Bollywood Film Review “Te3n”

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First, the Recap:

Suffering the loss of a child is something no parent should ever have to face. Always desiring that they have the brightest of futures ahead, even at the cost of one’s own comforts or opportunities, having to experience the sudden, tragic knowledge of those dreams never coming to pass pierces and scars the heart, mind, and soul. This emotional turmoil is no less potent for a grandparent, especially when the child was under their care. John Biswas (Amitabh Bachchan) faces this pain and internal strife every day. For over 8 years, he and his wife Nancy (Padmavati Rao) have mourned the loss of their granddaughter Angela, though John has never forgiven those whom he feels failed him in getting justice for her death.

Stubbornly stalwart and filled with a deepening resolve to find answers, John’s obsessiveness ultimately falls upon a former police officer turned priest, Martin Das (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), and Kolkata’s existing lead inspector, Sarita Sarkar (Vidya Balan), who reluctantly indulge John and aid him in his journey. But, in the midst of their own investigation, a young boy is kidnapped in similar fashion to Angela, bringing back painful memories for John and Martin, while causing all of their intents to solve both incidents, past and present, to intensify. Yet, even as the current victim’s father, Manohar Sinha (Sabyasachi Chakrabarty), suddenly becomes a person of interest in more ways than one, new revelations come to light, secrets are exposed, and the truth about events may not be what it seems.

Next, my Mind:

Filled with a tension that is palpable yet subtle in its overall delivery and execution, director Ribhu Dasgupta’s remake of the 2013 Korean film “Montage” is also, admittedly, a slow burn.  This, however, does not detract from the effort, as thanks to the performances from the narrative’s three primary leads and the aforementioned tone and mood presented, the viewing time is more than rewarded with a solid, albeit familiar, plot and satisfying ending. Smoothly shot and invoking an atmosphere of reality with the characters, the mix of flashbacks and present-day storytelling allows the grander scheme of events to be fleshed out while keeping key twists and turns coming at a pace not overwhelming to the audience. Given the style in which this drama/mystery/thriller is done, it becomes as exercise in the concept that patience pays off, even if some of the plot points are initially vague or convoluted.

Continuing to illustrate why he is Bollywood acting royalty, Amitabh Bachchan elevates this film to a different level in his role as John, thanks to once again providing us with a character filled with passion and dogged determination, yet subdued and calculating wit and charm similar to “Wazir”. A man so eaten up inside with the regrets and sense of loss over events 8 years past, Bachchan simply makes us believe he’s a grandfather not willing to settle for the mistakes others made as he searches for the answers himself, even at the possible cost of his own present life and those nearest to him. In that respect, it makes Siddiqui’s Martin even more integral to the flow of things, as he faces a battle in wanting to just put the past as a police officer involved with Angela’s case behind him to find peace with God as a priest, yet finds his investigative instincts kicking back into high gear once he’s fully invested in assisting John.

Balan does a fine job as Sarita, offering her as a supportive voice of reason and steadfast, by-the-book police inspector who only desires that John’s case be truly put to rest while also focusing on seeing the similarities it has to the current case and how it all then ties together. Balan certainly had her work cut out for her in acting beside Bachchan and Siddiqui, and she absolutely holds her own.  Key supporting turns by Rao and Chakrabarty fill important roles in the overall picture as John’s burdened wife and the young kidnapped boy’s father respectively. Additionally, the stirring music adds another layer of emotional punch to the tale. Overall, “Te3n” is a solid Bollywood effort and worth the price of admission to have another chance to see several of genre’s stars do what they do best–act and entertain.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!


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