The Missing Gem of Badshahi Angti

A Feluda movie without Soumitra Chatterjee is the last thing I enjoyed to watch. But, somehow, the deep baritone of Sabyasachi Chakraborty, managed to attract me to book a ticket every time a Feluda movie would release. Moreover, right from Sonar Kella, released in 1974 till Royal Bengal Rohosso, in 2011, all Fedula movies had a perfect sense of humor injected into it by Lal Mohan Ganguly also known as Jatayu, played by the legendary Santosh Dutta and later by Rabi Ghosh, Anup Kumar, and Bibhu Bhattacharya. Badshahi Angti is the first movie of the Feluda series sans Jatayu. Abir was consistently playing Byomkesh Bakshi, an exceptional criminal investigator, and one of the most enduring characters of Bengali Literature, and has started to carve a place in every Bengali’s heart.

With too many conflicting thoughts I finally decided to watch Badshahi Angti. As the very known story, which almost every Bengalis have read, and I at least a 50 times, unfolded on screen, I kept hunting for familiar Ray (Satyajit) traits. There is something that Sandip Ray severely lacks, or may be my film aficionado mind chases to look for a perfection in the son as much as the father possessed. There were some major continuity breaks, mismatch in the flow of the story and use of unrealistic CG animals.

Abir couldn’t come completely out of his Byomkesh appeal and Sourav Das as Topse was a big disappointed. I heard a certain lady saying out loud in the theater, “Ei Topshe r theke Feluda ke beshi young lagchhe” (Feluda is looking younger than this Topse).

The one man to watch in the entire film was Paran Bandopadhyay, who played Banabihari Sarkar. A real powerful actor, he matched the description of Banabihari perfectly from the original text.

I waited for the original Feluda theme, but it came in very late only during the end credits.


One thought on “The Missing Gem of Badshahi Angti”

  1. Exactly my thoughts. I knew the entire story by heart and hence was not expecting too much from the movie.

    Even with the low expectation that I had, there waa absolutely nothing in the movie that would make me recommed the movie to someone else.

    Missed Jatayu, an element that balances suspense with comedy in Feluda stories.

    As you have already mentioned Topse was not impressive. And the new Feluda (abir) lacked the batitone voice of Sabyasachi and the enigma of Soumitro.

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