Joi Baba Felunath (film)

Joi Baba Felunath (lit.'The Elephant God')[1] is a 1979 Indian Bengali-language mystery film directed and written by Satyajit Ray. Featuring an ensemble cast of Soumitra Chatterjee, Santosh Dutta, Siddartha Chatterjee, Utpal Dutt amongst others, it is an adaption of the eponymous Feluda novel and serves as the sequel of Sonar Kella. Shortly after the demise of actor Santosh Dutta who portrayed Jatayu's role, Ray remarked that it was impossible to ever make a Feluda film again without Dutta.[2]

Joi Baba Felunath
Joi Baba Felunath poster.jpg
A Poster for Joi Baba Felunath
Directed bySatyajit Ray
Written bySatyajit Ray
Produced byR.D.B. Productions
StarringSoumitra Chatterjee,
Santosh Dutta,
Siddartha Chatterjee,
Utpal Dutt,
Haradhan Bandopadhyay,
Biplab Chatterjee
Release date
  • 5 January 1979 (1979-01-05)
Running time
112 minutes
BudgetRs 6 lakhs
Box officeRs 7 lakhs
Joi Baba Felunath
AuthorSatyajit Ray
Cover artistSatyajit Ray
GenreDetective fiction
PublisherAnanda Publishers
Publication date
Media typePrint
Preceded byRoyal Bengal Rahashya 
Followed byGhurghutiyar Ghatona 


Pradosh C. Mitter a.k.a Feluda, his cousin Tapesh a.k.a Topshe and the thriller writer Lalmohan Ganguly a.k.a Jatayu go to Varanasi during the Durga Puja for vacation. There they meet a Bengali family, the Ghosals. Upon hearing that Feluda is a private investigator, the Ghosal family patriarch entrusts him with the task of finding out the thief of the attempted theft that took place in their house. Meanwhile, the arrival of a saint by the name of 'Machhli Baba' in Varanasi rouses the excitement of the local people.

A very valuable property of the Ghosals, a golden Ganesh statue, about three inches in height, was the target of the thief. On the other hand, Maganlal Meghraj, a wealthy Marwari businessman, had his eyes on the Ganesh for a very long time. He comes to know about Feluda's involvement in this case. He invites the trio to his house and tries to bribe Feluda with Rs.2,000 in order to stop the investigation. Feluda refuses to do so, which angers Maganlal, and he sets up a knife throwing show, using Jatayu as bait (much to the viewer's amusement). After the incidents in Maganlal's house, Feluda takes a vow - either he'll avenge Jatayu's harassment, or he'll quit his job of being a detective.

Although warned by Maganlal, Feluda didn't lose interest in the case, and deduces that Machhli Baba is actually a fraud working for Maganlal. A member of the Ghosal family, Bikash Singha, was also bribed by Maganlal to steal the Ganesh and hand it over to him. Feluda gets hold of Bikash and makes him confess his involvement in the theft. But Bikash states that when he went to steal the Ganesh, it was not there. Several questions arise in Feluda's mind. Where is the Ganesh, then? Why was the innocent idol-maker of the Ghosals, Shashibhushan Pal, murdered brutally? What plan did the Ghosal family head hatch upon with his grandson to save the Ganesh?

Finally, everything is revealed: Umanath Ghoshal's son, Rukminikumar a.k.a Ruku got to know that Maganlal was planning to steal the Ganesh statue, so he hid the Ganesh statue in the idol of Maa Durga's Lion. Shashibabu, while painting the lion got the statue and handed it to Bikash---without knowing his involvement with Maganlal---before going home because of his sudden illness. Bikash hands over the Ganesha statue to Maganlal for a paltry sum of money. Afraid that Shashibabu would reveal everything and would unintentionally ruin his plan, Maganlal gets Sashibabu killed after knowing of his whereabouts from Bikash. Subsequently, after an intricately planned sting operation, Maganlal and Machhli Baba are arrested by the Varanasi police.

The story ends with Lalmohan Babu realising that Ruku's plan of hiding the statue inside Maa Durga's Lion idol actually came from one of his own thriller novels and Feluda praising him for creating such an idea.

Cast in the filmEdit

  • Soumitra Chatterjee as Feluda, the Bengali detective from Calcutta
  • Utpal Dutt as Maganlal Meghraj, a Marwari businessman and the main antagonist of the film
  • Santosh Dutta as Lalmohan Ganguly a.k.a Jatayu.
  • Siddartha Chatterjee as Tapesh a.k.a Topshe, Feluda's cousin and assistant
  • Jit Bose as Rukminikumar a.k.a Ruku
  • Haradhan Bandopadhyay as Umanath Ghosal, Ruku's father
  • Biplab Chatterjee as Bikash Singha
  • Kamu Mukherjee as Arjun, the knife thrower in Maganlal's house (cameo)
  • Monu Mukherjee as Machhli Baba (cameo)
  • Panineeta Bandhyopadhyay
  • Subhadra Devi
  • Satya Banerjee (P.L.T.) as Niranjan Chakrabarty, the hotel manager
  • Indubhushan Gujral as Inspector Tiwari
  • Moloy Roy as Biswasree Gunomoy Bagchi, a bodybuilder
  • Santosh Sinha as Shashibhushan Pal a.k.a Shashibabu, the idol maker
  • Bimal Chatterjee as Ambika Ghosal, the Ghoshal family patriarch


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Andrew Robinson (1989). Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye. University of California Press. pp. 237–. ISBN 978-0-520-06946-6. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  2. ^ Satyajit Ray; Bert Cardullo (1 March 2007). Satyajit Ray: Interviews. Univ. Press of Mississippi. pp. 35–. ISBN 978-1-57806-937-8. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  3. ^ "US academy has restored Ray films, see them at film festival". The Indian Express. Retrieved 7 November 2008.

External linksEdit