4 Very Good

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!

Dibakar Banerjee, a name tantamount to quality cinema, is back with 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!'. The director left all and sundry flabbergasted with his earlier attempts. From Khosla Ka Ghosla to Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!, Banerjee has left no stone unturned to prove his prowess in filmmaking.

It is a movie which doesn't rely on the obvious. Had suspense quotient been the barometer to judge the success rate of a movie, Banerjee would have scored extraordinarily in this venture.

The movie is set in war-torn Calcutta of 1943. It was a time when World War II was at its peak and a couple of murders everyday was no big deal. It was the time when Byomkesh graduated. He was just out of college and lands his first case. Byomkesh is not a run-of-the- mill sleuth, who is taciturn, composed and confident of himself. He is indifferent and imprudent. He believes that he is a novice and is likely to commit mistakes.

The movie rests on the gripping screenplay. The screenplay is so novel that it will make you bite your nails in curiosity to know what happens next. This stunning build-up of characters and narrative will boggle your mind to keep guessing until the end. Banerjee has completely rejuvenated the character of Byomkesh in this flick. It is not another translation of Saradindu story on the big screen. This is the reason why Byomkesh's latest adaptation transcends into a genre of its own. The protagonist himself becomes a part of the crime and lands into a deep trouble.

Banerjee through his writing slow cooks the plot only to unravel a meaty climax. But, wait. This is what the audience expects?! Alas, the exposition scene and the climax raise a lot of questions, which are left unanswered. The audience simmering in anticipation to see the climax will surely be disappointed. The lukewarm finale is a gentle let down by the writer. While, few sequences will make the audience stand and clap for Banerjee, whereas, other twists and turns will boggle your mind. It will be unfair to say that the screenplay is convoluted, but it is not perfect one either.

The background score adds a lot of weight to make it an audacious Bengali drama. The camera work is striking. Production design is top-notch. The editing is not so crisp.

It is manifest that the film clear rests on the shoulders of the male protagonist. Sushant Singh Rajput has come a long way. He has emerged as one of the finest actors in his lot. He clearly has a strong grasp over his body language. It is pleasant to see how Singh brings a striking edge in the depiction of amateur sleuth in this drama. Singh has an inimitable flair which is rare these days. He radiates of cornucopia of expressions from his eyes in every scene, which is aptly captured by Banerjee.

The supporting cast of the movie is tremendous. It is finely layered to build-up the story. Swastika Mukherjee, as an enticing seductress, is remarkable. Meiyang Chang is adequate. Anand Tiwari is rock solid. Neeraj Kabi is outstanding.

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! is a genuine endeavour which catapults the echelon of art-house entertainment. What I admire about the movie is this perspicaciously sophisticated moral kaleidoscope interlaced in absolutely contemporary terms. At the end of my review, I want to recommend this movie to anyone because it's simple but stunning, it's usual but complex, carried by Sushant's overwhelming performance and Banerjee's pitch perfect direction. This is without a doubt one of the best movies released this year. Go watch it!