Dibakar Banerjee on Detective Byomkesh Bakshy

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dbb-directors noteOn April 3rd, Dibakar Banerjee’s pulp noir Detective Byomkesh Bakshy starring Sushant Singh Rajput hits theaters.

Based on the early exploits of India’s first true-blue detective created by Bengali bestseller writer Saradindu Bandyopadhyay, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy is set in the Second World War torn Calcutta during the 1940s. The tale follows the first adventure of Byomkesh Bakshy, fresh out of college, as he pits himself against an evil genius who is out to destroy the world. Using his wits against the most villainous arch criminal the world has seen, in a world of murder, international political intrigue and seduction.

In his Director’s Note, Dibakar Banerjee writes about the essence of who Byomkesh Bakshy is and why the world needed him in 1943 and why we need him now.

“Raymond Chandler once described a detective roughly as a good man in a bad, bad world, hiding his goodness. He is cynical and hard-bitten, who knows how bad this world can be. But the truth is, under all that hard-bitten cynicism and that worldly smirk there lies a hero you may count on story after story, year after year, to do the right thing.

I’m convinced that if Saradindu Bandyopadhyay had written the Byomkesh Bakshy stories today, he would have been taking the metro or checking out the nearest multiplex for clues to catch the murderer. The villain would have worn cargo shorts. And you would have felt the thrill in your bones just as if it was happening to you.

The truth is, a real, convincing detective doing extraordinary things in an ordinary world works in every age.

Byomkesh always, always catches the criminal. He always protects the innocent. He is honest. He stands for truth. He even hates being called a detective. He likes ‘Truth Seeker’ better.

The world in Detective Byomkesh Bakshy is a subtler, smarter variety of the dangerous world – A market lane. A letter. A boarding house. A Chemical Factory. A Film Studio. Evil and criminal masterminds lurk right out there in the world you thought was so familiar. And when Byomkesh unmasks some devilish criminal right in the midst of his benign neighbours, you shudder harder. Who knew? Who could have thought?

Real people are villains here. People you and I could know easily in our ordinary lives. Yet these very ordinary, real people, unknown to us, are planning something horribly twisted. And Byomkesh’s mind runs faster than light and cuts sharper than a Teflon razor to bring these diabolical criminal to justice.

We need a Byomkesh to set this wrong world right again and again. Because without people like Byomkesh, it’ll be a bad, bad world to live in. It was true in 1943. And it’s true now.”

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