Kolkata: It’s a good time to be in the movies. Alia Bhatt’s Gangubai Kathiawadi is off to a great start in the pandemic period and yet netted nearly Rs 10.50 crore at the domestic box office on day 1. Back home in Bengal, we are witnessing joining of forces, which is essential to take regional cinema forward. Yes, we are talking about the coming together of two big houses of Bengali films — SVF and Camellia Productions. For the audience, especially for the mystery lovers, there’s more good news. Byomkesh Bakshi is back and the fourth film on Bengal’s favourite detective will be jointly produced by SVF and Camellia Productions.
Abir Chatterjee, who is the go-to man for any Bengali detective character, will again be seen playing the sleuth. Arindam Sil, who has an excellent box-office record with the earlier three Byomkesh films — Har Har Byomkesh, Byomkesh Pawrbo and Byomkesh Gotro, will wield the megaphone. No surprises in case of Satyabati as the favourite Sohini Sarkar returns. But Ajit has changed again. This time, we will see young man Suhotra Mukhopadhyay playing Byomkesh’s sidekick. Suhorto performed well in Hoichoi’s Gora and Sil is certain, he will pull off Ajit with aplomb. Bickram Ghosh, who had composed the music for earlier three Byomkesh films, will helm the department. In fact, this would be Ghosh’s 17th film with Sil. Now, that’s quite a jodi.
But there’s a twist in the tale. Bishupal Bodh is an incomplete story of celebrated Bengali writer Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. Bengali author Narayan Sanyal completed the unfinished story of Bishupal Bodh. But Sil wasn’t quite pleased with the way the story ended. So, he along with his screenplay writer Padmanabha Dasgupta drafted a new ending. The yet-to-be-titled film will be the amalgamation of Sharadindu’s story and the filmmaker’s version. Set in the tumultuous Naxalite uprising in Bengal in 1971, Byomkesh will witness a crime unfolding on the stage when he attends a theatre. As Byomkesh digs deep into the case, it leads him to stories of love, betrayal and infidelity.
Commenting on the major collaboration, which will act as a breather to the frazzled Bengal film industry, Sil says, “If all such big houses come together, it would flourish the Bengali industry. The strength will increase. Can we understand what it means to have SVF and Camellia together? Bengali cinema needs to survive and this is not just about my movie alone.”
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Sil will go on floors with the new Byomkesh film in the third week of May. The shoot starts in Kolkata. Interestingly, apart from Padmanabha and the filmmaker, not even the lead cast is aware of the ending. “May be, that’s the challenge even Sharadindu babu wanted me to take up. I consider myself extremely lucky to have done three Byomkesh films and all three have been blockbusters. Now, I am on my fourth. I can only thank my stars,” says Sil, whose upcoming films Maayakumari, Mahananda, Tirandaj Shabor and Khela Jawkhon will release soon.