Te3n (2016) - Movie Review

A slow burning thriller in the vein of classic whodunits

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan (@apotofvestiges)

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Te3n, Movie Poster, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vidya Balan, Directed by Ribhu Dasgupta
Te3n (2016) By Ribhu Dasgupta

Te3n is a suspense thriller film directed by Ribhu Dasgupta. Produced by Sujoy Ghosh, Te3n is an official remake of South Korean movie Montage and stars Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan in the lead roles. The movie derives its title from the Hindi word for the numeral three, referring to the movie’s three principal characters: John Biswas, a grandfather in search of justice, played by Bachchan; Martin Das, a guilt-ridden priest, played by Siddiqui; and Sarita Sarkar, a female investigating officer, played by Balan.
Amitabh Bachchan as John in Te3n
Amitabh Bachchan as John Biswas in Te3n (2016)
Our Rating: 7.0
IMDb Ratings: 7.8
Genre: Drama Mystery | Thriller
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vidya Balan
Country: India
Language: Hindi
Runtime: 136 min
Color: Color
Te3n begins on a rather slow note. But, after a sedate start, the narrative picks up well and the movie gradually develops into an engaging thriller. The movie's labyrinthine plot keeps one guessing throughout and even reminds one of great modern thrillers like Memento. Unfortunately, the hitherto sublime writing falls apart during the final 5-10 minutes. The efficacy of a suspense thriller lies in how neatly and how quickly the loose ends are tied up. In Te3n, the writers appear to have overlooked this important facet. This results in a rather botchy ending that fails to do justice to the movie's overall brilliance.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Priest Martin in Te3n
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Priest Martin in Te3n
Te3n’s plot focuses upon two similar kidnapping cases separated by 8 years. While the first one involves a girl, the second involves a boy. But the modus operandi involved is so similar that the police suspects that the same person is behind both of them. Has the kidnapper returned to the city after eight years of absence? Or, someone is merely trying to imitate the earlier case of kidnapping? The key to solving the second case lies in how well the police succeeds in unravelling the first one. Te3n reminds one of the Sean Penn directed brilliant film The Pledge, starring Jack Nicholson, wherein a retiring police chief pledges to the mother of a murdered girl that he will find the killer.
Amitabh Bachchan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Te3n
Amitabh Bachchan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Te3n
Te3n is set in Kolkata and brilliantly captures the city’s intoxicating beauty. Amitabh Bachchan delivers yet another gritty performance to follow his remarkable turns in Shamitabh, Piku and Wazir; the septuagenarian is simply unstoppable. He also appears to have deliberately lost a lot of weight to fit himself into the role of a dilapidated man, broken by the loss of his grandchild. While Bachchan is brilliant to watch, it is Nawazuddin Siddiqui who ultimately steals the show with a deeply nuanced portrayal of a guilt-ridden priest. Vidya Balan (although, her performance is strangely billed as a guest appearance) provides Siddiqui with the perfect foil, bringing back some fond memories of Kahaani
A Still from Te3n, Vidya Balan, Amitabh Bachchan, Directed by Ribhu Dasgupta
A Still from Te3n
Overall, Te3n is a slow burning thriller made in the vein of classic whodunits but with conscious efforts to neatly package it as a modern day murder mystery. The editing is of the highest quality and immensely adds to the movie's suspense quotient. Te3n is not meant for causal viewing. For, in case of any lapse in concentration, the viewer will find it quite challenging to follow the narrative. Te3n certainly deserves a better ending but even in its present form it makes for a solid film viewing experience.

Readers, please feel free to share your views/opinions in the comment box below. As always your insightful comments are highly appreciated!


Te3n (2016) Trailer (YouTube)

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