Before I start with my review of Double Feluda, I must suggest something to the Feluda lovers yet to watch the movie. If you have not read the original text in recent times, or have never read the text at all, don’t start revising the story before watching the movie. The two stories in this movie has a nice and simple tone to them. Knowing too much about the plot might break that simplicity.
I’ve always felt for Sandip Ray, when he is hammered during discussions of cinema and Satyajit. He is often slammed for not selling Feluda rights to other producers. And also that he has a poor sense of film making. But, I quite like his simple yet powerful narratives. The camerawork is also excellent in each of his movies. Both Satyajit & Sandip, I feel, are masters of visually retelling literary works. Even most of Satyajit Ray’s cinemas are adapted from literary works, let it be his own (Not comparing the two, but still). This is what I think is the strength of the Rays.
We all wait for a Feluda movie every year, and this time with Double Feluda, we all have two stories to witness. The first thing to notice is the title credits. Beautifully done, I must say. And what follows is a mixture of good storytelling, beautiful camerawork and engaging performances.
The two stories are – Samaddarer Chabi and Golokdham Rahasya. In the first story, Feluda goes to find the missing key to a hidden wealth or a missing will and the second is a case of theft and murder. Both stories is sans Jatayu, and are set in the heart of Kolkata. I don’t fell I should go into the plots, since almost all of us know the stories.
Golakdham Rahasya is a notch more intense than the Samaddarer Chabi. The film reaches its pinnacle when Feluda meets his Mycroft Holmes, Sidhu Jyatha (Paran Bandyopadhyay). Sidhu Jyatha, evidently miffed by Feluda’s irregular attendance, exchanges a bout of sharp dialogues, apt for this internet generation. With a perfect balance of wit and wisdom, the brief appearance of Sidhu Jyatha is etched in our mind.
When questions like, “Is Chakraborty, who is 60, a right choice for Feluda?” in the air, I have never doubted the choice of Sabyasachi as Feluda. After all he was selected by Satyajit Ray himself. And after his one-film disappearance, in Double Feluda, the actor proves that he is the best possible option for the legendary, tall detective of our time. This Feluda is not in his early 30s. He is aging and director makes no effort to camouflage his age. Feluda, in this film, is not flying high, but has resorted to his greatest weapon, magajastro – the little grey cells in his brain. This adds to the simplicity of the film.
Other supporting actors of the film, add another dimension to the whole experience. Saheb is good as Topshe. Dhritiman Chatterjee, as the blind, vengeful scientist stands out. But full marks goes to Bratya Basu for his playing the anti-hero in the first story.
I’m going with 4/5 stars for Sandip Ray’s Double Feluda. The film has absolutely no-frills, no songs, no exotic locales. Still, it manages to woo the audience because of one Ray’s story and another Ray’s effective execution.
P.S. Still if the film falls short of your expectations in some aspects, the documentary at the end will surely make it worth remembering.