In a true reunion of sorts, Anjan Dutt and Arindam Sil unexpectedly come together in the latest Byomkesh outing; and yet Byomkesh Gowtro turns out to be yet another disappointing mess to be added to the already overdone Byomkesh series. That wasn’t much unexpected though.
Released as one of the opportune Pujo releases, the film may well see good commercial success though – festive spirit, movie outings, and sleuth drama is a hit combo after all. And it doesn’t need to be good cinema by any means to get there. Out here, the poor screenplay ensures that one can see through the mystery from a distance even if you don’t remember the original story. And the proceedings become a bigger drag especially in the highly convoluted second half of the film. Arindam Sil moving the original story from Bengal to Mussoorie was a smart thought to capitalize on the mood and landscape of the hill-station; and also integrate interesting trivia around Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot’s debut case or the history of Cuba around it, but these moments are few and far, and get lost in the sheer mediocrity of the rest of the script.
Like most previous films of the series, you can somehow sit through the film till its end only because Abir Chatterjee still lights up Byomkesh to a good extent with his sauve charm and intelligent expressions, but everyone around him tries to vehemently pull him down. Rahul Banerjee is a complete disaster as the new Ajit and its a sheer tragedy that some of better lines of the film are given to him and get completely wasted. Sohini Sarkar remains as unimpressive as ever, and I have never personally enjoyed the gimmicky banter between Byomkesh and Satyabati in any of the earlier films as well. Her wardrobe and her period look does catch attention yet again, and remains consistently aligned to the mood of the film. Sadly, that is not the case for Abir’s wardrobe though. Honestly this sleuth differentiates himself in looking dapper in his trademark dhoti and absolutely didn’t need to shift to jackets and trousers in some scenes to go modern.
In other roles, Arjun Chakraborty is rather irritating as Satyakam and his sleaziness becomes more caricaturish than menacing most of the times. At least if Anjan Dutt had more to do, there could have been some more meat added to the script, but alas Sil had no such plans. He would rather spend his energy to forcefully fit in his own cameo to the story. Harsh Chhaya is adequate, while Priyanka Sarkar is highly unimpressive. There isn’t much to speak about any of the other performances unfortunately, and they all disappoint equally.
There are five other big bengali releases for Pujo this year, and I hope that at least a couple of them are good or at least better than this. Because in its current form, Byomkesh Gowtro is a strict No Go!