Rating : 7/10
Release Date : 3rd April, 2015
Time : 153 minutes
Director : Dibakar Banerjee; Writer : Dibakar Banerjee, Urmi Juvekar based on the character by Sharadindu Bandhopadhyay; Music : Various
Starring : Sushant Singh Rajput, Anand Tiwari, Meiyang Chang, Swastika Mukherjee, Neeraj Kabi, Divya Menon, Mark Bennington, Shivam, Dr Kaushik Ghosh
Anand Tiwari’s father has been missing for two months, and he hesitantly approaches the film’s titular character, Sushant Singh Rajput, for help. Thus begins an adventure that involves Calcutta in 1943, the English rulers, opium, our freedom struggle, Chinese gangs, the enemies of our enemies and by that logic our friends, the Japanese and a crucial stopover cum import from Rangoon.
Its quite an interesting adventure, not one that is entirely coherent but fun to watch nonetheless. Dibakar Banerjee, as usual, is excellent in creating an overall atmosphere via the costumes, the locations and keeps the action pacy, with enough twists and turns to keep you hooked. Where he misses out, quite oddly, is with the Bengali character / feel, something that Sujoy Ghosh got so brilliantly right in Kahaani. Here everyone speaks perfect Hindi without any trace of a Bengali accent, and the walk, posture, demeanour lacks the inherent laziness of the denizens of Bengal.
The ensemble cast is quite excellent – really liked Anand Tiwari, Swastika Mukherjee and Divya Menon. Special praise for Neeraj Kabi and Meiyan Chang. And quite liked Sushant – he doesn’t quite behave like a Bong but keeps you interested in what’s happening with him.
There are quite a few murders in the film, and it begs the question as to why Byomkesh’s life is never really threatened, why the villain is so magnanimous even while knocking off anyone else who is remotely threatening ? But I guess that is true of most detective stories. There is more than a homage to Guy Ritchie’s restyling of Sherlock Holmes here but it’s Dibakar’s deft storytelling which is the primary reason to watch this one, even though there is a lot in there which doesn’t make sense.