Dibakar Banerjee’s DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY is a fine visual treat with streaks of genius. But what goes against this movie is that it lacks soul, and it drags for over two-and-a-half hours. Detective films should be crisp and sharp with a narrative that keeps the audience hooked onto the proceedings on screen. Little clues dropped along the way keep the audience engaged.
In fact, it’s just the opposite; for long spells you get lost in the maze of the puzzle Detective Byomkesh Bakshy (Sushant Singh Rajput) is trying to solve. Throughout though, the eye for detail and authentic sets somewhat make up for the lack of zing in the script. Production designer Vandana Kataria brings to life Calcutta of the early 1940s in the set designs and styling of clothes and hair. To that effect, you cannot fault the visuals.
Fresh out of college, Bakshy gets involved at the request of Ajit Bannerjee (Anand Tiwari) who has been looking for his missing father Bhubhan, in vain, for two months. Bhubhan is a chemical expert who is fond of his ‘paan’. One day he goes missing with his ‘paan box’. What should have been a simple mystery to solve turns complex when his body is discovered.
Then, the skeletons begin to tumble, one after the other and Bakshy gets deeply involved in a crime, in which he believes he was set up.
Full marks to Dibakar for setting out to attempt a character that was created almost 80 years ago; full marks also for the manner in which he lends authenticity to each and every scene, visually. All the actors put the weight behind their role to flesh out an engaging duel on screen between themselves.
If only the audience were given a role to play a part in solving the crime, methinks this would have been mind-blowing.
All the same, if you are looking for something different, DBB is something that you can venture out to see.
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