Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui; Director: Ribhu Dasgupta From the creative behind the cult thriller, Kahaani, comes another mystery thriller, the quirkily titled Te3n, that stars powerhouse performers Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan. Let’s see if the film is worthy of the talent involved!
TE3N suffers from the quirky disease syndrome. For example, the digit 3 that makes an uncanny cameo in the film’s title, despite the fact that it has NOTHING to do with either the plot or premise. Unlike Brad Pitt’s stylish thriller Se7en, where the number had a very important part to play in the storyline, the 3 in TE3N is an odd man out. But enough analysis of the title, moving on the film, Ribhu Dasgupta’s film suffers from a major Kahaani hangover. Remember that other film with Vidya Balan and Sujoy Ghosh which was also set in Kolkata and earned some rave reviews. Perhaps to cash in on the genre and the success of it, a studio set out to remake a 2013 Korean thriller Montage. The problem with remakes, especially if they are Korean is that you have to do a damn good job with it (Sanjay Gupta made an entire career out of it!).
Unfortunately Dasgupta is too caught up in the details and the cityscape to realise that he’s directing a film that requires pace. The plot is all tangled up and without giving away any spoilers I can say that it is a revenge drama that deals with the emotions that one goes through at the loss of a loved on. Amitabh Bachchan plays an old man who has lost his grand daughter several years ago in a freak kidnapping case. It’s been eight long years but he’s still on the search for clues that will help him trace the origins of the mysterious disappearance of his grand child. Things pick up pace when Vidya Balan who plays a cop along with Nawaz a priest who was an ex-cop on the same case eight years ago are both pushed into similar situation that has an identical blueprint. Will Bachchan’s clues and investigation surrounding his own family help Nawaz and Vidya solve their case?
Bachchan is in form. He plays John with finesse. A master of his trade he knows where to take the pauses, how to muster up the right empathy and then remove that cloak and wear another one. He’s a reason why you stay involved in the film. The cinematography captures Kolkata beautifully and some of the scenes between Nawaz and Bachchan are engaging.
TE3N’s biggest cuplrit is its pace. It’s slow and tests your patience to the limit. You don’t mind sitting through a film that is gradually building up to something worth anticipating. Also the promos promised us a taut thriller, so what is this watered down family drama mumbo jumbo we are reduced to suffering? Vidya disappoints in her special appearance, there is too much effort and very little heart in this performance. Nawaz does a decent job in the first half, but by the climax he too seems disinterested. The editing is botched up and doesn’t lend to the film progressing into its climax. The constant flashbacks and explanations might end up giving you a migraine. If you are going in expecting a tight fast paced thriller then TE3N is not the ticket to buy.
What to do
Slow and tiresome, TE3N is a cumbersome experience that is better forgotten than remembered!