Get ready for a thrilling December. With Dev’s sequel to Chander Pahar’s release pushed back to Durga Puja 2017, the big box office fight will now be between Bengalis’ two favourite sleuths — Feluda and Byomkesh Bakshi. Yes, you read that right. However, Dev’s fans needn’t be heartbroken. Dev’s much-awaited maiden production, Dhumketu, that brings back the popular pair of Dev and Subhashree and is being directed by Kaushik Ganguly, too will now have a Christmas release, which is also the actor’s birthday.
December has always been a preferred month for producers and filmmakers as far as the box-office is concerned. Producers look forward to releasing their films during Christmas, which is a holiday period. Now that Amazon Obhijaan, a sequel to Chander Pahar is out of the race, Arindam Sil’s second Byomkesh Bakshi film, Byomkesh Pawrbo, with Abir Chatterjee in the lead will now open on Christmas. Sandip Ray double Feluda film too is eyeing a Christmas release, as this year also marks 50 years of Satyajit Ray’s iconic creation Felu Mitter. Sabyasachi Chakraborty as Feluda and Shaheb Bhattacharjee as Topshe make a comeback to the franchise after Royal Bengal Rahasya (2011).
Dev initially wanted to release Dhumketu this Durga Puja. However, the actor decided against that, as this Durga Puja saw six films releasing on the same day. Dev, who is presently in Purulia to shoot for the remaining portions of Amazon Obhijaan, confirms that his production will hit the theatres this Christmas. “Had Amazon Obhijaan released in December, I would have pushed back the release of Dhumketu in January 2017. Good things happen if we wait. We have been waiting to release the film for the longest time and were looking for a good time. I decided against releasing the film this Durga Puja and it worked in our favour. There could have been no better time than Christmas to release Dhumketu. Dhumketu is very close to my heart. This will be a birthday gift to my fans,” says the Zulfiqar and Buno Haansh actor.
However, the makers of Amazon Obhijaan have their own reasons for pushing back the film’s release. The film was earlier set to release this Christmas but the producers decided against it as the film is heavy on computer-generated imagery (CGI) and can’t meet the December deadline. Directed by Kamaleswar Mukherjee and shot extensively in South America (read Amazon rainforest), this is also said to be the costliest Bengali film ever made. Producer Mahendra Soni of Shree Venkatesh Films informs that a lot of time is being consumed as the film has a lot of special effects and CGI. “We want the audience to watch a film which can be compared to any international film,” he says.
Director Arindam Sil, whose first film in the Byomkesh Bakshi franchise, Har Har Byomkesh, released last Christmas, is least perturbed about two sleuth films releasing in the same month. An avid Feluda admirer, Sil informs he will watch Ray’s film too, but also says that his adaptation of Byomkesh is very different from the other films. “Har Har Byomkesh released alongside Aparna Sen’s Arshinagar and two Bollywood releases — Bajirao Mastani and Dilwale. This year too Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal will release in Christmas. Both Feluda and Byomesh are popular Bengali sleuths and I am sure the audience will have a thrilling Christmas,” he says.
The director, who has extensively shot for Byomkesh Pawrbo in north Bengal, is all praise for actor Abir Chatterjee (who had earlier played Feluda in Ray’s Badshahi Angti, 2014). “This time, Byomkesh is not romantic but fiery,” he smiles.
It isn’t unknown that Dev’s films get a big opening at the box office. Sil, however, isn’t worried. “I have heard Kaushikda has made a fine film. Dhumketu is serious cinema and the genre isn’t clashing with my film,” says Sil.