Detective thrillers are common in the Bengali film industry. From Byomkesh to Feluda, from Kakababu to Shobor, Bengali detectives come in all ages, shapes and sizes. What makes Goyenda Junior stand apart from the crowd? Rwitobroto Mukherjee, who plays the titular detective Bikram, feels that the main reason his character stands out is that Bikram is a new kid on the block. Not only that, Goyenda Junior is adapted to modern teen sensibilities. A sensibility that cannot think of a world without gadgets.
“Bikram is different because he is new. No one has seen him or read about him before. When you talk of Feluda or Byomkesh, we have all read about them and seen them on screen. They are established detectives. What we see or read about them can perhaps be described as the third act of their lives. But Goyenda Junior is the first act, because it depicts Bikram’s journey of becoming a detective,” explains Rwitobroto. He adds, “Goyenda Junior is also different because it’s very fresh and smart. A new age adventure thriller garnished with teen angst.” Check out the trailer of Goyenda Junior:
For the young actor, playing Bikram was a kind of wish fulfillment. “All kids grow up reading detective fiction and imagining themselves as crime-solvers. Bikram is also like that. He has honed his detection skills out of keen interest. The film narrates how Bikram’s adventures get out of the pages of a book and into real life,” says Rwitobroto. He adds, “I also wanted to be a detective, because I used to get involved in the thrillers I read. Even now I ask my mother to buy me toy guns so I can pose as a detective! I tried to bring that into my character.”
How did he prepare for the role of Bikram? Rwitobroto says, “I’m 20 years old, and Bikram is 16. He is recently orphaned, shy and taciturn. To portray the innocence of that age and his situation was a little difficult, because I’ve always been a ‘paka chhele’!” In the course of the film, Bikram sheds his shyness and as he becomes more involved in the process of solving the crime, he becomes more confident and vocal. Listen to the theme song of Goyenda Junior:
Director Mainak Bhaumik also helped. Says Rwitobroto, “Mainakda’s script was very informative. It helped me get into the skin of the character. Mainakda gives a lot of space to act. He explained the character of Bikram in just one line: He is brilliant but he doesn’t know it.”
In Goyenda Junior, Rwitobroto shares screen space with his real-life father and veteran actor Shantilal Mukherjee. “We have been acting on stage since I was 4, so working with Baba did not feel strange. He is more of a friend than a guardian. On floor, he doesn’t guide me because he thinks it’s the director’s right. Even at home we seldom discussed our scenes. But it’s a big advantage to have Baba as a co-star, because he is a great support system.”
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