Saturday, July 07, 2012

Chiriakhana (The Zoo - 1967) - Suspense

First from the series of Detective movies by Satyajit Ray and what a movie this was, totally amazing stuff. It was based on the “Who Dunnit” genre of movies of cases solved by our own Indian Sherlok Holmes “Byomkesh Bakshi”, whose TV serial with the same name was a great success too. They way Ray has presented Byomkesh is damn good – played by Uttam Kumar and his friend who plays his perfect assistant – who he affectionately calls Watson. Byomkesh even keeps a baby snake in his room, I couldn’t understand the relevance though as the movie is in Bengali with subtitles and his assistant is always shown reading a Murder Mystery. How they solve the mystery behind multiple murders is a treat to watch. I must confess – the first character Uttam Kumar plays, was of a Japanese as he was requested to come in a disguise for the first time – trust me - for first 5 minutes – I actually was confused till he started speaking in Bengali, amazing make up and body language this guy had. I was hooked to it big time till the very end to know who the culprit was as I had my doubts on several people and was amazed to see the outcome as I seriously couldn’t guess the right guy. It’s a must watch for those who like detective movies – looking forward to his other works now as I believe he did made quite a few movie of the same genre.
The Movie: The Story revolves around a retired judge who hires Byomkesh on an assignment to find a singer, who had sung a song in a movie and since then not to be found anywhere. Byomkesh starts trailing the singer in his own ways and with his own contacts. He even visits the colony where Judge stays with his wife and lots of other weird characters of which some are x convicts, handicaps, out casts etc. Every character is unique on its own. Next day as Judge calls him on phone to give him some information about the singer – he is brutally killed, while Byomkesh listens to the commotion on phone, here onwards starts the cat and mouse game between him and the killer. So many times as a viewer we have our own doubts on almost all the characters as everybody has got a motive to kill him. While he investigates the first murder, another character that was actually a witness to first murder, gets killed and the story further gets interesting and more confusing. Byomkesh had his own doubts on couple of people and how he resolves the same is the rest of the movie. I tried my level best but couldn’t guess the killer. It’s a damn good one time watch for sure. I was amazed by the attention to detail by Ray that too in the year it was made. Again I would love to quote that he was one hell of a director of his own kinds. I am totally hooked to all his works and loving it more and more.

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