Byomkesh Bakshi is a very renowned detective in Bengali literature created by Saradindu Bandopadhay and has been also one of the most popular characters in Bengali literature like Feluda, Tenida and Ghanada.’Chiriakhana’ was the first screen adaptation of the sleuth starring Uttam Kumar as Byomkesh and Sailen Mukherjee as Ajit.After that Satindra Bhattacharya played Byomkesh in ‘Sajarur Kanta’, directed By Manju Dey.After that there have been a few television serials regarding Byomkesh featuring Rajit Kapur, Sudip Mukherjee,Saptarshi Roy and were more or less okay adaptations, but this is the first time that Byomkesh Bakshi has been made on such a large scale by noted actor0director Anjan Dutt who plans to make a couple of more films on the sleuth. There is another director called Swapan Ghoshal who did make a film on Bakshi quite a few months back starring Subhrajit Dutta called ‘Magno Mainak’ and he had said that he has plans to make a few more films on the sleuth but nothing has been heard till now.
This particular film is a story which has quite a few sub plots so handle such a story would require great control over the film and an excellent adaptation just because of the nature of this film.Anjan Dutt has managed to do that with his first film about the sleuth.
Byomkesh is having a lean season when he literally has no work Suddenly one day a Lady named Nonibala Devi (a lady with extremely hard features and rather manly looking) comes to him and asks him to help her son Prabhat (someone whom she looks upon as her own son though not her own).It seems that from his childhood she had brought him up when someone had given birth to him and passed way, but his father had deserted him. However a gentleman called Anadi Haldar had liked him one day when he had met Prabhat due to work related purposes and had treated him as his own son from there onwards.Nonibala stays in Anadi’s house with Prabhat, the occupants being Keshtobabu, an old friend of Anadi who loves to drink and depends on Anadi on his four square meals, Nripen, Anadi’s secretary.Anadi has a couple of nephews, Nemai and Netai who were after his property.Byomkesh tells Nonibala that he cant help her but asks her to leave the address of Prabhat’ shop. After a couple of days, Byomkesh and Ajit pay a visit to Prabhat’s shop and meet him where he recognizes Ajit.He seems to be a subdued, shattered individual who doesn’t have anything to look forward to in his life because of his broken engagement to Shiuli, a bar dancer whom he loves dearly.Byomkesh pays a visit to Anadi’s house in disguise and finds him to be an irritating man. One day Keshto comes at night to Byomkesh’s house to inform him that Anadi has been murdered.Byomkesh immediately goes to Anadi’s house and decides to investigate the case. From further investigations, he comes to know that one of the nephews had taken a room on rent in a hotel opposite Anadi’s house to keep an eye on his uncle. He also comes to know the nephew had seen the murder take place , but had not seen the murderer. One day Ajit receives a call from Keshtobabu saying that he wants to meet Byomkesh immediately, but at theta time he is Patna.Keshtobabu somehow manages to reach Byomkesh’s doorstep only to have been dead in Ajit’s arms as someone has stabbed him. Meanwhile Prabhat decides to sell his hop and go away.Byomkesh decides to buy it. On the eve of Independence Day at night, Byomkesh and Ajit wait for Prabhat to arrive. As soon as he arrives and tries to take away a few books, he is caught red handed by Byomkesh.It seems that the books have notes bound in them.Anadi had made a huge amount of black money-around 20 lakhs during World War II and he had kept the money in several books of his by binding the money in those books. It is further revealed that Keshtobabu had been killed by Batul, an arms dealer (who also used to visit Byomkesh) because he was blackmailing Batul as he knew Batul had given a rifle on rent to Prabhat who had killed Anadi.Nonibala had also seen Prabhat commit the crime, but her maternal instincts had prevented her from saying anything.Prabhat also comes to know that Anadi was his real father and everyone (Anadi and Nonibala) was aware of the fact.
The plus points about the film is that the music is good specially the song at the hotel which Shiuli (Swastika) is singing.Neel Dutt has provided the score. Another excellent point is all the actors who have been chosen have played their part very well and it seems as the character was just for them just like it is in the story. Starting from Abir who is very good as Byomkesh and has been able to bring out the mannerisms which are required for the character, Saswata-perhaps the most natural choice for Ajit, Swagata Mukherjee who possesses the exact manly features along with a maternal instinct towards her adopted son, Kalyan Chatterjee as Keshtobabu who loves his drink in the evening, Biswajit Chakrabarty as Anadi, Swastika as Shiuli has also done a decent job. But the star of the show is Rudranil Ghosh as Prabhat who has brought out the character of Prabhat so well. Here is a character who is completely subdued, done and out, shattered, has nothing to look forward to in life because the woman he loves has refused to marry him as he is against her singing and dancing and boy does he deliver! He is brilliant.
The director has made some changes from the original story as required for the film. Like for e.g. Other the occupants mentioned in Anadi’s house, there is another occupant in the story, but he is not there in the film as he is not too relevant. The film features Shiuli in more or less a significant role, but in the story, she hardly features and she definitely does not have so much interaction with Byomkesh.The film has also been advanced by 16-17 years as the original story is from 1946 and in the film it is 1962-3.