Director Anjan Dutt has named his latest film “Byomkesh Bokshi” based on Saradindu Bandyopadhyay’s detective novel “Adim Ripu”, why not? If a Hollywood film based on Conan Doyel be named as “Sherlok Homes”, why can’t he do the same thing?
Director Dutt not only change the name of the story, he also changes the time perspective of the story, which is not only important, but significant too. Saradindu’s novel was set against 1947 pre independence era and the climax happens on the early morning of the 15th August. Dutt has set his film in the 1962 and the backdrop is Hindu Muslim riot stricken Calcutta.
One can’t find any reason for this change. It was not necessary as Dutt was never comfortable even with his changed milieu. Not a single frame of the film carries the signature of ’62, rather it may be passed with equal case as ’47 also. In the film we find the climax scene happens on 15th August of 1962. Does Dutt believe that 15th August of 1947 and that of 1962 has the same weightage in meaning?
So as the basic premise of the film is shaky, it reflects on the entire body of the film.
A rich money lender (Biswajit Chakraborty) is killed in the night of “Charak” puja (instead of Kali puja in the story. Dutt has to change this to tally with the Independence Day in the month of August). Byomkesh Bokshi (Abir Chatterjee) comes along with Ajit (Saswata Chatterjee) to investigate the murder and he find that the money-lender is killed b t a long barreled rifle bullet which was not found in the place of occurrence. And according to film all the inmates of the house Nanibala (Swagata Mukherjee), her raised son Prabhat (Rudranil Ghosh), money lender friend (Kalyan Chatterjee) and even his secretary (Arindol Bagchi) are suspects, because all of them had some motives.
The story has a sub-plot too where there are two fishy characters Shiuli (Swatika Mukherjee) a bar singer and her secretary Gadai (Pijush Ganguly), who carries a gun always in his trouser’s pocket. There are another character Bantul (Chandan Sen) who is small time crook involved in selling or renting different kinds of guns.
Dutta has tried to follow the logic of Saradindu-but he has change one thing again in the story line. At some point in the original story Byomkesh & Ajit both left Calcutta and went to stay at Patna, where Satyabati was staying with his son. There is a time lapse of six month which is very essential in the story line. Dutt’s film has no such time-lapse, so the logic of the second death (of Kalyan Chatterjee) of the film is somehow seemed too fast and logic-less.
Any way “Byomkesh Bokshi” is like another ‘who dunit’ genre of film, where the name of the culprit is released only at the end of the story - no matters whether there are enough logic or not. Abir Chatterjee in the role of Byomkesh is convincing, but Saswata as Ajit seemed more aged and intelligent than Byomkesh, but Rudranil as Prabhat is miserable. It is not his fault. Probably, he was asked to do in that manner. Pijush and Chandan are excellent. Swastika for no reason acted in a higher-note. Music by Neil Dutt is just passable.