The popular dhoti-clad Bengali sleuth Byomkesh Bakshi is back again
The fictional character created by acclaimed writer Saradindu Bandopadhyay, Byomkesh Bakshi, is back again. The popular dhoti-clad Bengali sleuth is set to debut in a new web series which will be available on Bengali OTT destination Hoichoi. It stars Bengali actor Anirban Bhattacharya as Byomkesh and Bollywood actor Subrat Dutta as his trusted friend-turned-aide Ajit, while actor Riddhima Ghosh dons the role of Byomkesh’s wife Satyabati.
The costumes have been designed by Sabarni Das and Sanchita Bhattacharjee, and the look and styling of the characters were finalized keeping in mind the various aspects of colonial Bengal. Shree Venkatesh Films, which is one of the biggest media and entertainment houses in eastern India is currently also shooting several other original shows across genres for Hoichoi and promises to entertain Bengalis in India and the Bengali diaspora. It will have over 500 movies, original web series and over 800 songs to start with.
For over 80 years since Byomkesh has been viewed along with the ranks of other characters like Sherlock Holmes. The fictional character made its first mark in a short story named Satyanveshi (truth-seeker) in the early 1930s. Saradindu Bandopadhyay penned 32 Byomkesh stories from 1932 to 1970 prior to his death, which chronicled a detective's tryst with uncovering some of the most eccentric mysteries. However, it was introduced to the non-Bengali audience in 1993 in a television series by the same name telecasted on Doordarshan. Directed by Basu Chatterjee, it featured actor Rajit Kapur essaying the lead role. The show was very popular and Rajit Kapur achieved his first media recognition through this show.
Till date, Byomkesh Bakshi has to his name over 20 film and TV adaptations in Bengali and Hindi. Out of that, a dizzying whole lot was in the last few years. Everyone made one and a ‘different’ one. Starting from Bengali matinee idol Uttam Kumar from Satyajit Ray-directed Chiriakhana to Sushant Singh Rajput from Dibakar Banerjee directed the 2015 film Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, the stories have been adapted and interpreted by several filmmakers in all these years. The list also includes blockbuster Bengali adaptations by eminent directors like Anjan Dutt and Arindam Sil. However, the adaptations of Byomkesh in Bengali after Satyajit Ray’s venture couldn’t do much justice to the character or the stories.
Around 2010, acclaimed singer, actor and director Anjan Dutta made his own version of the detective. The problem with Anjan Dutta’s adaptation was that it failed to offer anything new. Moreover, it lacked proper execution and failed to move away from the poor script. Apart from Anjan Dutta, acclaimed director Rituparno Ghosh too made his version of Byomkesh which unfortunately became his last directed movie before his sudden demise. His Byomkesh was a bit atmospheric and it did his best to keep the period feel alive. The film’s pace, cinematography, the narrative, and everything else seemed very weak, mostly because, Sujoy Ghosh’s acting failed to do justice.
Apart from films and television, Byomkesh was also adapted for radio in the Sunday Suspense series of Radio Mirchi Kolkata performed by Kolkata’s popular RJs Mir Afsar Ali and Deep.
The first episode of this web reboot airs exclusively on Hoichoi on 14 October 2017.