With Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, Dibakar Banerjee sets a benchmark on how to go out making an intriguing murder mystery. The premise is wonderful, the performances are top-notch, the music pulls you in and the writing is admirable. But somewhere towards the end of the film, things go slightly awry.
Right from the first scene where things kick off with a faceless murder, the director keeps tossing the surprises at regular intervals. DBB is the first episode after the protagonist passes out from college, so the proceedings been maintained at realistic levels without venturing into a bigger brainstorm. Dibakar connects each lead with tremendous clarity, as we are presented with a little twist just when things start to look comprehendible. And with things such the costumes, styling and the art working in his favour, getting into the mood isn’t much of a bother.
DBB’s biggest asset comes in the form of its technicality, with a special mention to the cinematography and the music. Dibakar’s ideas get some superb visuals, thanks to the sublime camerawork. Presenting the same scene from four different perspectives, and the fact that the crucial scenes were shot at night are examples of the stellar professionalism behind the lens. The music of the film, composed by a handful of musicians is highly electronic and exciting. All the songs have been used coherently with the narrative, and do not do anything other than rising the tempo of the film.
Dibakar’s making in DBB deserves all our appreciation and more. But in the third act, the film suffers from an unnecessary drag which could have easily been done away with. Being slow paced, the film didn’t require an elaborate breakdown of what happened from scratch. This goof-up takes the spice out of what could have been a shocking reveal. Nevertheless, DBB ends up becoming a satisfying neo-noir detective drama which does bring us our own version of Sherlock Holmes.
Verdict: Ambitious detective drama with a defective third act.
3 / 5