Movie Review: Big B is a Treat to Watch in ‘TE3N’
Set in Kolkata, Te3n finds us trying to gather the various pieces of a kidnapping mystery.
Some filmy battles are won simply by achieving the perfect casting coup. Team Te3n definitely knows how to make a virtue of this. After all, it has Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan in the thick of things.
However, we can’t help but wish that instead of simply basking in this triumph, if producer Sujoy Ghosh and director Ribhu Dasgupta had only worked harder on making the screenplay taut and effectively evocative, the result could have been magical!
This week’s new release Te3n is the official remake of the South-Korean movie Montage.
While I am yet to watch Montage, I have seen Sujoy Ghosh’s last directorial venture and so I can tell you that the ominous, foreboding narrative of Te3n is couched in the same “Kahani-esque” universe.
This one, too, is set in Kolkata, where we again find ourselves trying to gather the various pieces of a kidnapping mystery. A young child is missing and the kidnapper still at large.
As the film opens, we see her old grandfather slouching over a tape recorder, listening to her last voice recording. The desperate cries of help and his own need for closure have made rounds of the police station an indispensable part of his day.
If at all it is possible to fall more in love with Amitabh Bachchan, then his performance in this movie peaks our adulation for him to fever pitch. He is exquisite. The vacuous expression on his face, his searching eyes. It is thanks to Amitabh Bachchan that we embark on this immersive journey about finding out the truth. It’s been 8 long years…
And the tragedy has had a catastrophic impact on nearly everyone associated with it.
The then-police officer presiding on the case is now Father Martin, who tries to seek redemption in the word of God. Nawazuddin Siddiqui peddles his wares with his usual aplomb as a guilt-ridden cop who wrestles with himself about the true purpose of his life. And Vidya Balan is such a delight to watch as the new officer in charge that you wish there was more of her in the film.
Performances aside, Te3n flounders and the overzealous background score can’t camouflage the gaping holes in its narrative. In any mystery thriller, dead ends and red herrings are part of the fun, but the climax must tower over it all for us to feel satiated.
Sadly, that never quite happens with Te3n. The grisly countenance of the film gets blunted by a somewhat vapid script. Unlike Kahani, we not only figure out the story well in advance, we even have enough time to wager a bet about how the cards will fall, with which side up.
A more convincing back-story and more time at hand to grapple with the various clues would have been ideal.
But go for Te3n to witness the beauty of Amitabh Bachchan. He alone is reason enough! Really! I give it a generous 3.5 QUINTS out of 5, only for him.
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