Dedh Minute Review: Detective Byomkesh Bakshy

There can be no better director than Dibakar Banerjee to helm a complex thriller like Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, and he crafts a moody slow-burner that looks gorgeous and sounds great. We might finally get a franchise we can be proud of, says Aniruddha Guha in his Dedh Minute Review.

The film kicks off with Ajit Banerjee seeking the help of Byomkesh Bakshy, who’s on the verge of taking up a teaching job. Bakshy’s quest for solving riddles pulls him to Banerjee’s case, who hasn’t heard from his father in two months. Bakshy starts investigating and soon uncovers a bigger, evil conspiracy linked to the missing father of Banerjee.

Bakshy never liked to be referred to as a detective, instead calling himself Satyanweshi, or seeker of the truth. In this film, Bakshy is a young man who isn’t yet the sure-footed sleuth he becomes over the course of the series. Banerjee cleverly casts Sushant Singh Rajput, whose boyish charm makes the character work. Rajput is ably supported by the ever-dependable Anand Tiwari who plays Ajit Banerjee, and the fantastic Neeraj Kabi.

The simplicity of Sharadindu Bandhopadhyay’s original work is what made the series endearing. Bakshy is never saving the world, only solving straightforward, but intriguing crimes. Dibakar, however, isn’t happy to settle for a simple thriller, and along with co-writer Urmi Juvekar, builds a complex web of mystery that demands patience and constant involvement.

There are minor issues. A major twist isn’t exactly surprising, especially if you are well-acquainted with the original series. And the final act might seem underwhelming to some. Yet, it is the kind of film where if you give more importance to the journey than the destination, you’re bound to have a good time.

For Dibakar, the setting is only a canvas, and he paints a pretty picture. My rating is a 4 on 5.

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