Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! Its Dibakar Banerjee’s love affair with ‘Calcutta’

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By Ishan Kukreti

When Dibakar Banrejee decided to turn Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay’s Byomkesh Bakshi into a feature, it was a courageous call. Masters of Indian cinema like Satyajit Ray(Chiriyakhana,1967) and Rituperno Ghosh (Satyanweshi, 2013) had tried to do the same, but with little success.

Although the film is being severely drubbed by a section of filmgoers who claim to know the nuisances of Bakshi in some way that Dibakar could not capture, for those blissfully ignorant of such intricacies, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy is a treat that brings something nail-biting to the screen with every shot.

Dibakar is known for his realism in cinema. People remember Oye Lucky Lucky Oye (2008) for the innocuously disastrous Lucky and Khosala ka Ghosala (2006) for a cranky and hapless Mr. Khosala. With Byomkesh, he has extended that knack for realism from characters to settings. The most breath-taking character of the film is the city, Calcutta of 1943. Detective Byomkesh Bakshy will go down in history as Dibakar’s love affair with Calcutta.

The film is shot beautifully. The subtle shift of noir tones from realistic to fantastic and the intricate camera work of Nikos Andritsakis (LSD, Ugly, Shanghai) sets the mood just right to enjoy the slowly unraveling mystery of converging revolution, drug smuggling, lustful liaisons and a quest for truth.

Although the film was publicized majorly as Sushant Singh Rajput’s big screen debut, people will remember the film for the madness which Neeraj unleashed on them.

The film is under fire for Sushant being a little too un-Bengali for a Bengali character but Dibakar is completely justified in bringing a sort of pan national look to the story. No better example of Dibakar’s success in doing that can be given than those two guys who were talking of leaving by interval but were the ones clapping the hardest when the film faded out.

  • Interesting and crisp. I would have loved to read more.

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Actor Sushant Singh Rajput Denies Claims of Harassment

The #MeToo movement in India started after actress and former beauty queen Tanushree Dutta in September recalled an unsavoury episode with veteran actor Nana Patekar from the sets of "Horn OK Pleassss" in 2008

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Sushant Singh Rajput
Sushant Singh Rajput. Flickr

Sushant Singh Rajput has been accused of sexual misconduct by his “Kizie Aur Manny” co-star Sanjana Sanghi. In his defence, the actor shared screenshots of their SMS conversation and called it a “smear campaign”.

Sushant on Friday tweeted snapshots of his conversation with Sanjana from the first day to the last day of the film’s shoot, and captioned it: “I feel sad to reveal personal information but it seems that there is no other way to state what was, in the midst of this curated and well-timed smear campaign.

“From the first till the last day of the shoot, this is what happened on the set with Sanjana.”

Sanjana has accused the 32-year-old actor of behaving inappropriately on the sets of the movie, saying he made her feel “uncomfortable” with his “overly friendly behaviour” during the shoot in Jodhpur.

On Thursday, Twitteratis pointed at Sushant’s missing blue verification tick on the micro-blogging platform following the claims.

Sushant Singh Rajput
Sushant Singh Rajput denies harassment claims.

However, Sushant on Friday clarified: “For all those deliberately using the missing of Twitter ‘blue tick’ to substantiate their false claims, allow me to tell you that it is not there since September 5. Get your facts checked before jumping to conclusions that you so eagerly want to.

The film’s director and popular casting director Mukesh Chhabra has spoken out in support of Sushant.

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“I totally stand by Sushant. No such incident happened on the sets and let’s not have a Twitter trial and make an innocent person suffer for somebody else’s ulterior motives. I had clarified this on twitter long back and I still maintain it,” Chhabra, who too has been accused by a women of sexual harassment, tweeted.

The #MeToo movement in India started after actress and former beauty queen Tanushree Dutta in September recalled an unsavoury episode with veteran actor Nana Patekar from the sets of “Horn OK Pleassss” in 2008. (IANS)

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Actor Sushant Singh Rajput Becomes Brand Ambassador of Bata

Bata already has actress Kriti Sanon as a brand ambassador for their women's range and Smriti Mandhana as the face of their sports brand - Power

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Sushant Singh Rajput
Sushant Singh Rajput roped in as face of footwear brand.

European footwear major Bata has roped in Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput as its brand ambassador to promote its new casual range.

This is in line with Bata’s objective to make the brand relevant and aspirational amongst the young and trendy consumers and the actor will be initially seen promoting Bata’s new men’s casual collection, said a statement.

“…I am super excited to be a catalyst of the brand transformation that Bata is undergoing. I have recently shot for their new ‘be surprised’ campaign showcasing the latest men’s casual collections. And believe me it will leave you surprised too,” said Sushant Singh Rajput on his association.

Sushant Singh Rajput
Sushant Singh Rajput. Flickr

Sandeep Kataria, Chief Executive Officer, Bata India Limited, “Sushant is a multi-faceted actor who is a favourite amongst today’s youth with his performances and style. He is a perfect fit for the brand due to his charming persona and panache. He brings a freshness to the brand and we are happy to kick off this exciting partnership with him to make Bata more relatable to the youth.”

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Bata already has actress Kriti Sanon as a brand ambassador for their women’s range and Smriti Mandhana as the face of their sports brand – Power. (IANS)

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‘Welcome To New York’: Trips on tactless plot

Overall, the 'Welcome to New York' is aimless and joyless

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welcome to new york
Diljit Dosanjh and Sonakshi Sinha are the lead cast in Welcome to New York. IANS

By Troy Ribeiro

Film: “Welcome To New York”
Director: Chakri Toleti
Cast: Diljit Dosanjh, Sonakshi Sinha, Karan Johar, Sushant Singh Rajput, Rana Daggubati, Aditya Roy Kapur, Lara Dutta, Riteish Deshmukh, Boman Irani;

Director Chakri Toleti’s “Welcome to New York” is not merely a bad, popcorn entertainer, but a waste of an opportunity. An agonizing experience in every category one can think of.

Touted as India’s first comedy in 3D, this makes ‘Welcome to New York’ the dimmest, one has seen in years. The comedy here is not humor, but absurdity.

Welcome to New York
Welcome to New York’s narrative takes us directly into the planning stages of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards. Wikimedia Commons

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The awards are to be held in New York, and in order to lure sponsors and to promote the awards, the marketing strategist, Sophie (Lara Dutta) hits upon the idea of a talent hunt contest where the winners would be invited to New York to display their skill and get their moment of fame at the awards.

The sponsors lap up the idea. Sophie, who has been working hard over the years for the event management company tries negotiating a raise for herself. But her shrewd boss Garry (Boman Irani) refuses to budge. So Sophie hatches a plan to ruin him. And she thinks she would achieve this my messing up the big event.

So instead of inviting the actual winners for the big day in New York, she invites two losers instead. The duo is Tajinder Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) aka Teji from Punjab — a recovery agent who aspires to become an actor — and Jinal Patel (Sonakshi Sinha) a dress designer from Gujarat. How they snatch their moment of glory on the stage forms the crux of the tale.

From the unintelligent and unengaging plot to the poorly written characters to flat dialogues, to clumsy screenplay with major plot-holes, the writing definitely is trashy, tacky and unimpressive.

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Welcome to New York
Karan Johar is also in the cast of Welcome to New York. Wikimedia Commons

The gags that revolve around the awards are not funny in the least. They seem to be hackneyed and not remotely comic.

Though packed with ace stars playing themselves, the performance of every actor is perfunctory, satirical, dull and uninspiring.

Lara Dutta and Boman Irani seem burnt out. Diljit Dosanjh and Sonakshi Sinha, though good actors, appear juvenile in most of their scenes. With Diljit addressing Sonakshi as “Darji Madam”, their on-screen chemistry appears forced.

Karan Johar in a double role as Karan and Arjun is impressive in certain scenes, but on the whole, he delivers his part in his inimitable style and hams most of the time.

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Welcome to New York
Sushant Singh Rajput is playing a role in Welcome to New York. Wikimedia Commons

Riteish Deskmukh offers nothing exceptional. Stereocast, his histrionics now seem jaded. He along with Karan does manage to juggle a few laughs by playing off the rules of comedy which seemed forced most of the time.

The 3D effects are unwarranted. As for the special graphics effects, the visual element that stands out is the scene which is designed like a stylized, comic book narrative, giving us a brief insight into Arjun’s (Karan Johar) backstory.

‘Welcome to New York’ has decent production values and actual IIFA Awards shots have seamlessly meshed into the narrative.

The background score is loud and ear-deafening. Overall, the ‘Welcome to New York’ is aimless and joyless. (IANS)