- 2 hr 5 min
Chiriyakhana is a Bengali film from 1967 directed by Satyajit Ray, who is considered to be one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. The film stars Uttam Kumar, Kalipada Chakraborty and Nripati Chatterjee in leading roles. The movie revolves around a detective named Byomkesh Bakshi (Uttam Kumar) who is approached by a retired judge (Nripati Chatterjee) to solve a mystery. The judge is haunted by a recurring dream in which he sees a woman being strangled with a yellow scarf. The next day, the judge reads in the newspaper that a woman has been found strangled to death with a yellow scarf. This leads the judge to believe that his dream was a premonition and that he might be the next victim since he knows the killer's identity.
Byomkesh Bakshi takes on the case and starts investigating. He comes across various suspects including the judge's nephew (Shailen Mukherjee) and a doctor (Siddhartha Chatterjee) who is rumored to be having an affair with the judge's wife (Bela Bose). Byomkesh also discovers that the murdered woman had a connection to a theater company run by Kalipada Chakraborty.
The detective's investigation takes him to various places including the theater company and a mental asylum called Chiriyakhana. At the asylum, Byomkesh meets some intriguing characters including a painter (Robin Banerjee) who has been hospitalized there and a nurse (Gita Dey) who seems to have a connection to the murderer. The detective's investigation leads him to the murderer's identity and the motive behind the killings.
Chiriyakhana is a remarkable movie for several reasons. Firstly, it is one of the few films directed by Satyajit Ray that is not based on a literary work. Ray himself wrote the script for this movie. Secondly, the film uses some unconventional techniques of storytelling. For example, the movie opens with a scene of a man being murdered but does not reveal his identity until much later in the movie. The film also has some dream sequences which add to the eerie atmosphere of the movie.
The cinematography of the movie is also noteworthy. Some shots are expertly framed and the use of shadows and light add to the film's mood. In one scene, Byomkesh Bakshi walks towards the camera in a long shot while the light behind him creates a silhouette effect, giving the impression that he is walking into the light.
The acting in Chiriyakhana is also superb. Uttam Kumar, who was one of the most popular actors of his time, delivers a solid performance as the detective. His portrayal of Byomkesh Bakshi is understated and nuanced. Kalipada Chakraborty, who plays the theater company owner, also delivers a commendable performance. The supporting cast is also impressive, particularly Gita Dey who plays the nurse.
The music of the movie is composed by Satyajit Ray himself. The soundtrack is minimalistic, with only a few pieces of music used in the movie. However, the music is haunting and atmospheric, adding to the overall mood of the movie.
Overall, Chiriyakhana is a classic example of a thriller movie. It has all the elements that one would expect from a mystery movie including suspense, intrigue, and red herrings. The film keeps the audience engaged till the very end and the resolution of the mystery is satisfying. Chiriyakhana is a must-watch for all fans of Bengali cinema as well as for those who appreciate good storytelling.