Bombaiyer Bombete is based on the book by Satyajit Ray of the same name and is the first of six Feluda films that were directed by Sandip Ray and starred Sabyasachi Chakrabarty as the sleuth Feluda to come out ever since 2003. This was the only film which had eluded me ever since I started watching the Feluda films. I couldn’t catch it in theaters and the VCDs available were of such poor picture and sound quality that I gave it a miss. Finally I found myself a decent DVD of the film during my last visit to Kolkata which did a good job restoring the sound and picture quality of the source material.
I have always been a huge Feluda fan primarily because of its close to real life style of narrative, engrossing stories and unambiguous presentation of the matters at hand. Bombaiyer Bombete is no different. Jatayu (Bibhu Bhattacharya)’s book has been brought by a Mumbai based producer who wants to make a film out of it. However to collect the payment for the book, Jatayu has to travel to Mumbai. He insists that his long time associate and friend, Feluda and Topesh (Parambrata Chatterjee) accompany him on this trip. Feluda agrees. Before he leaves for Bombay, Jatayu is visited by a strange Bengali film producer Sanyal (Ashish Vidyarthi) who also offers to buy the rights of his book. However the man has other motives and hands Jatayu a package that he must deliver at Mumbai airport after some chit chat.
The unsuspecting Jatayu agrees to carry the packet not knowing what it contains. When the trio arrives in Mumbai, the package quickly proves to be an object of desire for a plethora of individuals ranging between thugs, smugglers and Gopinath Gorey who is also the Mumbai based producer of the film based on Jatayu’s book. Jatayu soon gets implicated in a murder case and Feluda is forced to use his sharp intellect and reasoning skills to get the better of the men who are after the packet and also clear the innocent Jatayu’s name. the trio find help in the film’s director Pulok Ghoshal(Paran Bandyopadhyay) and Victor(Rajesh Sharma) the stunt co-coordinator of the film.
This is the kind of film that you just fall in love with. The story is interesting, the thrills are for real and even though you know who the antagonist is right from the beginning, the surprise element still remains in the question that what exactly is the item of desire and how will our trio solve the murky situation to save their skin. The narrative is beautifully built with just enough thrill, comedy and drama to keep you engrossed through its two hour runtime. The film comes at you straight out of real life with the performances so real that at many junctures you are bound to forget that you are watching a film.
Leading the cast from the front is Sabyasachi Chakrabarty. He is the perfect Feluda with the trademark “dadagir” that we associate with the Satyajit Ray character and he is not only apt with his reasoning skills but is also proficient to land a thudding punch or kick wherever necessary. Complementing him is Parambrata’s Topshe who may be a tad younger than Feluda and less abreast with the fighting skills but is more than handy when it comes to tight situations. Jatayu is the same old “scared to death at the slightest pretext” kind with very little to offer in terms of brains or brawn. However he has the uncanny ability to land up in the right situations which provides the perfect situations for Feluda to flex his mind and muscles. Paran Bandyopadhyay is always a delight to have on board and he proves that yet again. Ashish Vidyarthi as the baddie is apt. He is the perfect “Probashi Bangali” as he calls himself and maintains a suave demeanor right till the end which serves him well.
Overall, Bombaiyer Bombete is the kind of film that we know Sandip Ray for. It is simplistic, entertaining and absorbing. Even if he makes a thousand films with the same feel and air to it, they are still bound to entertain the masses. With the huge number of Feluda stories written by Ray, he is not going to run out of material soon which is a great news for someone like me. Even though last year, Sabyasachi was replaced by Abir Chatterjee as Feluda, the film Badshahi Angti entertained in the same manner as the previous five films. Thus it is safe to say that the man at helm of things knew his art from the beginning and is showing no signs of slowing down. I am eagerly waiting for the next Feluda film.