Salim Merchant and Sulaiman Merchant
Irfan Siddique, Asif Ali Beg and Ajinkya Iyer
Amitabh Bachchan, Sir Ben Kingsley, R Madhavan, Raima Sen, Dhruv Ganesh, Siddharth Kher, Vaibhav Talwar, Saira Mohan and Sharadha Kapoor
Teen Patti Movie Review
February 27, 2010 12:51:36 PM IST By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network
TEEN PATTI is a cat and mouse game. What begins as a simple exercise to experiment with the theory of probability with real cash in gambling dens, takes a complex and deadly turn with greed taking the upper hand.
Director Leena Yadav has scored high on casting with not a character out of place. Even though Mahesh Manjrekar, Tinnu Anand, Jackie Shroff and Shakti Kapoor appear in just two scenes, their characters leave a mark and are an intricate part of the plot.
Also, Leena has used the final of the inaugural T-20 World Cup between India and Pakistan to telling effect. As Shakti Kapoor is gambling on the card table, his eyes are constantly on the television set as he monitors Pakistan chasing down India's total. With 5 balls to go and 12 runs to get for Pakistan, he changes his bets and places his money on Pakistan winning. We all know how Misbah-Ul-Haq holed out to Sreesanth at short fine leg. As the catch is pouched, he loses his card game as well! Brilliant. We have seen cricket matches as props within scenes, but this one is just too cool!
It's moment like these that keeps you glued to the screen. TEEN PATTI is riveting and extremely well paced. Professor Venkat Subramaniam (Amitabh Bachchan) has cracked a theory that could redefine the laws of probability. He tries it out with a card game with a fellow professor and four students and hits bulls-eye. Professor Shantanu Biswas (R Madhavan) who has loan sharks knocking on his doors to pay off their dues sees this as an opportunity to amass quick money. He lures Venkat to try out his theory in real gambling dens. From here, their life spirals out of control as a blackmailer takes centre stage.
Slickly shot, the film moves at a rapid pace keeping you guessing as to who the blackmailer could be. Venkat wants to call off the bluff, but by now, the students and Shantanu are overtaken by greed.
Dhruv Ganesh, Siddharth Kher, Vaibhav Talwar and Shraddha Kapoor who play the students caught in this game of greed are all excellent. Dhruv as Bikram, the student who needs money to fund his education plays his complex part with ease. Siddharth as Sid carries off the Johnny Depp look as well as his character effortlessly. However, it is Shraddha Kapoor, who makes her debut that steals the thunder. Confident and natural, she flits between the characters Aparna and Zeenat as though she is 20 films old. I last saw such brilliance in Farhan Akhtar the actor. Yes, Shakti Kapoor's daughter is a class apart and has announced her arrival with a bang.
Amitabh has used his vast experience to let the kids hog the limelight by strategically taking the back seat.
The film moves sharply between London and India and this is where Sir Ben Kingsly has been used as Perci Trachtenberg, the magician who Professor Venkat idolized.
Screenplay, Dialogues and costume deserve special mention as also the music by Salim- Suleiman. The track Neeyat has been powerfully choreographed.
Watch it for its casting, a young set of actors who deliver and a script that captivates.