“Feluda Pherot” series remains truthful to the original story we grew up reading and loving so much
Over the years, we have seen several adaptations of one of the most famous characters in Bangla literature by Satyajit Ray.
The famous character was first introduced on the big screen by the creator himself in 1974 through "Sonar Kella," followed by "Joi Baba Felunath."
Soumitra Chatterjee, who played the lead, Prodosh Chandra Mitra aka Feluda, received a lot of critical appreciation for his role and is still considered as the "real" Feluda to almost all his fans.
Many years later, Satyajit Ray's son, film-maker Sandip Ray, carried his father's legacy and made the greatest number of features based on his father's novel.
The adaptations continued to grow from several sources including a Channel I's bioscope mini-series on one of Faluda's stories.
But, in those adaptations, I did not find the vibes of Feluda that Ray had captured on the screen through his lenses, untill, I watched "Feluda Pherot," the latest adaptation of the Feluda's "Chinnomostar Obhishap" as a web series by Indian director, Srijit Mukherjee. The series was released in the OTT platform "addatimes."
"Chinnomostar Obhishap" is not my personal favorite among the stories of Feluda, but what impressed me is the details that Srijit Mukherjee focused on to portray the character and story on the screen.
Throughout the series, Mukherjee only made the changes that were required for the adaptation. The story begins with some random shots to create an intense atmosphere, merging the scenes to move the story forward.
This scatteredness could be seen throughout the first episode, but as we move along, in the latter episodes, this issue was reduced and all the scatteredness was summed together with the story beautifully.
The story follows a renowned retired lawyer of Hajaribagh who has some untangled mysteries about his past that relate to his middle son, some critical decisions, and one unforgivable sin. The situation escalates quickly, by the escape of a Royal Bengal Tiger from a nearby circus. Fascinated by the mysteries, the private investigator, Feluda, offers to help the lawyer. Feluda merely came to the place to spend vacation with his cousin, Tapesh Ranjan Mitra aka Topse, and Lalmohan Ganguly, a fiction writer and his friend.
When it comes to casting there comes a mixed feeling. Tota Roy Chowdhury as Feluda is one of the best casting selections that can be made.
After Soumitra Chatterjee, this is the only time that can come the closest to the sketches Satyajit Ray drew in the book. The fans who grew up reading the books will not be disappointed imagining Tota as Feluda in the series.
Lalmohan Babu is a jolly character in the book which is somewhat similarly portrayed by Anirban Chakrabarti.
However, I am disappointed with the casting of Topse in the series. Topse, played by Kalpan Mitra, failed to provide that charm that we would hope for. Topse, I feel is the most important character after Feluda, was not given enough importance in the script itself.
Most scenes and settings of the series bring out the essence of the book. Not only the scenes, but the production team also focused on creating the characters with authenticity. Makeup artists, costume and production designers paid close attention to the detailings for that.
Better VFX was expected to showcase the tiger in action, but it can be considered good enough as well.
Apart from that, the effects used in the intro was quite innovative, as you get to see a glimpse of sketches taken from the original book. The intro was well accompanied by the signature tune of Feluda composed by Satyajit Ray himself at his time.
It is good to hear some lyrics incorporated with this iconic music, to be honest. Since Mukherjee tried his best to cover even the smallest details of the book, if he could keep the length of each episode a little more consistent, I believe he might have been able to capture the remaining details.
If you look at the overall series, it will give off a good vibe at the end.
I believe an adaptation should always resemble the original writings, unless you are 200% sure that you can make it better. "Feluda Pherot" series remains truthful to the original story we grew up reading and loving so much.