The Elephant God (1979)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB

Original Title: Joi Baba Felunath

, 1979. . Screenplay by , based on his novel. Cinematography by . Produced by . Music by Satyajit Ray. Production Design by . Costume Design by , . Film Editing by .

Satyajit Ray wrote a number of novels featuring his detective character Feluda and starred him in two films as well, first in The Golden Fortress in 1974 and then in this sequel. While on vacation in Varanasi with his trusty sidekick Topshe and the esteemed mystery writer Ganguly, Prodosh Mitra (aka Feluda) (Soumitra Chatterjee) stumbles into a mystery when a wealthy gentleman asks him to help locate a missing item. A small, golden statue of the Elephant God Ganesh, which belonged to the pleading man’s father, has been taken from their home and he believes that a local gangster might have something to do it. The crime lord had come to his home a few nights earlier and tried to buy the item, and as he was refused it’s possible that he stole it instead. Feluda grabs his friend and goes in search of the truth, something that should be an open and shut case but with the number of people keeping secrets from him, it’s anything but. Ray doesn’t manage to create as twisty or surprising a mystery as he did the last time around, stretching a rather thin plot out over a generous running time, but the photography is beautiful and the camaraderie of the three main characters provides for great humour.

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