Movie Review: Te3n

Amitabh Bachchan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui... need we say more? But City 1016's Lokesh Dharmani does...
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Movie Review: Te3n
A still from Te3n

Amitabh Bachchan

Read more about Amitabh Bachchan

DIRECTOR: Ribhu Dasgupta
STARRING: Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vidya Balan
RATING: 2.5 stars 

Te3n is a thriller that hardly thrills, a murder mystery that intrigues but only briefly. It’s an eight-year-long struggle of a grandfather seeking justice for the mysterious kidnapping of his granddaughter. 

I would expect a murder mystery to keep me on the edge of my seats and Te3n majorly disappoints in that department. 

The film gives a good build-up to the kidnapping, where all pieces merge together in the end. The problem is that it spends way too much time in the lead-up. The slow pace of the film kills the thrill of the murder mystery. It takes way too many slow-paced scenes and sequences and gets almost repetitive to even establish small plot points.

And since the story is set in Kolkata, a visit to a fish market, haggling over Hilsa or montages (pun definitely intended) of Durga Puja celebrations are a must. They don’t add to the narrative of the film but end up being those pretty pointless Instagram pictures of people we know, who would post bikini-clad selfies and speak about life’s lessons, hard work, inspiration and sundry.

Te3n requires your close attention or else you lose focus. Yet, it fails to explain a few things to me. John (Amitabh Bachchan) gets some lead in Imambara close to Hooghly. He lands at a random place and meets a lungi-clad Muslim man. Who is this man? Why and how did he decide that the Muslim man would give further clues into the case? None of this is explained. In another scene, Martin (Nawaz) goes to a place that looks like a music shop, to dig some cassettes, some audio tapes to investigate into the case. Pause. Why would a music shop have tapes of a recording that were in possession of the police? 

The screenplay of the film is as confusing. It flashbacks way too often and one is not quite sure where the action is really taking place.

If all these flaws led to a brilliant, edge-of-the-seat climax, I would still be happy. The film ends on a very weak note as it even tries to justify the kidnapper.

Amitabh Bachchan looks evidently old and pulls off the role of the grandfather really well, but in a couple of places, his Kaun Banega Crorepati hayeee slips in.

Nawaz and Vidya Balan also stay true to their roles but there is nothing extraordinary about their characters or their acting.

The film doesn’t engage you much. I, not even for once, felt the need to investigate the case or make whodunnit guesses or sit on the edge of my seat, which is not a great thing for an emotional thriller Te3n aims to be.


5 stars: Loved it. (This could make to top ten movies you must watch before you die!) 
4 stars: Liked it. Recommend it. (This will help you sound intellectual and give you stuff to add at water cooler conversations.)
3 stars: Didn’t hurt. Watch it once. 
2 stars: It put me to sleep. Watch it if you are an insomniac or a newly wedded couple. Winks!
1 star: Do I even need to explain this?