Te3n: The cinematic manifestation of ‘Meh’
While there are still movies that follow the formulaic way of making a successful movie in Bollywood, some movies over the years have tried to tread out of the familiar territory by venturing into what can only be described as atypical of what Bollywood usually manages to churn out.
‘Te3n’ isn’t exactly a shining example of independent cinema, considering that it’s just a remake of South Korean flick ‘Montage’, neither it really sets the world alight by adding any elements that might bolster its significance.
Followers of such cinema might be able to fondly recall ‘Kahaani’ from a few years back. Why did I bring up ‘Kahaani’? Cause it has so much in common with ‘Teen’, almost eerily in a sense that the similarities are beyond the setting and cinematography itself, that you can’t help but remember the former.
‘Kahaani’ was set in the suburbs of Kolkata, capturing a certain sense of nostalgia that is affixed with it and the essence of the city; frantic yet laidback.
‘Teen’ aims to do the same and does a decent job at it with nifty camera work and enchanting visuals, although not as assiduous at the task as the makers of the former were despite working on a shoestring budget.
Withholding myself from giving away the essential, the story revolves around John Biswas (Amitabh Bachchan), an elderly man living with his wife in a shoddy apartment in Kolkata. John is constantly haunted and traumatized by the memories of his grandchild, Angela, who was kidnapped and murdered 8 years ago. The perpetrator of the case was never found, cause of which John found neither peace nor closure.
John finds himself visiting the police station every day to be reassured that the case is being handled, his persistence perhaps finding sympathy in police officer Sarita Sarkar (Vidya Balan, who kept making me think of Kahaani whenever she popped up), who hasn’t been able to make much progress on it. He sets out on his own accord to find out the man that snatched away his beloved
grandchild from him, while seeking assistance from Martin Das (Nawazuddin Siddique) who was the police officer that unsuccessfully handled the entire case, in the aftermath of which he left to become a father in a church and is evidently trying to forget all about it. Clues start to unravel all of a sudden for John, an old man possessed by the demons of the past, and he hastily proceeds to make sense out of them.
While ‘Kahaani’ had a lot of memorable, everlasting things in it like the magnificent Bob Biswas himself, ‘Te3n’ has none of these endearing qualities. The movie moves at a brisk pace but it doesn’t really enrapture you and whatever’s going on, it might not be overbearingly bad but it doesn’t enthrall you or make you take notice or involve you on a psychological level. For a movie that aims to be a slick thriller, it falls flat on its face.
Bachchan did a good job in keeping the movie afloat, while the same cannot be said of Nawazuddin Siddique and Vidya Balan who are both exceptional actors in their own right, but failed to lit the screen this time around. While the movie is rather bland, by no means it is a bad movie.
Time passed by pretty swiftly, without having to be subjected to any sort of senseless buffoonery I had to witness in movies like ‘Shaandaar’ which I believe is undoubtedly the worst movie I’ve ever watched.All in all, ‘Te3n’ is an okay movie to watch with your family or friends if you’re just on the look for a casual outing and don’t expect anything riveting and is one of those movies you can only watch once.