It’s being 51 years of Private Investigator Pradosh C. Mitra aka Feluda. Topshe was there from first as assistant cum narrator so it was his 51 years also while Lalmohan Ganguly joined them in 1971. That’s why I had to resist the urge to use the term Feluda & Com.
Feluda first appeared in Feludar Goyendagiri (Danger in Darjeeling) on children magazine Sandesh (serialized from Dec 1965 to February 1966). Then he appeared for next 31 years in magazines; sometime serialized in Sandesh, sometime as novel or novelette in Desh–first story was Gangtoke Gondogol (Trouble in Gangtok–Sharadiya 1970)–and Anandamela–only story was Ambar Sen Antordhan Rahasya (The Disappearance of Ambar Sen–serialized from May to June 1983). 2 of his adventure were posthumously published Robertsoner Ruby (Robertson’s Ruby–Sharadiya Desh–1992) and Indrajaal Rahasya (Magical Mystery–serialized from December 1995 to February 1996 in Sandesh).
I met him first when I read Apsara Theaterer Mamla in Double Feluda and I first saw him in Joy Baba Felunath in a summer vacation children show. I have grown up seeing Sabyasachi Chakrabarty as Feluda through the TV series–mention worthy Feluda 30 (telecast 1996-1997 in DD Bangla). When Bombaiyer Bombete (Bandits in Bombay) released back in 2003 I was satisfied to find Feluda on big screen. Then years passed, Sandip Ray made 5 Feluda movies (1 was reboot for starting afresh) before making the Double Feluda choosing 2 of the favorite Feluda stories of the author, his father, Satyajit Ray–Samaddarer Chabi (Key of Samadder) & Golokdham Rahasya (A Mysterious Tenant).
As it was said, it’s the 51st year of Feluda, so the celebration should be a grand one. Thus, the title card was designed to showcase a journey of a private investigator in print. It incorporated illustrations of Feluda in the books along with the covers over the years. At the end credit title, the interviews of few actors enacting different characters at different point of time in Feluda films like Biplab Chaterjee (played supporting antagonist in Jay Baba Felunath (1979) and an inspector in Kailashe Kelenkari (2007)), etc. focuses on the journey of Feluda on screen for last 41 years (appearing in 11 movies (1 unofficial and 1 short film), 4 TV series–one in Hindi and a TV film). The interviews were followed by interview of publishers–Badal Basu in his probably first and last appearance on screen and covers of a vast array of translated books of Feluda in various languages.
So there were lot of expectations and thoughts how will the movie go as after 2011 Feluda movie Royal Bengal Rahasya (The Royal Bengal Mystery), Sabyasachi Chakrabarty is back as Feluda in Double Feluda.
As the title card ended and the movie start with the headpiece of the first story–Samadderer Chabi in animated form (the second story Golokdham Rahasya also started in same manner), I get into the movie and after watching the movie–both the stories–there were few things I liked, few I disliked in this Feluda outing on screen.
The points or scenes that I like in the movie are–
i. The location was perfect one.
ii. Bratya Basu as the antagonist Manimohan Samaddar had done a decent job.
iii. The instruments shown are perfect.
iv. Showing Rajani Sen Road from top view was a new and innovative way to show the street where Feluda stays.
i. Striking out the Mahabharat discussion scene at the beginning had gone with the story very well.
ii. The location, here also, was a perfect one though it was changed, but, still it goes fine.
iii. Paran Bandhyapadhya as Sidhu Jyatha was bang on; that jokes on mouse was subtle and goes with the character perfectly.
iv. Gourab Chakrabarty casting was apt one and that scene between his character Ranajit Chowdhury and Feluda at the end was a pleasure to see–son and father dueling to showcase their acting talent.
Now the things that I dislike, I’m not going to classify like I had in “I like” but in a general form because of the common dislike in both of the story, in the movie are–
i. In both story Feluda was lacking the energy. I mean to say the age of Sabyasachi Chakrabarty had got reflected in Feluda which was obvious thus making the character sometime out of energy, sometime lazy. Even the eyes seems to be hazy at many scenes.
ii. Strand of white hair in the sideburns, I hope I’m wrong, in one of the close up scene in Samadderer Chabi where Feluda confronting Manimohan Samadder might be before the climax of the story–in the morning scene.
iii. Nihar Ranjan Dutta enacted by Dhritiman Chaterjee I think was a miscast. He can be best for Mr. Dastur character.
iv. The use of black glass in every scene i.e. when Nihar Ranjan Dutta was lying under the blanket, his glass can be taken off.
v. The continuation error. In Samadderer Chabi, sometime hair of Sabyasachi Chakrabarty seems to be dishevel and in that scene after a second or two they are shown combed.
Then in Golokdham Rahasya, in the end scars are shown on Nihar Ranjan Dutta face which seems to be unseen or not clear in other scene.
There are few more points that I dislike due to being reading the book and seeing it mismatching on the screen. But, they have to be changed due to cinematic representation of the stories. Those are along with the reasons for change:
i. The striking out of Font Recognition in Golokdham Rahasya and instead using the Glue Theory made Feluda a novice detective. That portion made the part a loose one thus filtering out the main exciting point of the story.But, it should be remember that computers were in used after 1990s and the story was written back in 1980. So, it need to be change as my friend pointed out the point.
ii. The use of black glass in every scene i.e. when Nihar Ranjan Dutta was lying under the blanket, his glass can be taken off. Here also my friend says it had been done to avoid the gruesome effect of chemical explosion on the eyes because kids will also see the movie.
iii. The roads that were shown in Golokdham Rahasya seems to be shot at 1 or 2 of the night whereas according to time in the cinema I think it was 10 or around 11 and roads doesn’t become so empty at that time. My friend says, the locations are congested one; so to avoid the traffic and all the shooting was not possible at the possible mentioned timeline.
In overall somehow I’m at dilemma between I like the movie and I don’t because for the above points; I think it’ll be like by some and while some might not. But, one thing for sure like me many had, have, has and will miss Lalmohan Ganguly aka Jatayu.