Direction and screenplay: Anjan Dutt
Production: Anjan Dutt and Kaustav Ray
Music: Neel Dutt
Cast: Abir Chatterjee, Anjana Basu, Ankita Chakraborty, Biswajit Chakraborty, Chandan Sen, Ena Saha, Koushik Sen, Locket Chatterjee,
Rahul Banerjee, Sampurna Lahiri, Saswata Chatterjee, Subhra Sourav Das,
By Shoma A. Chatterji
Byomkesh Phire Elo is the celluloid adaptation of yet another Sarandindu Bandopadhyay whodunit with Byomkesh Bakshi as the detective based on the original Benisanghar. The story is about a rich man, Benimadhab (Biswajit Chakraborty), who approaches Byomkesh (Abir Chatterjee) as he suspects he is going to be killed by some family member. He also wants to change his will. The only man he trusts is his bodyguard. But before Byomkesh can even begin to investigate, Benimadhab and his bodyguard are brutally murdered in their sleep.
Skeletons begin to topple out of the family cupboard. Benimadhab did not trust any member of his family so he refused to eat food cooked either by his daughter-in-law Arati (Locket Chatterjee) or his daughter Gayatri (Anjana Basu). Neither does he trust his son Ajay (Chandan Sen) who is an actor, grand-daughter Laboni (Sampurna Lahiri), two nephews (Rahul and Subhra Sourav Das), the bodyguard’s ‘wife’ Medini (Ankita Chakraborty), Benimadhab’s womanising and alcoholic son-in-law Gangadhar (Koushik Sen); all had strong motives to kill the ill-mannered, maniacally suspicious old man.
Anjan Dutt cuts the narrative with insights into Byomkesh’s family life which are interesting but could have been cut to keep the suspense running. Saswata proves what a great actor he is in the few scenes he appears in. Anjan Dutt’s characterisation of Gangadhor is solidly complimented by Koushik Sen’s portrayal of the perennially drunk son-in-law who has the best lines in the film. He is outstanding specially in his scenes with Byomkesh. The next bright star in the acting cast is Ankita as Medini who is actually a prostitute from Pahar Gunje brought in by the bodyguard as his ‘wife’ so that her delicious cooking and his ‘loyal’ service can persuade Benimadhab to will his property in their favour. She has portrayed her many-layered role with conviction. Locket and Chandan are reduced to the sidelines while Rahul does his part as a still photographer who falls in love with Medini quite well.
Abir Chatterjee, clad in spotless white dhoti-kurta, framed glasses and smoking every now and then, he invests the character with the sharp power of observation Byomkesh is known for. His ready repartees with the characters are spiked with caustic and satiric comments. Anjan Dutt misses out on a tightly knit script a thriller demands. The climax is a bit too placid and lacks the drama one looks for in a who-dun-it.