Front seat: Three’s a charm
An starting promise of motivation from a 2013 Southern Japanese movie (Montage) and you have two-and-a-half time of excitement, suspense and secret.
Te3n by Ribhu Dasgupta has everything going for it except the speed. Had it been brief by a couple of moments it could have been an edge-of-the-seat thriller. While one doesn’t anticipate the movie to run an innings like a Khan film, a stiffened program would have assured an extended display lifestyle.
Still, observe Te3n for amazing activities by Amitabh Bachchan (John Biswas), Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Father Martin, a former cop) and Vidya Balan (police examiner Sarita Sarkar). They don’t act; they stay their positions here … easily. You become one with them as you get into a world where cameras don’t are available.
Amitabh Bachchan’s last trip, Wazir, was great; tons have been published about his part in Piku and the last field of Shamitabh was outstanding. Here, as a septuagenarian middle-class grandpa David Biswas, he is looking out for the kidnapper/murderer of his daughter Angela (the checked half-sleeve clothing claws down the character). The minor stoop, the raspy speech (instead of his popular baritone), your epidermis layer creases on the throat, the end of the week face beard development and those emotional sight associated with the age-related step creates Biswas your neighborhood dad who everyday trips down in his decayed Lambretta motorcycle to the closest cops place to consult about the improvement of the situation.
“Pichlay aath saal se har din aap yehi sawal karte hain,” says a upset, helpless-looking Sarita Sarkar, the cops examiner responsible for Angela’s situation.
Biswas retorts, “
Eight years ago, Angela went missing and Biswas received a tape with Angela’s recorded voice, saying, “Dadu, I’m sorry, Dadu. Mujh se ghalati ho gaye. Mujhe aap ki baat maan ni chahiye thi …” In the background is the eerie sound of water falling on a rooftop.
That eerie sound sets the film’s tone. With Vidya Balan and Nawazuddin in the film credits, the impression one got initially was that it was a sequel to the 2012 Kahaani by Sujoy Ghosh (co-producer of Te3n). Which it isn’t even by a long shot. Vidya plays a pivotal role here as she holds the story together but isn’t one of the main protagonists. In the screen time she has, her Sarita equals her Vidya Bagchi of Kahaani, which won her countless accolades and awards.
Now eight years later, a similar kidnapping takes place. This time it’s young Ronnie, the grandson of Manohar Sinha (played by Sabyasachi Chakraborty, a brilliant theatre, film and TV actor from West Bengal). The similarity in both the cases makes Sarita approach Father Martin. No spoilers here. But any avid film buff of thrillers will guess the outcome of the story.
The screenplay and dialogues aren’t up to the mark. In fact, director Dasgupta who had earlier worked with both Bachchan and Nawazuddin in the TV serial Yudh, and with Sabyasachi in Michael, fails to capitalise on their skills. Also, nothing much to write about of the cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray nor the music by Clinton Cerejo. No song or tune lingers here, not even Kyun Re by Amitabh Bachchan. The only thing that stays with you is the acting of the trio. Watch the film for them, especially good ol’ Amitji!