A tram ride through Dharmatala, a visit to a 150-year-old bungalow in Alipore, eating Bengali sweets like sondesh and rasgulla: producer-director Dibakar Banerjee ensured the announcement of his period film, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (DBB), in Kolkata on Tuesday (July 23) gave the media a flavour of Bengal.
And accompanying us was Sushant Singh Rajput who, dressed as a bhadralok (educated Bengali), looked nothing like his usual self. We ate Bengali dishes, and rode the yellow taxis that dot the city. The announcement of DBB in the old bungalow — amid chandeliers, antique fans, high ceilings and period furniture — set the tone for the press conference. There was even a blackboard with the film’s name in Hindi, English and Bengali. And as soon as Dibakar walked in, he corrected the spellings in all three languages.
Sushant said, “I’ve been observing Bengali culture and people during my stay. I’ve been eating specific local dishes to understand Bengalis better, so that when I start shooting, I hope I’m able to convincingly portray a young Bengali man from 1942.”
He finds the City of Joy different from Mumbai. About the characteristics of a detective, he said, “He should be observant and intelligent, and not much of a talker.”
Dibakar, who has bought the rights of all stories of DBB, feels the rich heritage of Bengali culture hasn’t been explored (in Bollywood films). “My film will be about Byomkesh trying to understand his calling and is about a young 20-22-year-old on his way to become a detective.”
The writer travelled to Kolkata as a guest of Yash Raj Films and Dibakar Banerjee Productions.