There was a time when Christmas was synonymous with Feluda. The tradition met with an untimely break in 2012 due to the sudden demise of Bibhu Bhattacharya; even Sabyasachi Chakraborty had aged… Feluda needed a break and deservedly so! But after a gap of 3 years, Feluda is back with a bang!
The action has shifted to the Golden City of India – Lucknow. Badshahi Angti, the second novel in the detective series, brings back Bengal’s favourite sleuth. Aabir Chatterjee is absolutely ravishing in the role. His facial expressions, use of “magajastro”, the Bangaliana – everything is just perfect. I don’t think people will have any difficulty accepting him as Feluda, even though he has also portrayed Byomkesh on screen!
Badshahi Angti – the film – was not well written. It had the gloss, some element of thrill, but the script lacked the punch the original story had. The climax was dull when it could have sent the audience into an adrenaline rush! In the end Badshahi Angti turns out to be a damp squib.
However, one must credit Paran Badyopadhyay for putting in a great performance as Banabihari Sarkar. Dipankar Dey as the father of Topshe is wasted. The flawless Bangla accent of Bharat Kaul as Dr Srivastava is surprising. Sourav Das is promising but not as good as Topshe should be; he lacks the spark.
All in all, thank you Sandip Ray for bringing Feluda back. Looking forward to Gangtok E Gondogol next Christmas. Thank you for using the original Feluda theme in the end credits.
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights
It is compulsory for every Bengali kid to grow up reading (and fall in love with) Feluda’s adventure stories. Satyajit Ray with his magic of words had gifted us Bengali literature’s best private investigator. To further titillate the imaginations of the masses, he made two cinematic adaptations of Feluda’s adventures – Sonar Kella and Joy Baba Felunath will remain etched in our memories forever.
With such a legacy on his shoulders, it was obviously difficult for Sandip Ray to deliver and win hearts. But he did, Bomabyer Bombaytey was immensely popular with the people. Following that, he lost the plot. A series of disappointments starting with Koilashe Kelenkari till Gorosthane Sabdhan, made us wonder if at all he has the caliber to adapt Feluda on screen. Thankfully, Royal Bengal Rahasya lives up to the expectations.
Not only is the script faithful to the original novel, it is also more thrilling, crisp, boisterous and engaging. Feluda’s real weapon – his magajastra or the mind – is put to use to full glory. One does feel part of the journey of solving the riddle, the focus of the plot:
Muro hoye buro gach,
Hath gon bhat panch,
Dik pao thik thik jobabe.
Falgun tal tor,
Dui majhe bhuifor,
Sandhane dhondaye nababe…..
On the acting front, Bibhu Bhattacharya surely deserves praise. He had the most daunting task of matching up to the standards set by Santosh Dutta’s personification of Jatayu in Satyajit Ray’s Feluda flicks. Bibhuda makes Jatayu his own, and gifts the audience his best till date (did he have any premonition that this could well be his last performance?).
Sabyasachi Chakraborty is always a pleasure to watch. His mannerisms, facial expressions, the thoughtful eyes mesmerise you. No one can play Feluda with such precision as he does. Although his age and lack of physical attributes (like Feluda) does haunt one in some scenes.
The photography was spellbinding. The forests of Orissa and North Bengal have been showcased on the silver screen in their natural beauty. The background score definitely added to the pulsating effect. Special effects and animation were not amateurish unlike Kailashe Kelenkari. Really loved the modification made in the climax, showing how concerned about present realities the director is.
Royal Bengal Rahasya is my favourite Feluda novel. It made me jittery when i first heard the news that Sandip Ray had selected this adventure for screen. But not only did “Babu-Da” make my Christmas gay, but added colours of joy to it. The two hours inside the theater were spent in reliving memories of childhood, enjoying the shadows of my imagination take shape on screen. RBR is a definite watch for Feluda fans, Sandip ray lives upto his father for once.
My Rating – 3/5
P.S. – Missed Bham while watching the movie. Watching Feluda is fun when you have a company with whom your wavelength matches 🙂 I remember having waited 5 minutes on a hanging bridge at Loleygaon, for Bham, just to tell him that place was suitable for the climax of RBR!!! Tee Hee…….