EndemolShine, Reliance Entertainment, Blue Waters Motion Pictures, Cinemaa Pictures LLP and Kross Pictures’ Te3n (UA) is a thriller. John Biswas (Amitabh Bachchan) is a man who wants justice. It has been eight years since his grand-daughter, Angela Roy (Aarnaa Sharma), was kidnapped but the police has failed to nab the kidnapper. Little Angela had died soon after being kidnapped and he isn’t even aware whether she was killed or it was an accident. But the police has failed to solve the case.
The investigating police officer, Martin (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), had bungled up because of which the case was taken over by another officer. Ridden by guilt, Martin has since left his job and has turned a priest. Every single day of the eight years, John has been visiting the police station to seek justice but the case remains unsolved. Lady police officer Sarita (Vidya Balan) assures him that they would contact him if they made any headway in the case but still, John visits the police station daily.
Not really satisfied with the police investigations, John also investigates on his own and he stumbles upon a tiny piece of evidence in the form of a pen. Taking that lead, he probes further.
Eight years later, the police is rocked by another kidnapping incident – Manohar Sinha’s (Sabyasachi Chakraborty) grandson, Ronny (Ricky Patel), has been kidnapped. Like John had received telephone calls for ransom money eight years ago, Ronny’s mother also receives ransom calls for Ronny’s release. Sarita impersonates Ronny’s mother and speaks with the kidnapper in a bid to nab him. Sarita is assisted in the investigation by Martin although he is a priest. Martin realises that the kidnapping case of Ronny has an uncanny resemblance to the kidnapping case of Angela Roy of eight years ago.
So how does the kidnapper get nabbed? Who plays what role in nabbing the kidnapper? Was Angela killed or was her death an accident? What was the kidnapper’s motive in abducting Angela? Who is the abductor of Ronny and what is his motive?
The film is adapted from the Korean film, Montage, which was based on a story written by Chung Keun-Sup. The story is interesting because of the similarities between the two kidnap dramas. But the screenplay, written by Suresh Nair and Bijesh Jayrajan, is slow-paced and quite boring. The very essence of a thriller is lost because the writers have failed to pen a screenplay which can make the audience participate in the drama. Quite a many times, the viewer is unable to even understand where the investigation is headed, leave alone becoming a part of it. Since the thriller is too slow-paced and boring, it further dilutes the element of thrill. The climax also fails to impress because the audience gets the feeling that John Biswas did not need to do as much as he does in the film. That’s because the audience wonders why John Biswas did not simply give the voice sample to the police after tracking down the suspect so that the police could continue from thereon. John needed to do more than that if and only if the police were not willing to help him. But that’s not the case. The police are shown to have failed in the investigation but at no point are they unwilling to solve the case. If John would have given them clinching evidence, the police would happily use the same to solve the case. In other words, John did not need to do anything more after his investigation is complete.
The excitement and fire of a thriller are missing in the script. Ritesh Shah’s dialogues are too commonplace for the genre.
Amitabh Bachchan does well but one expected much more from an actor of his calibre and also given the character he plays. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is also good but not good enough to give the audience a high. Vidya Balan is effective but again, not really upto the mark. She looks a bit too overweight. Frankly, Amitabh, Nawazuddin and Vidya are all such outstanding actors that the viewers expect only extraordinary performances from the three of them – and in this film, the acting of all three of them is not extraordinary. Sabyasachi Chakraborty is ordinary. Aarnaa Sharma and Ricky Patel are alright as Angela Roy and Ronny respectively. Padmavathi Rao (as Nancy Biswas), Paritosh Sand (as ACP), Prakash Belawadi (as Kumar) and Mukesh Chhabra (as estate agent Tariq) are natural. Abhik Sarkar, Anando Mukherjee, Biraj, Dibakar Baruri, Rahul Lahiri (all as technical inspectors), Ardhendu Sekhar Banerjee (as police commissioner), Anupam Bhattacharya (as Hemant Poddar), Deblina Chakravorty (as Neeta), Tota Roy Chowdhury (as Peter Roy), Indu Bhushan Roy (as the old man), Somnath Mondal, Sujata Ghosh, Sukamal Chatterjee, Jeet Dutta, Manab Chawdhury, Rabindranath, Sajal Chatterjee, Sumit Samaddar (all as cops) and the others are adequate.
Ribhu Dasgupta’s direction is not in keeping with the genre of the film. The narrative style is too laidback for a thriller. Clinton Cerejo’s music is not of the popular variety. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics may be weighty but they don’t add much except in a couple of songs. Clinton Cerejo’s background music is average. Tushar Kanti Ray’s camerawork is quite nice. Sham Kaushal’s action and stunts are okay. Tanmoy Chakraborty’s production designing is nothing to shout about. Gairik Sarkar’s editing needed to be tighter.
On the whole, Te3n is a dull fare which will find the going at the box-office very tough. Flop.