TE3N (2016) Movie Review
I consider Amitabh Bachchan to be the best actor ever and the ultimate superstar of Bollywood. I know many may argue that Dilip Kumar was far better actor or that Rajesh Khanna enjoyed far more super stardom (albeit for a short period) than Big B but doston, let us not forget that Amitabh has impressed one and all right from the 70’s(‘Deewar’, ‘Trishul’, ‘Don’) to 80’s & 90’s (‘Sharaabi’, ‘Agneepath’, ‘Hum’) right through 2000s (‘Sarkar’, ‘Paa’) till date. That’s more than 40 years of our cinema which itself, is just over 100 years old. Now at 73 years, Amitabh continues to make us applaud his performance in Te3n. Never mind, if the film he’s acting in doesn’t impress as much.
That’s precisely what happens with ‘TE3N’ -a whodunit mystery which is a bhelpuri of quite a few elements -story borrowed from South Korean flick ‘Montage’ (which I haven’t seen so don’t care!!), Kolkata backdrop as splendidly depicted in co-producer Sujoy Ghosh’s ‘Kahaani’ (2012) and a stylised title nodding to a Hollywood film called ‘Se7en’ (1995) which belonged to similar genre.
Over to the kahaani then…A school going child is kidnapped. Lady cop (Vidya Balan) seeks help from ex-cop turned priest Martin (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) as the modus operandi of the kidnapper is strikingly similar to the kidnapping of John Biswas (Amitabh)’ grand daughter eight years ago. Martin was cop leading that unsolved case.
These three main characters of the film investigate both cases (eight year old as well as the new) simultaneously and the supposed kidnapper is caught by interval time. The audience is hooked to the proceedings till then…even though the pace is lazy for a thriller.
Returning with your bag of popcorn, you find that the suspect caught is not the real kidnapper and there’s more to it than meets the eye….this is the point where the film starts going haywire. Without revealing the end, let me admit that I (and presumably, most of the audience at the packed Saturday evening show) could guess the culprit long before the climax.
Any whodunit’s success depends on its ability to keep the audience guessing right till the end and then shocking them with the big revelation which turns out to be someone least expected. Sujoy Ghosh did it wonderfully with ‘Kahaani’ as well as his acclaimed short film ‘Ahalya’ (2015). Newbie director Ribhu Dasgupta falters.
On the film’s positive, cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray is marvellous. Every frame lends itself to create a mood of suspense and intrigue. Music is also seamlessly woven in to the narrative and the concluding song stays with you.
Performance wise, Amitabh Bachchan as aforementioned steals the show. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, no doubt a fine actor, doesn’t quite fit the role of a priest and messes up his accent. His character’s behavior during a church wedding is also not befitting a priest. Vidya Balan leaves a mark even in a guest appearance.
TE3N might have sounded a great idea on paper (or it’s rented foreign DVD :)) but misses the bulls eye on screen. I felt the same when I watched ‘Wazir’ a couple of months back. Heck, even that had Amitabh Bachchan in it…
Meanwhile enjoy watching the tailor of Te3n.