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Anjan Dutt on why Parambrata Chatterjee was chosen for new Byomkesh series

Produced by Greentouch Entertainment, the film will feature Parambrata Chatterjee as Byomkesh Bakshi for the first time in his career.

Roushni Sarkar

Director, actor and musician Anjan Dutt will write the screenplay and work as an advisor on Sayantan Ghosal’s upcoming Byomkesh film, inspired from Sharadindu Bandopadhyay’s story Magna Mainak. This will be the first in a series of five films.

Produced by Greentouch Entertainment, the film will feature Parambrata Chatterjee as Byomkesh Bakshi for the first time and Rudranil Ghosh will play Ajit. It will also feature Suprobhat Das, and Gargee Roy Chowdhury as Satyabati.

At a press conference organised by Greentouch Entertaiment last month, Dutt elaborated on the entire process of venturing into the upcoming adaptation and shared how all the artistes were brought on board.

“I started making Byomkesh Bakshi films in 2010. After making six of them, I decided to not make any more. I have given the copyrights of the stories I had with me to Greentouch Entertainment. I have also given them the scripts,” Dutt said.

Greentouch Entertainment has also bought the rights of several other stories by Bandopadhyay from the Byomkesh series and is planning to produce five Byomkesh films by 2023.

“We had conceptualised the entire storyline with a modern twist and we were in a fix to decide who is going to be the next Byomkesh,” remarked Dutt.

Eventually, the producers and Dutt together decided not to go for a fresh face. “When I first cast Abir [Chatterjee], he was taken into consideration as a fresh face because then a Byomkesh film was being made after long since Satyajit Ray’s Chiriyakhana,” explained the actor and filmmaker, adding, “Since then there have been many successful Byomkesh films. Abir, Jisshu [Sengupta], Anirban [Bhattacharya] and Gaurav [Chakrabarty] all have been quite popular in their own renditions. Therefore, we did not go into the direction of choosing a fresh face rather thought of casting someone who wouldn’t be thought as Byomkesh normally.”

The team then unanimously decided on Parambrata Chatterjee as the modern version of Byomkesh, who can, at same time, carry the look of a quintessential Bengali detective, with an intelligent appearance.

However, Dutt’s next task was to finalise on the director. The filmmaker said, “I had watched Sayantan Ghosal’s Byomkesh series on Hoichoi long back and liked it a lot. I could also find a connection between both of our takes on Byomkesh, despite having so much age difference between us. We both wanted to retain the old charm yet bringing a contemporary approach out of it,” Dutt said.

Now, Dutt and Ghosal will together work on the scripts, to make them relevant for the present time.

Dutt reportedly sought permission from the young director to intervene in the project, which the latter gladly accepted but also made sure that he will still be the director of the film at the end of the day.

The next obstacle was to find an actor to play Ajit, the confidante of Byomkesh in all his cases. Dutt stated, “After a lot of discussion and contemplation, Sayantan decided on Rudranil Ghosh as Ajit.”

According to Dutt, Ghosal made it clear that Ajit and Byomkesh have a certain chemistry on screen. They necessarily do not agree on a lot of things - what Byomkesh can achieve, Ajit can’t and vice-versa. “He wanted to retain their genuine bonding over all their differences and at the same time was quite convinced about casting a good actor. In the past, I have personally liked the chemistry between Rudra and Param [Parambrata] in many films. Hence, we approached him with the script, which he liked and came on board,” Dutt added.

The rest of the cast was decided on gradually. “I am glad that finally my hard work of years is paying off. I am excited that a new series is going to begin and run for the next few years. It is a delight to be an active part of this project not just as a distant guardian,” Dutt said.