#365DaysOfWriting – Day Thirty-Five

TE3N is half-hearted attempt at a slow-burning thriller.

Ribhu Dasgupta, director of TE3N, reminds me of Abhimanyu from the Mahabharata.

He knows the tropes required to make a good thriller. He knows how to draw an audience into the film, and uses camera tricks, along with some fine acting help from the lead, to create a trail of compelling red herrings.

But getting into the chakravyuh is one thing, as Abhimanyu found out. Getting out of it successfully is another matter entirely. That’s where Ribhu Dasgupta falls short. The resolution of the story, and the eventual reveal left me disappointed. It was quite predictable.

TE3N revolves around the kidnapping and murder of John Biswas’ (Amitabh Bachchan) granddaughter, Angela. John, in his desperation, has been trying to find the culprit for 8 years. Even the original policeman on the case, Martin Das (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) has retired from the force to become a priest. John’s only hope in finding justice and closure is the new inspector in charge, Sarita Sarkar (Vidya Balan, who is credited with a ‘guest appearance’ but is present for most of the film!)

At the beginning of the film, you’re told explicitly that this is an official remake of 2013 South Korean film, Montage. As I’ve had the experience of watching Montage, all I can say is: watch that instead. TE3N offers nothing new. Nawaz and Vidya are both adequate (which is not what you’d expect from them both – you expect better). Amitabh Bachchan comes up with a great performance (though he does overact a tad in the first few scenes), but it doesn’t salvage the film completely.

All-in-all, it’s a 5.5/10 at best. Not bad, but for a film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan, it’s just not enough.

Given that the title is styled like David Fincher’s seminal work, Se7en, I’d like to end with the Ernest Hemingway-inspired quote from the film, mouthed with such conviction by Somerset (Morgan Freeman): The world is a fine place, and it’s worth fighting for. I agree with the second part.

That holds true for TE3N too. Alas, if only it was as hard-hitting and convincing as SE7EN. It falls four short, literally and figuratively.

What did you think of TE3N? Let me know! And if you like what you read, tap the little green heart at the bottom!