Director Dibakar Banerjee along with actor Sushant Singh Rajput released the first-look poster of his upcoming film, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, in Kolkata on the night of December 20.
The night was symbolic as it was on the night of December 20 in 1942 that Japanese bombers attacked Calcutta, the Second City of the British Empire (after London), the Empire that was at war with the three Axis Powers, Germany, Italy and Japan.
Calcutta’s then landmark, The Great Eastern Hotel – which continues to be one of the most important attractions of the city – was an intended target of the bombers. The Hotel switched off its lights from sunset to sunrise the next day – hoping to ward off the attack.
Incidentally, December 20 also marked Calcutta’s first ever night-long black-out – when the city appeared all eerie -- as eerie as gaslit London of the Victorian era, when a cocaine-snorting and pipe-smoking Sherlock Holmes cracked mysteries that baffled London.
And it was on such an ominous night that Calcutta’s Detective Byomkesh – young, astute and with the canny intelligence of Holmes – embarks on his first case. With intuition for a companion and disdain for concrete proof, the sleuth, just out of college, takes on a villain – perhaps as clever, as cunning and as evil as Professor Moriarty.
At the poster launch, Banerjee said: “In late 1942 and early 1943, Calcutta was the last frontier of the British Empire, holding out against the Japanese invasion of Asia. As Jap bombs were falling on the Calcutta dockyard and around The Great Eastern Hotel, history was being created and Calcutta stepped on to the world stage. It's right here that Byomkesh's first adventure catapulted him from anonymity to dangerous fame. I can’t imagine a more fitting place to launch the first look of Detective Byomkesh Bakshy than this hotel - which right on this day in 1942, would have been full of chaos and mayhem as bombs fell around it -- with the detective probably on the hunt for a murderer not far away.”
These words set the mood all right for a movie by Yash Raj Films – to open on April 10 2015 – that will unspool the first exploit of a young detective.