Sleuth saga - The first Byomkesh Bakshi film;

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By KUSHALI NAG
  • Published 18.06.09
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Potboiler-maker Swapan Ghoshal may have been the last to announce a Byomkesh Bakshi film but he has beaten both Rituparno Ghosh and Anjan Dutt in the race to make one.

Ghoshal wrapped up the shoot — a very low-key one at NT1 — of Magno Mainak, based on Sharadindu Bandopadhyay’s story by the same title, last week. TV actor Subhrajit Dutta is his Byomkesh.

The set, a part of Byomkesh’s residence where a good part of the action happens, was nothing remarkable — some cane chairs thrown around a cluttered centre table and a few black-and-white frames on the walls — but Ghoshal tried to be exacting as far as the performances were concerned.

“I didn’t get into the nitty-gritty as I needed the performances to stand out. That’s why I insisted that we did as many rehearsals as possible before the final take,” said Ghoshal, who had directed the 28-story Byomkesh series for Doordarshan a couple of years ago.

“We are making Magno Mainak on a much larger scale. Sudip Mukherjee had played Byomkesh in the TV series but Shubrajit is the best. In fact, he looks a lot like Sharadindu Bandopadhyay!” Ghoshal added.

Sporting dhoti-fatua and gelled hair brushed back, Subhrajit didn’t find it too hard to get under the skin of the character. “Swapanda had explained all the scenes so well that I didn’t have to do much homework. I had read all the Byomkesh stories and seen Rajit Kapur’s Byomkesh Bakshi series... that’s it,” he said.

Ghoshal chose Magno Mainak as he felt it had the potential to be turned into a commercial film. “It’s an adult story and Byomkesh’s wife Satyabati is present in the film right from the first frame. The subject is also very relevant. It’s about how Byomkesh tracks down a corrupt politician,” explained the director known for films like Pita, Mahakal and Bonobhumi.

Piyali Munshi plays Satyabati, while Rajarshi Mukherjee is Byomkesh’s friend Ajit. Both are TV actors. “I have acted in the Sahityer Shera Shomoy series on Aakaash, which has a period piece feel, and so stepping into the shoes of Satyabati wasn’t very d ifficult for me,” said Piyali.

“I was a bit nervous on the first day of the shoot but Swapanda put me at ease. Mine is an iconic character and I am very happy to have bagged the role,” said Rajarshi.