Thursday, December 22, 2016

Double Feluda : It's the end that matters.


Double Feluda = Feluda + Feluda. 'Dugga Dugga'.
First things first - Dugga Dugga is used by Bongs as an expression to bring on good luck during a journey.
 In this context, I hope it brings on some luck to a well made average Feluda movie.
I have pretty much summed up my thoughts in the last few words of the previous paragraph. So lets bring out the knives / scalpel and start the dissection.

The Disappointment

As a kid you grow up learning that Feluda is a 30-something "fit-as-a-fiddle" Bong dude standing tall. You have instantly drawn a picture of what he looks like.
So be double disappointed in seeing the "pot-bellied" and nearing 60 Sabyasachi Chakraborty reprise his most successful role ever in what is Bengal's most loved teen hero.
Frankly speaking, a physically unfit looking Sabyasachi is nothing short of a disappointment for someone like me who has gobbled Feluda's adventures in Bengali and later English. (Penguin has translated most of Satyajit Ray's fiction including Feluda in English.) Age shows.
I am a big Pradosh C.Mitter (Feluda's real name) fan.
But despite his acting prowess Sabyasachi doesn't convince me anymore to reprise the sleuth's role. Apologies.
I know criticising a Feluda or a Ray is sacrilege here. But, I'm just speaking out my mind.
And Saheb Chatterjee as Topshe is plain average. I'm more inclined to call him "bad". Another misfit.

Lets Bring the Cheer

In case you haven't closed the window I will move ahead with the banter. 
Since you've borne with the criticism, let me treat you all to some good news.Feluda made his debut (through Feluda r Goendagiri) in 1965. 
So he has completed half a decade in enthralling  scores of youth. So getting treated to two Feluda stories is indeed a windfall. 
Oh yes!Wait till the end credits appear on screen and be delightfully led through a mini journey of Feluda during these five decades. 
His silver screen debut with Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress) to his last outing. 
There are several anecdotes / snippets relating to 'Satyajit jethu' and his movie-making that actually make you feel good.Now coming to the two stories.


The first is "Sammadarer Chabi" (The Key of Samaddar). It has more to do with Feluda unravelling clues to a riddle rather than an edge of the seat whodunnit.
The second is "Golokdham Rahashya" (A Mysterious Tenant) which is more of a murder mystery.


In terms of movie-making Ray Jr ( Sandip Ray) has opted for a linear format.
 No unnecessary addition or change to or linkages between the stories. 
The two stories aren't inter-mingled and are kept as separate offerings. 
They are distinctly divided in the first half and the second.
Simplistic beauty in movie making is something that Ray Jr is increasingly becoming good at.
Interestingly small modernisation like the mention of computers, internet and so on have been incorporated. So that's quite a welcome move.
Small issues like use of graphics or effects could definitely have been worked upon.
Of course, there will be not much to say about one of Bengal's much loved sleuth specially becoz of the fear of revealing storylines.

Crying for Modernisation

But I would like to go back to the point I began this discussion with.  
There is a need to have a younger Feluda and Topshe. Of course Jatayu too.
And perhaps Sandip Ray should seriously look at starting afresh with the first story - Feluda r Goendagiri (Feluda's Investigation) - or some of the earlier books. This might help him build the character of Feluda, ensure that there is greater acceptability for the characters in the long. 
And, yes, please do not repeat main characters from other detective movies. 
It becomes even more difficult to accept one actor as both Feluda and Byomkesh. I personally  feel it is difficult to accept such an experiment.
Interestingly, it is the onus of  the director to ensure acceptability and adaptability of such characters.
 I'm also of the opinion that Feluda stories should be modernised and re-told in the current context.
Times have changed. Crime and mysteries needs to be solved using modern methods - say use of a smart-phone or opting for internet in case of quick reference. 
Of course, for that to happen, the film adaptation of such retold stories need to be worked upon in great detail. Not at all an easy task. But you always have BBC's "Sherlock" (with Benedict Cumberbatch) series as a modern day inspiration.
As of now, yeah Double Feluda has not left me immensely impressed. But, anyways, you should watch it as it is a Feluda movie after all.

Rating - 2.75 or 3 / 5. 

(Video link from YouTube) 

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