Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! is a 2015 Indian Hindi-language mystery action-thriller film directed by Dibakar Banerjee and produced by Banerjee and Aditya Chopra. The story is based on the fictional detective Byomkesh Bakshi created by the Bengali writer Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. The film stars Sushant Singh Rajput, Anand Tiwari, Neeraj Kabi and Swastika Mukherjee in principal roles. It was released on 3 April 2015 to positive reviews from critics but it became a commercial failure. A sequel with Rajput reprising his role was planned.
|Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dibakar Banerjee|
|Produced by||Aditya Chopra|
|Written by||Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay|
|Screenplay by||Dibakar Banerjee|
|Based on||Satyanweshi and Arthamanartham|
by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay
|Starring||Sushant Singh Rajput|
|Music by||Various Artists|
|Edited by||Manas Mittal|
Yash Raj Films
Dibakar Banerjee Productions
|Distributed by||Yash Raj Films|
|Budget||₹35 crore (US$4.9 million)|
|Box office||₹43 crore (US$6.0 million)|
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The film begins in November 1942 in Calcutta, where a group of Chinese men from the Green Gang are smuggling opium from the docks. An unknown gang attacks them and one of them brutally blinds the Chinese gang's leader.
In January 1943, Ajit Banerjee (Anand Tiwari) approaches Byomkesh Bakshi (Sushant Singh Rajput) asking him to locate his father, Bhuvan Banerjee, who has been missing for two months. Byomkesh rejects the request initially but later takes on the case. The following day, he visits the lodging house Bhuvan Babu resided in, run by Dr. Anukul Guha (Neeraj Kabi), a physician. Byomkesh also meets Kanai Dao (Meiyang Chang), an opium seller and Ashwini Babu, Bhuvan Banerjee's roommate.
Byomkesh finds Bhuvan Babu's paan box, containing his custom-made formula, which was stolen by Ashwini Babu, who was addicted to the formula. Byomkesh then deduces that Bhuvan Banerjee has been murdered. He visits the closed chemical factory where Bhuvan Babu used to work, where he meets an actress, Anguri Devi (Swastika Mukherjee), the wife of the factory's owner, Gajanan Sikdaar (Dr. Kaushik Ghosh). While Byomkesh interrogates her, he notices her nervously hiding her purse. When Anguri goes to film a scene, Byomkesh goes through the contents of the purse and finds a set of letters containing words cut out from the newspaper, blackmailing her husband Gajanan Sikdaar. Byomkesh deduces that Ganjanan Sikdaar has killed Bhuvan Babu, who was blackmailing the former. Byomkesh visits Gajanan Sikdaar's residence where Sikdaar's nephew Sukumar is creating his own political party against Sikdaar. Byomkesh is thrown out of the house when he tries to ask Gajanan Sikdaar about Bhuvan Babu.
Byomkesh and Dr. Guha go back to the factory and sneak in after conning the watchmen. While inspecting the factory, they find Bhuvan Babu's slashed, decomposed body stuffed into a machine. Sikdaar is brought in by Deputy Commissioner Wilkie for questioning. However, Byomkesh realizes from the dates on Bhuvan Babu's letters that they are fake and Sikdaar is being framed. Sikdaar is freed and Byomkesh follows him home but is stopped by Anguri Devi who attempts to seduce him. He gently rebuffs her and goes to meet Sikdaar, who immediately has a fit and passes away, having been poisoned. Suspicion falls on Sukumar, who was seen making death threats to Sikdaar. Dr. Guha leaves Calcutta temporarily but sends Byomkesh a letter and the stamp used on the fake letters, admitting that he was the one who faked the letters and killed Bhuvan Babu. Satyavati (Divya Menon), Sukumar's sister, pleads with Byomkesh to help her brother, who she believes is innocent. Byomkesh finds the cab Sukumar was last seen in, and the driver drops him at a Japanese dentist, Dr. Watanabe's office, from where Sukumar was seen driving off with Watanabe. Byomkesh and Ajit go to meet Watanabe saying they are part of Sukumar's Spring Day campaign, but Watanabe realizes they are imposters. Watanabe sends another member of Sukumar's party to follow the duo. Byomkesh and Ajit, realizing they are being followed, change their attires and then follow the young man back to Watanabe's office. Realizing the duo have outsmarted him, Watanabe murders the follower and his receptionist and escapes from there.
Byomkesh takes a paper out from the follower's corpse's pocket, which contains a drawing Byomkesh realizes he has seen before. Meanwhile, Dr. Guha returns to the lodging house and meets Byomkesh and Ajit, admitting that he committed the murders as he and Sukumar are working in cahoots to fight for the country's freedom, saying Bhuvan Babu and Sikdaar were killed for being traitors. Upon returning to their room, Ajit begins venting about his father and the latter's overcritical treatment of Ajit, during which he reveals Bhuvan Babu had lost a job at Hind Chemicals when they realized that his master formula had contained opium, used to addict customers. Byomkesh then tries Bhuvan Babu's Paan masala, which Ashwini Babu appears to be addicted to, and in a state of euphoria, creates a wall-painting of his understanding of the entire case, saying Sikdaar had said the words “Young Gun” in Byomkesh's ear just before dying. Byomkesh has the paan and his own blood tested; while his blood has traces of heroin, the paan is clear, and he deduces that the heroin was made by Bhuvan Babu with the property of not being traceable until it has been consumed. Byomkesh learns from Kanai Dao that the opium supply in the local areas has been halted, and asks him if he can help Byomkesh meet any heroin suppliers. However, Kanai turns out to be a police informer and turns Byomkesh and Ajit into Deputy Commissioner Wilkie. Wilkie reveals to Byomkesh about the Green Gang and their enmity with one of their former members Yang Guang, who wanted Calcutta's opium business for himself and was killed by the Green Gang but has recently been touted to be alive. Byomkesh realizes Sikdaar had said Yang Guang, not Young Gun.
Byomkesh then realizes the drawing he had found is an outline of the Ganga on the Calcutta map and the set of points where the Spring Day campaign is to take place. With Kanai's help, Byomkesh meets with the Green Gang, who help him deduce that Yang Guang has set a deal with the Japanese, who will attack Calcutta at the Spring Day campaign points and take over Calcutta, and in turn will gain control over the opium trade in the city. Byomkesh also realizes that Anguri Devi is Yang Guang's lover, who she has not met in 4 years, who on Yang Guang's orders, had killed Sikdaar and attempted to seduce Byomkesh, all along being in the dark about Yang Guang's deal with the Japanese. Byomkesh meets Wilkie and requests him to set off all the Air Raid Sirens at 4 AM on the morning of the Spring Day campaign. Wilkie refuses and Kanai defects to Byomkesh's side, as the latter saved his life from the Green Gang.
Byomkesh requests Dr. Guha, Satyavati, Sukumar and Dr. Watanabe to meet him at his house, saying he wishes to save them. Byomkesh then tells them about Yang Guang and reveals they have all been betrayed, and as he lays out the facts of the case, reveals that Dr. Guha is, in fact, Yang Guang. Byomkesh reveals that he has already informed the authorities, who have deployed attack units at all the stations where the Japanese soldiers will land. Guang claims Byomkesh is bluffing and Anguri Devi attempts to dissuade him from helping the Japanese conquer Calcutta, but he says he loves her and lures her, stabbing her brutally. In a turn of events, the Air Raid Sirens are set off and Yang Guang realizes that Byomkesh was not bluffing. Byomkesh convinces Watanabe to stop the attack for the safety of his men, who leaves to stop the attack. The Green Gang, who were present in the house all along with Kanai's help, attack Guang as Byomkesh informs a panicking Satyavati that he was indeed bluffing, before being struck unconscious by a member of the gang. Byomkesh gains consciousnesses 2 hours later and is told by Ajit that the Green Gang has taken Yang Guang. Byomkesh asks Satyavati to marry him, to which she smiles in reply. Meanwhile, the Green Gang's blinded leader is seen ordering his son to blind Guang, who then attacks the Gang and kills them (including the leader,s son whose knife he takes to blind himself) and vows revenge on Byomkesh by promising to give him hate. Soon Byomkesh realises something while Guang shouts in agony.
- Sushant Singh Rajput as Byomkesh Bakshi
- Anand Tiwari as Ajit Kumar Banerjee
- Neeraj Kabi as Dr. Anukul Guha/Yang Guang
- Divya Menon as Satyavati
- Swastika Mukherjee as Anguri Devi
- Meiyang Chang as Kanai Dao
- Moumita Chakraborty as Leela
- Mark Bennington as Deputy Commissioner Wilkie
- Arindol Bagchi as Ashwini Babu
- Aryann Bhowmik as Jai Bengal Party Boy
- Manoshi Nath as Ruby
- Anindya Banerjee as Prafulla Ray
- Tirtha Mallick as Atanu Chandra Sen
- Prasun Gayen as a Journalist
- Peter Wong as the Underboss
- Prashant Kumar as Factory Watchman
- Dr. Kaushik Ghosh as Gajanan Sikdaar
- Takanori Kikuchi as Dr. Watanabe
- Piyali Ray as Watanabe's Receptionist
- Pradipto Kumar Chakraborty as Puntiram
- Sandip Bhattacharya as Officer in Charge
- Shivam as Sukumar
- Nishant Kumar as Factory Watchmen
- Shaktipada Dey as Nibaran Da
- Kanwaljeet Singh Banga as Sikh Taxi Driver
- Lauren Gottlieb (special appearance in the song "Calcutta Kiss")
Dibakar Banerjee expressed his desire to make a film on Byomkesh Bakshi so that India will get its own detective. On 28 June 2013, the co-production venture of YRF and Dibakar Banerjee Productions officially announces its first directorial outing with Banerjee titled Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! In July 2013, Banerjee revealed that YRF had bought the rights of "31 of Byomkesh novels in all languages outside Bangla".
Before shooting, workshops were held for the cast. In an interview Rajput said, "I have taken leave for two to three months for Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! after the release of Shuddh Desi Romance. A lot has to be done for the film like the look of the 1940s' hairstyle, body, accent, but all after this film". The costume was designed by the designer Manish Malhotra.
The sets were designed by Vandana Kataria and, accordingly, the set up will showcase the lifestyle of the people who were living during the turbulent times of World War II. To give the look of 1943, the heritage zone of B. B. D. Bagh was transported back to the pre-Independence era with vintage cars and old trams back on the streets. As reports suggest, a lot of VFX will be used to reflect old world charm.
After Khosla Ka Ghosla, Dibakar Banerjee wanted to make this film and he approached Aamir Khan to play the villain. Eventually the deal was cancelled because Aamir chose Dhoom 3 over it. Sushant Singh Rajput was roped in to play the role of Byomkesh Bakshi in mid-2013. Earlier reports suggested that fashion designer Sabyasachi's assistant, Divya Menon, would be making her debut as an actress in this film as Rajput's character's wife.
Initially Rani Mukerji was considered to play the female lead. However, Rani refused the role since the heroine's character had a few bold scenes. The role was later offered to Bengali actress Swastika Mukherjee. On 6 November 2014, Banerjee stated that Mukherjee's role is sketched along the lines of Mata Hari. In March 2014, reports suggested that Meiyang Chang would be seen in the film in an important role. In May 2014, it was revealed that Neeraj Kabi is also part of the film.
Shooting for the film began in early 2014, and ended on 12 May 2014. A part of the movie has been shot in Kolkata and Mumbai. Some scenes were shot in an abandoned mill in Mumbai's Byculla region. Shooting locations in Kolkata were finalised in February 2012. Shooting took place in Lalbazar, Presidency University, Coffee House and Bow Barracks. The cast was reportedly seen shooting for the film in Agarpara in January 2014.
|Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||14 March 2015|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Yash Raj Music|
Amongst the artists in the album, Sneha Khanwalkar is the only musician who had composed for a soundtrack before this. The track used in the teaser, titled "Life's a Bitch", is composed by the New Delhi band Joint Family. The full song of "Bach Ke Bakshy" was published in a music video featuring Sushant, dancing in a parking lot, on 16 March 2015 in the official YRF YouTube channel. The next day, YRF uploaded all the songs in an audio jukebox format.
|1.||"Calcutta Kiss"||Madboy/Mink||Madboy/Mink||Imaad Shah, Saba Azad||3:09|
|2.||"Bach Ke Bakshy"||Sneha Khanwalkar, Dibakar Banerjee||Sneha Khanwalkar, Dibakar Banerjee||Gowri Jayakumar, Big Deal, Thomson Andrews, Trevor Furtado, Rap by: Smokey the Ghost, Craz Professa||5:49|
|3.||"Byomkesh in Love"||Rishi Bradoo||Blek||Rishi Bradoo, Anil Bradoo, Usri Banerjee||3:18|
|4.||"Jaanam"||Suryakant Sawhney||Peter Cat Recording Co. (PCRC)||Suryakant Sawhney||3:27|
|5.||"Chase in Chinatown"||Sandeep Madhavan||Mode AKA||Vyshnav Balasubramaniam, Sandeep Madhavan, Manas Ullas||3:55|
|6.||"Life's A Bitch"||Akshay De||Joint Family||Akshay De||3:35|
|7.||"Yang Guang Lives"||IJA||IJA||IJA||4:29|
Marketing and promotionEdit
Banerjee says he changed the 'i' at the end of the protagonist's surname Bakshi to 'y' for "typographical balance", stating that the 'i' felt "too thin" and that 'y' was a "stronger alphabet".
The production team made a special documentary to celebrate the birthday of Howrah Bridge and did a flash mob on the bridge to the song "Calcutta Kiss" on that day.
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! team promoted the film in Mumbai College, where a fashion show is inspired by it.
Sushant Singh Rajput promoted the film in India Poochega Sabse Shaana Kaun? and Comedy Nights with Kapil. Rajput also promoted the film in the TV series C.I.D. on 30 March 2015, where he appeared as Byomkesh with Anand Tiwari as Ajit.
A mobile version game named Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!: The Game, has been launched by Games2win (G2W), which was made available on the Google Play Store. It is a hidden objects game.
The game, launched with Yash Raj Films Licensing (YRFL), the licensing division of Yash Raj Films, is based on the film, which features Sushant Singh Rajput in the lead. On completing all the levels, a 'Detective Certificate' is awarded to the players, who can post it on social media.
An apparel line titled NOIR 43 was launched at the Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW), New Delhi, on 26 March.
Before the film's release, Dibakar Banerjee expressed interest to make Byomkesh Bakshy as a franchise, if the first film does well. After its release, Banerjee stated that he had the sequel ready and was hoping to start soon. Banerjee said that Byomkesh's adventures will continue with the upcoming installments of the series exploring his relationship with his sidekick Ajit, his love interest Satyawati and his nemesis.
Hindustan Times Rohit Vats gave it four stars out of five and stated "The action in the film starts taking place from a distance and the director slowly involves the audience into it. Pre-independence Calcutta serves as the backdrop in the opening scenes, but it soon turns into a character. The attention to detail is obvious in almost every frame."
Koimoi Surabhi Redkar, gave it four stars out of five and said: "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy is a delicious thriller filled with elements that make you rack your brains too. This mystery is the one even you would want to solve. Watch it for an amazing story and its even better execution. Crime mysteries just got better in Bollywood! I am going for 4/5 here!"
Mid-Day Surabhi Redkar, gave four stars and said: "Don't miss it. Even if just to go back to the magical world of nostalgia created so beautifully and earnestly by Banerjee and cinematographer Nikos Andritsakis." Kusumita Das from Deccan Chronicle rated the movie 3.5 stars out of five and noted "The film follows the core structure of whodunit --- the chase, the red herrings, the slow cooked suspense leading up to a grand reveal. There's a generous spray of blood too, that underlines just how violent those times were."
Srijana Mitra Das of The Times of India reviewed and gave 3.5 stars out of five and wrote "Byomkesh Bakshy is an iconic Bengali character brought to life by Sushant Singh Rajput with great elan – Sushant pulls off a role full of wry liveliness (a Sardarji cabbie nervously noting, 'Ye babu ka nut dheela hai,'), fitting the character, from flowery dhoti folds to furrowed-forehead frowns, beautifully. He's matched by dramatic Neeraj Kabi and calm Anand Tiwari who, after a Chinese gang leaves a courtyard strewn with corpses, tells caretaker Putiram (shakily precise Pradipto Kumar Chakrabarty), 'Khoon rehne de...bas chai bana de."
Indian Express, Shubhra Gupta gave it three stars out of five and mentioned "When it switches to explicatory mode, it flattens. The tension, which is on a slow-burn, leaches out, and the film ends as less than it could have been. And that's a disappointment. But by then, you have seen a film, a real, bonafide film, not bits and pieces of nonsense masquerading as one."
IBN Live gave it three stars out of five and mentioned "It's the snail-paced plotting, and the surprising lack of urgency and imminent danger that cripples the film. Story strands and characters are abandoned arbitrarily, only to be revisited later. The big reveal isn't too hard to guess – stick with your gut, don't let the red herrings distract you, and lo, you've figured it out. The climax too is a mess of hammy acting." Deepanjana Pal of Firstpost gave it eight out of ten.
On its first day Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! collected ₹4.2 crore (US$590,000) nett in India. On its second and third day the film collected ₹4.5 crore (US$630,000) and ₹5.36 crore (US$750,000) respectively, and made a total weekend collection of ₹14.1 crore (US$2.0 million) in India. Its worldwideide collection stood at ₹43.95 crore (US$6.1 million)
|2016||Stardust Awards||Best actor in a negative role||Neeraj Kabi ||Nominated|
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- 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!' – Movie Review
- Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! movie review: With a stunning build-up, Dibakar keeps you guessing till the very end
- Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! Movie Review
- Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! review: Its biggest weakness is its leading man Sushant Singh Rajput
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- Detective Byomkesh Bakshy review: Stylish, beautiful and yet Dibakar's most underwhelming film so far
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