Satyajit Ray’s ‘Feluda’ and Saradindu Bandopadhyay’s ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’ have been the Bengali fraternity’s and even India’s answer to internationally acclaimed fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Feluda made his first appearance in Feludar Goendagiri and since then he has been a household name.
Now, the whole brigade including Feluda, his nephew Topshe and friend Lalmohan Ganguly, popular as ‘Jataayu’, is coming to Bollywood. A movie inspired by the famous ‘Sonar Kellaa’ from the Feluda series is all set to be directed by Pradeep Sarkar of ‘Parineeta’ and ‘Mardaani’ fame. The movie ‘Sonar Kellaa’ traces the story of a boy who has recollections of a golden fortress from his previous birth.
Feluda has been played in the movie by Soumitra Chatterjee. Satyajit Ray’s immense reading of crime fictions and especially Sherlock Holmes inspired the creation of Feluda. Ray’s last book in the Feluda series was written right upto his demise in 1992.
Here is a trailer of the Bengali feature film:
Satyajit Ray’s son Sandip Ray has said that movie will be inspired by the original Bengali feature film but will in no way be a remake of the original.
Ray had himself directed the film adaptation of Sonar Kella and Joy Baba Felunath both of which turned out to be big hits. The movie also earned itself a United States release under the title ‘The Golden Fortress’.
The Dr. Watson-inspired fictional detective has been famously played by Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, Abir Chatterjee and Shashi Kapoor in other movies. The character of Topshe who plays the quintessential accomplice in the Feluda series found inspiration in John Watson from the Sherlock Holmes series. Feluda’s character as portrayed in the film is a man of around 27 years of age and stands tall at six feet two inches. He is often seeing smoking his cigarettes of his favourite brand ‘Charminar’ and chewing beetel leaves. In spite of being well trained in martial arts he prefers using the power of his grey cells to solve cases and always reads about the places he visits. Especially skilled at disguise, he also possesses a .32 Colt revolver and is extremely choosy about the cases he picks up.
Lalmohan Ganguly who goes by the pen name of ‘Jatayu’ is Feluda’s close friend and author of several detective stories that are often labelled unbelievable by the rest of the entourage. He often adds wit and humour to the series with his stories and incessant blabber. Jatayu makes his first appearance in Sonar Kella and joins Topshe and Feluda on their way to Jodhpur.
Sonar Kella made in the early 70s, had won four national awards in 1975 and one among the awards was for Best Director.
How well the movie does at the box office and how close the character remains to his depiction in the original books and feature films remains to be seen, but Feluda’s entry into Bollywood is enough to thrill most fans.