of Dr. Guha that stands first among equals. Another performance that deserves a special mention is that Swastika Mukherjee as Anguri Devi. The movie has some pacing issues and it occasionally tries to purposefully misdirect the viewer but despite the flaws it proves to be quite an enthralling experience. While the movie is bound to disappoint the hardcore Byomkesh Bakshi enthusiasts, it has all the elements to satisfy the masses and the classes alike. If the movie does well at the box office (and it most certainly will), a sequel may be just around the corner . Highly recommended!

    (This review was first published in my film blog A Potpourri of Vestiges)
  • bitukitu20003 April 2015
    Struggling to solve the case, breaking down each clue into a significant detail, in a world ravaged by the British dominion and equally endangered by war, the 1940s, there lives a detective Byomkesh Bakshy typically stylized as Bakshy Babu. Sublime his way with words, sharp his mind and snazzy his attire, Sushant Singh Rajput dazzles as the Indian counterpart of the well known mastermind.

    Revitalizing the ingenuously crafted characters of Bandopadhyay, laughs gelled up here and there, Dibakar Bannerjee creates a thriller turning out in no more than 15 to 20 minutes to be a very intriguing flick as Bakshy Babu untangles the mystery by joining the pieces from the fragments of hints scattered across the locale.

    What's so different about the movie is that it takes the road less traveled by. It portrays a beautifully archaic Calcutta with vintage cars and trams, and a story paced with an excellent flow. With a strong grip on your curiosity and attention, it shines as the product of masterful thinking timed by fluid execution. From the creation of an eerie environment to the brilliant juicing up of characters, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy is a cinematic delight.

    Fantastic. 8.5/10.
  • Wow! Just yesterday, i saw that expensive disaster, fast n furious 7, and my faith in cinema went down a little. but today, with the help of Mr.Byomkesh, brings back the faith and belief. the first half gets a tad slow at times as they are building the characters and the atmosphere, but its Calcutta yo - gotta be slow! the second half though- spectacular - culminating in a crackerjack climax. the atmosphere, the cast, the production, the soundtrack (oh, the soundtrack!!). all brilliant. the Indian sherlock and Moriarty have been established - here's hoping for a resounding success and many more sequels. the lord knows we need good cinema in the times of the khans!!
  • Everything is amazing in the movie, the set especially. It is very scripted and screen written. Director Dibaker Banarjee has proved that he is in class of pure elite film-makers like Raju Hirani,Anurag Kashyap,Neeraj Pandey etc. It is set in 1942 with a loose connection to World war II. In short, it is all brilliantly put. The antagonist of the movie is more powerful than the protagonist. this gives another spark to the movie. Every scene is interconnected with each other which makes this mystery tale perfect. There is not a single scene about the movie which you can say is unnecessarily put into it. The only thing which could have been better is that the actors could have performed better. Sushant did all he could but that was like his 3rd film so he is not to blame and all the other actors aren't famous. Just because few people who have zero knowledge of movie have given negative reviews about it doesn't mean that movie isn't good. Anyone who loves sherlock is going to love this movie too. Its not a movie to miss guys. And its sad the movies like kick, dhoom3 and chennai express do all the business only because of big names while good movies like DBB don't get the business they deserve. Its a pure delight for mystery lovers.
  • namashi_13 April 2015
    Based on the fictional detective Byomkesh Bakshi created by the Bengali writer Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!' is A Blast! Writer-Director Dibakar Banerjee delivers a deliciously twisted thriller, that's grim, dark, complex & yet engrossing. Its a moody period film, that works hugely as a suspense-thriller!

    'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!' Synopsis: In a contemporary interpretation of war torn Calcutta during the 1940's, the film follows the first adventure of Byomkesh (Sushant Singh Rajput), fresh out of college, as he pits himself against an evil genius who is out to destroy the world. It's his wits against the most villainous arch criminal the world has seen, in a world of murder, international political intrigue and seduction.

    'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!' is a slow-burn thriller, that grows on you with each passing scene. The drama unfolds with such detailing & crispness, that I kept going with the narrative more & more. Bakshy's first adventure has moments of pure shock, twists, humor & also betrayal.

    Banerjee & Urmi Juvekar's Adapted Screenplay is very well-done. The Writing is super sharp, despite, its slow-pace. The first-hour builds up suspense, while the second-hour offers one intriguing moment after the other. The climax, also, is fabulously done. Banerjee's Direction deserves full marks. He's back in top-form! He's handled the film with utter brilliance. Cinematography captures every moment with flourish. Art Design is extremely well-detailed. Editing is good, but the pace could've been slightly faster. Music & Background Score are excellent.

    Performance-Wise: Sushant Singh Rajput as Byomkesh Bakshy, is impressive all through. This is his finest performance to date. Anand Tiwari is fantastic. He contributes so much in the goings-on. Swastika Mukherjee enacts the femme fatale, confidently. Divya Menon is first-rate. Neeraj Kabi is outstanding. He stands out. Meiyang Chang is effective. Arindol Bagchi is adequate.

    On the whole, 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!' works big time! Its one helluva thriller! Strongly Recommended!
  • This was a highly anticipated movie for me. Expectations built up when the trailer was out. Went to the first show and was so happy that the movie is just what i was expecting - A good mystery detective flick with little bit comedy, little bit action and lots of thrill and awesome scenes. Really this is something new for Indian audiences. Dibakar Banerjee has done a great job in recreation of 1942 Culcutta. Back ground music is simply fantastic. These kind of movies are very rare in Bollywood and hence it was an awesome experience. Expect that this will be a big commercial success. A sequel is expected and hope it will come soon. Go for it if you like suspense and dark comedy.
  • So watched one hell of a movie today!!…It is known as Detective Byomkesh Bakshy.. Dibakar-Sushant,kudos to you both ..U guys have just nailed it.. Awesome,kick ass,chilling,edge of the seat mystery thriller.. Calcutta has never looked so damn gorgeous on screen ever before,brilliant cinematography. The film manages to keep you guessing with the next dialog spoken till the very end of the film,such is the narrative. You just can't afford to divert your mind for a moment or you will lose something significant. Background music specially in the 2nd half of the film is kick ass n supports the film very well. And what can I say about the villain,definitely one of the most menacing I have seen in years now.Now I know why this role was presented to aamir coz it definitely had the potential. I loved the climax too,it is a bit predictable but one you can relish for a long time. I have finished watching this film for about 5hrs now,but still I can't get over it coz this film stays with you. I am going with 4 stars. Definitely the best for me this year!! I will be highly anticipating its sequel whenever it will be announced. If you can focus your mind for 150min.,you will love this

    ******

    As far as box office aspects of DBB are concerned,I doubt it will be a success.The film demands probably too much from your side.People who go to watch mostly light hearted films will come out disappointed.I watched the film in the morning show with only 7 people in the entire theatre!!!
  • 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.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    after watching this movie, my thoughts about this movie is that its full of suspense, realtime mystery and the uncovering of this story is good overall, but the ending really will burn ur head, and u will think ~>

    " WTF just happened ??? " but the crime scenes really make sense, sushant singh rajput did a brilliant job again, and the thriller is just fantastic, but the ending is JUST AWKWARD........... there is violence and blood shedding,but i think you all can manage that.. happy to see , but spoilt in the end :/ ( i think the ending gives a chance for a sequel )

    BUT YEAH..... really worth the time :D
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The movie left a lot to be desired.Frankly did the story even need to exist?? So you have a chemist whose formula (however absurd) you want to steal and dispose of him. Why not run him down in a car accident?? It seems everything is written conviniently just for Byomkesh to come in. This is bad writing definitely. Also it does not make any sense why the missinh chemist needs to be proved as a blackmailer....who is gaining out this?? Why not stay mum and just let Byomkesh bang his head against dead clues. I have never seen a detective film where the sleuth has it so easy with the villains voluntarily providing clues at every turn.

    But the most irritating point was the lack of research that has gone into plotting of the 'global' conspiracy. Even if we accept an Indian rising to be a Chinese drug baron the climax and villain's plan seem so silly that it completely robbed me of the little pleasure I was getting earlier.

    First of all. the Japanese plan to invade and free Calcutta is so downright silly that it is imcomprehendable how it is really passed of as a serious plan in the film.

    Nobody attacks in submarines, its just not possible to carry an attack force like that. Maybe the writers could have thought of about a commando raid, and not a full scale attack. But then that would not have served the basic plot.

    Now if its an invasion, somehow, then its a major initiative. Somehow accepting that ships are carrying Japanese soldiers and coming undetected (how?) to Calcutta shores, are these suddenly to be dropped on account of just ONE air-raid siren?? In any case the Japanese possibly would have carried out a diversionary air-attack to divert attention..in that case they would have obviously faced multiple air-raid sirens. And again, while we see stray bombings all through the film, why on that very day there are no diversionary air attacks?? And, if the attack is imminent, will the two main guys on that very night sit with Byomkesh and chat?? For what?? And suppose all these happens and Japanese do take Calcutta, how it helps at all in the middle of a war?? Does fall of a city immediately make bengal free?? How does that free Bengal defend itself against a counter-attack from the rest of the British troops?? Why will the Chinese drug barons 'invest' in so shaky an affair. How will that state evolve into a drug capital of the world in the middle of a world war?? All these need not have to be detailed out, as films do have gaps. But here, the ENTIRE climax and defeat of a global conspiracy, nay a near equivalent of a war-time invasion is thwarted by ONE air-raid signal !!! This thought is so laughable that it beats me how this gibberish was passed in the script meetings. This looks like extreme poor research and almost zero knowledge about war against which the entire movie is plotted.

    All these also leave aside the fact that in 1943 it was actually the British who were the main villains in India...planning the genocide known as Bengal Famine which ended up killing around 4 million Bengalis. Its sad that a bengali director disregards this fact and makes the British the saviours here.

    But the history apart, the thinness of the plot and the sheer absurdity of the climax is so mindblowing that all good things that have passed before pale into insignificance.
  • This movie was one of the few instances in my life where I tasted something genuinely superior than my expectations. It was like going back to those fabulous film noirs with ever lasting thirst for mystery. Watching this movie, I realized I just found the jackpot I've always been searching for, a perfect Detective Movie in today's environment which is polluted by the likes of Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes franchise.

    40's Calcutta comes alive and in the turmoil of World War 2, but there is another, much darker war is lurking under the shadows, a war filled with ultimate betrayals, politics and may be, at the cost of the country itself. Who will outsmart another in this game of throat cutting foxes, Chinese, Japanese or just an ordinary amateur detective...... you should remember his name, because it's very likely that he'll leave you mesmerized. He's BAKSHY, BYOMKESH BAKSHY.
  • Is the movie watchable? Perhaps to a degree, until the climax.

    I give it 2 stars, 1 for art direction and another for the actors.

    With the exception of Swastika, acting is generally good. Even supporting actors do their part pretty well. Talking about supporting actors, there is a certain Japanese gentleman who looks and acts his part very well. But here's what goes wrong. His character, Dr. Watanabe, a practicing Japanese dentist, language teacher and samurai swordsman all rolled into one (not to mention being a Japanese secret agent) has one great flaw. That is he shouldn't have been there at all. His presence in Calcutta as a free man would be next to impossible in Calcutta in 1943, a time when the Allies where already in war with Japan. As soon as war was declared, he would have been arrested and sent to one of the many internment camps that detained enemy nationals like Germans or Italians. Remember 7 years in Tibet? Brad Pitt, a German national finds himself in an internment camp in British India from where he escapes to Tibet. The plot might have been saved if he was disguised as a Chinese or Korean doctor, or if he laid low in some other way. But what can we say, it's a creative reinterpretation and Bollywood hype nowadays use words like "creativity" in combination with "well - researched" to the an increasingly discerning audience hungry for new, read better quality cinema.

    1943 was also the year of the Bengal Famine. Various causes including food stocks being used up to feed soldiers resulted in a Holocaust. Thousands from the country side flocked to the city to beg for food and people died by hundreds on the streets from malnourishment and disease. Yet there was no evidence of any of it neither in the outdoor street scenes nor in the screenplay. Such a major event going all around and there's not a single mention of it? It's like a typhoon blowing around you and all you can talk about is what curtains will suit the window, or more interesting, who stole the curtain. To top it in the streets, there are vendors selling loads of green produce and the fish vendor shouting out how fresh the fish is. One wonders how much research really went into it writing the script. Surely much less than the hard work of the CG team.

    The aim is to make an entertaining movie, isn't it? But the public also demands good entertainment which includes well written plot not full of holes and inaccuracies especially when the hype was all about being so accurate in terms of recreating the period. Art direction is not everything. You can make a pretty convincing picture of the past but if the story has obvious flaws, it's a disaster.

    For the less discerning who don't care about their intelligence being insulted, get your bag of popcorns and (re)watch the film till the very end. That is if you can digest the ending sequences where the slo-mo blood bath and hackneyed Chinese torture takes place. It's not even funny.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Detective Byomkesh Bakshy - Dibakar Banerjee has done a thing which may or may not be good for this movie . This is not a direct adaptation of Byomkesh Bakshy from Bengali literature . Characterisation of Byomkesh has been changed , he is not so sober and mature here . His intelligence level is not as you expect , neither he always does right things , he faulters in his way, infect he is not just solving the case rather he is part of the case , things are happening with him and his life is also in danger. This can be a little problem for the die hard fans but rest of the audience will not be hampered by it. Movie starts with Byomkesh completing his college and getting his first case randomly by chance. Its never clear why the man recommend the client(Anand Tiwary) to approach Byomkesh in the matter of his lost father. From there starts a detective plot which with each and every opening knot becomes more and more grander in its scale. Here a small problem arises. The movie should have been a story in which an event happens and the exact revealing of the suspense should have been at the climax. Instead of that we get a plot in which searching of the lost person was only the start and it keeps on connecting more and more subplots and the movie becomes so much grand and out of your sight that you were not ready for that. Whats makes the last third act of movie a little dragged one as you were not expecting something out of the sight climax. But the good thing is that the first two act of the movie are totally engaging. Cant say that the opening knots are great to crack your mind but are shocking enough to keep you engaging. And yes we got an intelligent villain who looks much more mature then our hero. As presented by Yash Raj Production i can tell you that film has not been in full control of our director. And all the differences that has been shown in comparison to the Book were should have been the decision of production house to make it more of a commercial Bollywood version. An extra point to add as a complaint is that although the production design and cinematography were brilliant to show the 40s era of Calcutta (only few production house are present in Bollywood who could have done this except YRF) our main lead doesn't use Hindi language in an Bengali accent . Which doesn't give the filling that we are watching a Bengali character solving a case in Calcutta('KAHAANI' had did this thing in a better manner). But then again its a typical Bengali kind of complaint which will not hamper other then Bengalis. Acting department with many unknown faces are perfectly casted also including some known actors. But for me Anand Tiwari as Ajit was the best of them and Sushant as Byomkesh come only after him. When the music was out i haven't liked it much but it fits the movie in such a good and contrast manner. Nevertheless i don't think that the usual audience will think this much on the movie as much as i have done. U can easily enjoy it . Its a good entry for Byomkesh . And yes the film has hinted for the sequel , so be ready for it too. 6.9/10. ANuP APu KuMaR
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As always when I write these reviews, let me say up front that I am not Indian and don't speak Hindi (or Bengali!). But my wife and I have watched a lot of Indian movies in the last 10 years.

    We went to see this because my wife likes detective stories, and the Bengali movies we have seen in the past (Raincoat, Choker Bali) were excellent. We were not disappointed.

    First--remember this is from a non-Indian's point of view--I was pleased to see that somewhere in India the director was able to find an Englishman who could actually act. In 99% of the Bollywood films, the non-Indian actors are awful. But the police commissioner here was great--just the right amount of arrogance and sympathy. Secondly, in contrast to virtually all the Hindi films I've seen, the British were not portrayed as evil demons or fools. To portray every British person in India as a devil or a fool just makes the movie into a cartoon. But here, the police commissioner spoke the native language (you judge how well, I can't), was respectful to the Indians, and was clearly just trying to do his job the best he could. Good job.

    Next, the atmosphere of the movie. To me it successfully created the noir atmosphere of the 40s mystery movies perfectly. If there were any mistakes, I didn't see them.

    Acting: Terrific all around. There were a lot of characters, and each one was clearly defined. In some Bollywood movies characters come and go quickly--someone will show up in the first five minutes, then disappear for two hours, and then re-appear at the climax and you're supposed to remember who they are. Not here. Each character was followed throughout the movie--even the little servant who served tea. You cared about each character, and enough was left unsaid to make you wonder if they were who they said they were.

    Involvement: This is an extremely important point, and it's where a lot of Bollywood movies fail. All too often there are 5-6 fight scenes, or love scenes, or whatever, and you think "Why do we have to see this again and again?" But here there was no repetition--everything was fresh, and I was completely involved in the movie from beginning to end. I personally think this must be one of the hardest things to accomplish, and this movie did it beautifully.

    Story: A bit over the top (a Japanese invasion of Calcutta? Really?) and maybe with some unrealistic touches (would Japanese really have been allowed to wander around India in 1943?), but overall restrained and logical.

    Obviously there will be a sequel, and I look forward to it. I'm just sorry the books aren't translated into English--I think that's an opportunity waiting for some enterprising translator.
  • The casting is fair,Sushant Singh Rajput has done a decent job and so have the other characters. Calcutta of the 1940's has been portrayed beautifully and aesthetically. Apart from this one just feel for most part of the movie it is too dark and at times does make it difficult to figure out what's going on. The main issue with the plot is the director has tried to do too many things and in doing so have lost the originality of the writings. One is not too accustomed with Bomkesh might find the movie interesting but not someone who knows all about Bomkesh. The ending is rather stereotype and doesn't charm the viewer. All in all a so-so flick.
  • One of India's all time favorite characters + a talented director +star lead + a period setting - elements that promise an entertaining film. Alas, as happens so many times - the result is highly disappointing. Byomkesh Bakshi was one of my favorite TV detective shows (as was of most people I know) from the 90's - never missed an episode. Why ? Simple whodunit stories, great acting, suspenseful music and slick direction. On the other hand, the thrill factor was totally lost in the film even before mid-way. Extremely slow paced, the film lacks in suspense appeal. It seems the team spent more time (and money) on the research on the film's period setting (1940's Calcutta) - and they indeed have done a great job at that. Only if similar energy had gone into keeping the plot simple and tight - could have been a great success. Highly anticipated film of 2015- unfortunately falls flat on its face. Bad news for Byomkesh fans indeed !
  • Warning: Spoilers
    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.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It is indeed a duel of wits between the story teller and the viewer. The story teller succeeds in keeping the viewer glued and guessing all the time. An envelope of silence is maintained in the auditorium and that is clear triumph for this gripping whodunit murder mystery.

    The clever screenplay boasts of snappy twists and sharp turns and does not get dreary save for a few minutes during the build-up. It can still pass off as a near-perfect whodunit, the climax might face some flak though. However one will definitely admit that keeping the suspense till the very end does require a genius effort. To top it up, thrills are served seasoned with wits and subtlety

    Subtle charm and witty nuances make Byomkesh the character he is and Dibakar , Aditya Chopra and Sushant bring the character to life perfectly draped . The tale of mystery transcends into a larger than life chain of events and that what makes the case a bite more than simple Byomkesh, can actually chew ! Will avoid giving away even remote hints to the tale. However still need to highlight the detailing in the recreation of Kolkatta ..oops Calcutta of 1942, the rampant opium smuggling, the struggle for freedom and amidst that a story full of deceit, intrigue, mystery, lust and suspense. The different cards will keep unfolding as you sink in-

    Sushant Singh Rajput has assured himself of a character which can be recreated multiple times without losing its brilliance. Yash Raj has created yet another franchisee and Dibakar Banerjee's portfolio expands into newer, undiscovered genres. With a charming, endearing, flirtatious, witty, composed and brilliant portrayal, Sushant lives Byomkesh and gives Bollywood a detective next-door. Swastika Mukherjee has a commanding screen presence as Anguri Devi. Anand Tiwari is an able side-kick and slips in effortlessly. The antagonist is definitely an actor to watch out! All others are up to the demands of the screenplay.

    Mystery movie lovers will relish it. Minor blemishes do not rob the movie of its dexterity. Overall a movie not to be missed.

    4/5* or 8/10
  • I would ask you to watch this movie because this kind of movie is simply very rare in Bollywood.It is dark,smart and keeps you thinking for the entirety of it. A lot of people including myself found the movie very difficult to keep up with and I was the happiest person during the intermission!Not because the movie is bad rather I was happy because now I could join the dots and understand what really is happening!! Byomkesh is represented by Sushant Singh Rajput with perfection! Byomkesh isn't a fighter,he isn't fond of blood.He is just a normal guy who happens to be very smart and hence is a detective!His reactions to blood and murder are similar to what would happen if one of us sees a body. In the end the movie is kinda explained because come on it's a very complicated movie and we could use all the help we could get to understand it.

    All in all, a great movie for people who like to whack their brains when they are sitting in the theater and not just churn popcorn's!!! Its definitely a thinking man's movie!! Great Work Mr.Dibakar Banerjee!!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Few years back Anurag Kashyap re-defined Devdas and now Dibakar has done it with the the most popular and favorite Indian sleuth - Byomkesh Bakshy. And just like at the time of release of Dev-D, some fans are aghast and crying murder now on the release of DBB.

    But let us start with a line from the movie - what can a middle class person do for the country?

    The movie opens to a heist of large quantities of opium on banks of River Ganga from a gang and ties it to the mystery and the going on. A known person on the university with an acerbic tongue prompting the listener to punch him in face, Byomkesh is introduced as a sharp observer, open, trusting to the verge of being naive, without property and job and losing his love lady to someone who does. While solving the case of missing father of his client he stumbles across loose thread which lead him to solve a larger mystery.

    Characters are well defined, human and very identifiable. They are ordinary. There is nothing over the top. True to his form, Dibakar let the viewers on the going on and if you have been paying attention, you become Byomkesh yourself liking one clue to another.

    Production design is top class - they have re-created the 1940s Calcutta in front of our eyes in the finest detail possible. Music is fine and aids the story telling. Dialogues represent the time, cinematography is top class and casting is immaculate.

    All the actors have done justice to their roles and all the three main characters stand out with their performances. After Nawazuddin, we may have Neeraj Krabi as the new Amrish Puri of our times.

    In his previous movie, Shanghai, Dibakar gave a very positive message that a single honest and upright officer can make the system accountable. So is the case here where a promising newbie middle class detective can do what he does best - Save Calcutta.
  • harshxbox8 April 2015
    Don't Spend your Money On this, Waste of Time and Intelligence, I generally have high hopes from YashRaj Movie, But so far this movie is utter disappointment, A Noir, Nicely Packeaged, and Highly Publicized, lacks Everything, Poor Starting, Worst Story Ever, and Highly Publicized Climax is also very Poor, Negative Lead was Kept Under Wrapped, and Was Highly Publicized however it is very disappointing, and Story from Start to End just Sucks, There is nothing in this movie that you can tolerate for 2.30 Hours, Even Construction of Plot is so poor, that In between only You loose Interest, Cinematography is equally Poor, Sets are as per Yashraj Standard, but thats it, Don't watch this Movie, its just 2.30 Hours of Complete Non Sense, with No Acting, No Story Line, No Music, and Worst Climax,
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Enter Byomkesh Bakshy ,India's answer to Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. I was a bit apprehensive when Dibakar Banerjee announced he was planning a big screen adaptation of my favorite sleuth. To be honest, the first trailer too did not raise my hopes in any way. But having watched the film, not only did he lay all my doubts to rest, but also proved that the right combination of style and substance can make a world of a difference to any film. Sushant Singh Rajput plays the lead protagonist in the film that shows pre-independence Calcutta and it was awesome to watch the Calcutta of the 1940's. He not only looks the part (the dhoti, hair, jacket), but has totally transformed himself to become the always on his guard detective. The acting, the direction, the editing as well as the OST was top notch. Thank you Dibakar Banerjee and Sushant Singh Rajput for bringing my favorite fictional sleuth to life on the big screen. The story is captivating and my goodness Neeraj Kabi you were brilliant as Dr. Guha, the Moriarty of Banerjee's Byomkesh. Eagerly waiting for the next installment soon. Thank you for making my day.
  • Dibakar Banerjee has begun his Byomkesh Bakshy series in a flash of blood and rock. I say "begun" and "series" because this is clearly the first of multiple servings he has in mind. In that context, "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy" is comparable to Nolan's "Batman Begins". We are introduced to the main players and they have their first bout. Something tells me that some of the scenes in DBB will grow fonder once we see the characters evolve in subsequent films.

    Coming to the film itself, Sushant Singh Rajput's earnest efforts bubble forth making his Byomkesh likable if not charming, effective if not suave. The trailer indicated that this version of Byomkesh could be like Guy Ritchie's Holmes. But somehow Rajput looks even better on screen than in the trailers and the "bangaliana" (Bengali-ness) of Byomkesh stands him out in a space of his own rather than being anyone's imitation. Anand Tiwari is a snug fit in his character appearance. But the surprise aces in the pack are Swastika Mukherjee and Neeraj Kabi. However, my favourite aspect of DBB is its '40s Calcutta. Meticulously created, lovingly flaunted, this Calcutta is a city in its prime, even if it's under siege and serving as the battlefield of multiple villains. As the template for the thriller, this is a Calcutta almost distractingly beautiful with its trams and "ghingy" roads, its Chinatown and evening parties, its sirens and sirens (yes!). And the soft, dim - even dark - shots throughout only add to the enigma.

    The plot could have been tighter, the villain better (the likes of Joker and Silva have made our appetite for villains so large that they have a tougher time making their mark than heroes nowadays) but the music, the mood, the setting and the uncertainty make it a thriller worth the money. And special kudos to Dibakar Banerjee for daring such a bold interpretation. Because, as his version of the "satyanweshi" (truth-seeking) protagonist would agree, it's the daring that counts at the end!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Taking a look around Netflix UK for titles from 2015,I spotted a Bollywood Noir which I had heard a lot of praise for,which led to me getting ready to investigate Detective Byomkesh Bakshy.

    The plot-

    1940s Calcutta:

    After not hearing from his dad Bhuvan for weeks, Ajit Banerjee decides to hire private detective Byomkesh Bakshy to track him down. Traveling to the outskirts of Calcutta,Bakshy discovers a hostel that Bhuvan stayed in.Whilst he has not been seen for weeks, Bakshy learns from fellow hostel guest Dr. Anukul Guha that Bhuvan worked in a factory.Going to the factory with Guha,Bakshy finds the factory to be shut down,but guarded by two security guards and a mysterious femme fatale keeping a close watch.Outwitting the guards,Bakshy and Guha break into the factory.Finding a strange smell in the building,Bakshy soon discovers a burnt up body,which leads to Bakshy suspecting that something about Bhuvan is being kept hidden at the hostel.

    View on the film:

    Capturing the city being in a tug of war between the British Empire and Japan,co-writer/(along with Urmi Juvekar) director Dibakar Banerjee & cinematographer Nikos Andritsakis soak the title in a frosty Neo- Noir atmosphere of fear and dread,as deep shadows and Film Noir posters hang around every corner of Calcutta. Diving into the era, Banerjee & Andritsakis investigate every decaying street with elegant tracking shots which hit 40's cars grinding grit into the title,and smoked covered drug deals taking place in sly whispers.

    Bringing Saradindu Bandopaddhyay's pulp character to the big screen (with no songs!), Banerjee & Urmi Juvekar closely work with editors Manas Mittal & Namrata Rao in their excellent adaptation,as dazzling flashbacks are splashed across the screen that deconstruct the mystery and allow the viewer to put the clues together piece by piece.Injecting a jet- black dark Comedy side into the title,the writers brilliantly use the comedic shots to sink Bakshy deeper into the rotting Film Noir world,as Bakshy finds himself stuck in the middle of drug and gang wars,which lead to a thrilling kung-fu final scream coming from the ruins of the burnt up Calcutta.

    Offering Bakshy helpful "advice" Neeraj Kabi gives a wonderful performance as Dr. Anukul Guha,thanks to Kabi giving Guha a jolly,warm glow,which he tears apart with a wickedly sinister grin.Looking past the burning lights of the city, Sushant Singh Rajput gives a fantastic performance as Bakshy,whose playful swagger Rajput reveals to be a cover to dive into the harsh underbelly of Calcutta's underworld,as Bakshy uncovers the secrets of 1940's Calcutta.
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