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Te3n: Movie Review by Tanmoy Sarkar

June 13, 2016

"Te3n" is that well discussed and well anticipated film which I had been eagerly waiting for to be released in Kolkata ever since the news broke out that Mr. Amitabh Bachchan started shooting in Kolkata and the first picture of him in which he was riding on a scooter, came out in the public domain. Initially I thought this is "Kahaani 2" because of Sujoy Ghosh's presence in the team but then I realised that he is actually not the Director rather happened to be one of the Producers in this movie of which the title is "Te3n". Well, the film was released in the theatres on the 10th June and I have watched this movie on the 11th night in South Kolkata. I watch a lot of movies but do not post a status for all of them on Facebook. I publish a few only if I think that I should write something about it in my Blog. That's why I generally do that after watching the full movie. But this time when I was about to post my status on Facebook, I just couldn't find the official Facebook page of "Te3n". There was an ordinary page without a profile image and that page got only 249 likes at that time. That page must have been created by a fan or automatically by Facebook. So, it seems that team "Te3n" didn't even try to promote the movie on Social Media. If I remember correctly about the promotion on Television, I've only seen a couple of interviews of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, Sujoy Ghosh and the Director Ribhu Dasgupta. But I think I've hardly seen Vidya Balan or Nawazuddin Siddiqui promoting this movie on any platform or media. So, I must say that team "Te3n" has taken very poor marketing strategy or practically none at all for promoting this movie.

When I talk about the movie, the first question that comes to mind, is about its title. Why Te3n or Three? One thing is clear that the story revolves around 3 main characters played by BigB, Vidya Balan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. But other than this fact of 3 main character's presence in this film, I've found no relevant reason in its title "Te3n". Despite being one of the 3 main characters, Vidya Balan's name was shown with a tag "Guest Appearance" in the title sequence. I think I've got many reasons to be heart-broken and frustrated after watching this movie. There were good ingredients and a good recipe and yet, the actual dish that the chef has cooked, is not the one it was meant to be. All Bengali Film Directors who have made Hindi Bollywoody films, are well-known for their realistic ideology and by and large do take care of every minute detail while making a movie.

I've also read some other reviews written by other Cine-Critics. One said about the sloth progress of the storytelling and another Critic talks about too many unnecessary flashbacks in this movie. I also agree with them. The story and the art of storytelling both are essential and without each other's support, no single fact alone can make a film successful. While telling a story especially a thriller, the storyteller sometimes gets you a flashback or so he thinks is necessary in order to make the audience glued to the story otherwise they might get lost as the plot gets unraveled. The storyteller sometimes also thinks that flashback helps the audience connecting the missing dots. I believe Producer Sujoy Ghosh, Director Ribhu Dasgupta and therir team are very much obsessed with BigB, Vidya Balan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, City of Joy Kolkata, Kolkata Police, Howrah Bridge, River Ganga, Maa Durga and Bisorjon, Kolkata Tram etc. But these are all good ingredients for a good dish but it's up to the chef and his skills to make a good dish by using these good ingredients and a good recipe.

I'll talk about this thrilling story. I've found so many flaws in the story and storytelling. I think Maa Durga's Bisorjon scene was absolutely irrelevant and the Howrah Bridge has been shown in wrong scenes. The story is about Two kidnappings which took place in the heart of Kolkata. First kidnapping happened in the Ripon Street but still remained unresolved even after eight long years. John Biswas, the grandfather (played by BigB) of the victim (John's granddaughter Angela Biswas), regularly goes to Kolkata's Police Head Quarter in Lalbazar and returns empty handed back to home. Since the kid Angela was abducted in Ripon Street as she was returning from her school to home, one can presume that her family used to and still lives in or close to Ripon Street. Just because the team "Te3n" is obsessed with Howrah Bridge, that doesn't mean you can show that bridge in any scene. In one part of the film, the grandfather crosses river Ganga by Howrah Bridge while returning from Lalbazar to his home in or around Ripon Street. The grandfather listens to a familiar voice in a tape which was recorded by police eight years ago. In this tape, the kidnapper who is in fact Manohar Sinha (played by Sabyasachi Chakraborty) allowed the victim to speak on phone. She shouted "I am sorry grandpa. I made a mistake. I should have listened to you". Normally victim says "Save me grandpa" but instead, she said something else. This recording was shown in such a way as if it somehow leads to a clue. But ultimately it never got proven as a clue nor did it help grandpa in any capacity to resolve the mystery.

Grandpa was rightly on his course of finding the kidnapper for taking his revenge by bringing him to justice. He set his rest of the life's goal and never lost hope. One day, he got a small clue which leads him to go to Imambara in Hooghly. But even after ignoring father Martin's request of riding on his motor cycle, traveling the distance of 54 km twice and then multiple times by a junk scooter is a reliable idea or not, that my friend, I leave to the audience and their common sense. Later the plot as it was unraveled, showed that the kidnapper actually buried all the evidences inside a trunk in a burying place at Imambara in Hooghly. The kidnapper committed his crime in Kolkata and buried the evidences in Hooghly. Come on man!! Who wrote this story? I've got more. The kidnapper got his 20 Lacs as he demanded and the ransom money was arranged none other than by our Kolkata police. Police!!! Does police ever arrange ransom money for kidnappers? If yes as a part of their plan to catch the criminal, then why using real money instead of blank currency notes. After a successful pick up of the ransom money, the kidnapper called the grandfather once again and threatened that he has to give him another 20 Lacs rupees as a punishment for his act of calling the police. The kidnapper directed him to get out of the city and follow a dirt road. Man! This is Kolkata, not Ramgarh you are talking about.

In a twist of the plot when the kidnapper was caught and brought to justice, the kidnapper confessed his crime and told the reason behind it. He said that eight years ago, his daughter needed a heart surgery and therefore he needed money at any cost. Now consider some points. The kidnapper Manohar Sinha's daughter has a son Ronnie who is now around 8 years old. A woman who got a severe heart surgery of which the effect is still visible, couldn't be allowed by doctors for pregnancy. That means she was already married eight years ago and had a son during the time of her heart surgery. Remember her husband who serves in Indian Army. I think Indian Army takes all the liabilities on the medical issues of the family including wife of an army jawan or an officer. So, the kidnapper's worry of arranging money for her daughter's heart surgery, doesn't have a solid ground as it was written by the story writer.

The police officer Martin Das who investigated the kidnapping case eight years ago, is now a priest. Please don't take it otherwise if I say that an ex police officer later becoming a Christian priest, not a Hindu priest or a Muslim imam, looks better and suitable in a modern thriller story. Doesn't it? The grandfather John Biswas made a list of a few suspects and handed over the list to father Martin on the Christmas evening and then at the same time, coincidentally, Manohar Sinha's son and grandson (Ronnie) also paid a visit to that Church. Ronnie made a beautiful greetings card and presented to father Martin. He loved that card and promised to Ronnie that he would always keep it in his home. Father Martin also kept that list of suspects in that greetings card and went inside the Church. Incidentally father Martin becomes the part of the investigation team which is investigating the present kidnapping of master Ronnie. The present investigation is being led by a special police inspector Sarita Sarkar (played by Vidya Balan). Eventually father Martin got the solid proof that John Biswas has something to do with the present kidnapping of master Ronnie. Father Martin rushed to John's house and searched his bed. There, he found that greetings card which proves as the storyteller also tries to establish that Ronnie was with John for sure. But I think the voice marching proof was good enough and finding the greetings card was unnecessary besides the fact that the storyteller never showed us how that greetings card reached John's house.

Let's take a pause and consider yourself as the grandfather. You now know who the kidnapper was. Since he has destroyed most of the evidences, what would you do to bring him to justice. Just because you cannot do it in a legal way and you see that the kidnapper has also got a grandson Ronnie, you make a plot of kidnapping that grandson. That grandson who has remained very happy even after being abducted by a kidnapper as it has been shown in this film to prove that the 2nd kidnapping should not be considered as a crime by the audience. You are justifying a new kidnapping for bringing an old kidnapper to justice. I think the Script Writer always has the upper hand. This story especially the climax with a twist could have been told in a different way.

Acting was superb and every actor has done justice with his or her acting reputation in this film. But the music was mediocre. The music doesn't stay in mind for long.

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