TE3N powered by Mr. Bachchan's flawless act, director Ribhu Dasgupta's (the forgettable MICHAEL previous) Indian adaptation of the brilliant south Korean thriller MONTAGE that deftly crisscrossed between crime, guilt, separation, revenge and the morality of revenge, is a lazily paced 'tricky' suspense thriller that scores high on drama and less on thrills as a film.
Boosting a never before seen powerhouse actors led by Mr. Bachchan, followed by Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan under one roof, TE3N wastes a big opportunity in turning the tables of Bollywood thrillers and revenge dramas like Sujoy Ghosh's KAHAANI or Sriram Raghavan's BADLAPUR.
The writers Bijesh Jayarajan and Suresh Nair fail to add up to the expected 'shock', 'thrill' value to the film and it's a let down from Sujoy Ghosh, who is the 'idea' behind the adaptation of this south Korean 'Kahani' (story) after his own KAHAANI. Ironically, the film that follows the to and fro pattern of storytelling by oscillating between the past and the present surprisingly manages to excite the drama genre fans more than the thriller/whodunit enthusiasts.
Following the back and forth technique with cuts and intercuts in between that gives clues and points to be jointed during the final reels, Bollywood directors like Ribhu Dasgupta should now realize that this isn't avant-garde technique anymore.. TE3N opens with an accident and then shows John Biswas (Amitabh Bachchan) waiting in a police station to meet Inspector Sarita Sarkar (Vidya Balan). John is looking for justice since eight years to get the abductor and murderer of his granddaughter Angela booked for the crime.
Police inspector Martin (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), who leaded the investigation of Angela's kidnapping has turned into a priest to channelize his guilt and is still struggling to sleep since last eight years.
John listens to the old tape recordings of Angela during the kidnapping and is waiting for a clue. One day a kidnapping incident similar to Angela's case brings John, Martin and Sarita together.
Speaking more will act as spoilers but yes the lethargic pace and lack of twist in the tale makes the revelation a bit predictable but in the end it manages to wind itself as a harmless watch.
Amitabh Bachchan is in his compete element. The megastar takes you through his pain; suffering and loss right from the first frame, the walk, the intensity seen in the eyes that are constantly looking for an answer, clue and the helplessness gets portrayed brilliantly.
In spite of a weakly written role that gets a good turn as a guilt stricken priest but fails to move forward, Nawazuddin Siddiqui still manages to make his mark. Though his antics and methodism seen in BADLAPUR, KICK will be missed, but he puts up a smart act.
Vidya Balan shines in whatever scope she gets in her 'special' appearance.
Clinton Cerejo's soft modern rock style music is good other technicalities like Tushar Kanti Ray's cinematography and Gairik Sarkar's editing are fine.
Still, after lack of thrills and glaring loopholes like the silence of the child during the climax, TE3N is a watchable flick if you go without carrying the baggage of high expectations of a thrilling 'Kahani' post KAHAANI. It will struggle to make its space in the midst of the reigning blockbusters but those who hate crap in the name of entertainment and loyalists of Mr. Bachchan will find something for them this weekend.