A tale of murder and revenge, Te3n draws us in

Director Ribhu Dasgupta's remake of South Korean thriller Montage commands our attention with its elegant attention to character, plot and detail.
Amitabh Bachchan plays lead character John Biswas in Te3n. AFP.
Amitabh Bachchan plays lead character John Biswas in Te3n. AFP.


Director: Ribhu Dasgupta

Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vidya Balan

Four stars

Te3n is an elegant film – in the way it is made, in its great attention to detail, in the creation of its characters, in the Kolkata it manages to capture and, most of all, in the way director Ribhu Dasgupta nudges his viewers to care, deeply, about the anguish of the central character without once resorting to manipulative story telling.

You arrive at this empathy on your own, compelled by the combined forces of good writing and acting.

Te3n is the official remake of 2013 South Korean thriller Montage, and although the Hindi version lacks the original’s bite, it is still a movie that easily commands your attention for the 138 minutes of runtime.

It is the story of John Biswas (Amitabh Bachchan) and his relentless search for the person who kidnapped and killed his granddaughter, Angela.

Martin Das (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is the officer assigned the case. Eventually, he quits the force to become a Christian priest. Eight years after the murder, Biswas contacts Das with a new clue he has found.

Even as Father Das urges Biswas to seek closure and move on, he finds himself drawn back in when his ex-colleague and friend, Sarita Sarkar (Vidya Balan), asks for help with a similar kidnapping case. Biswas, Martin and Sarkar each have distinct personalities, widely differing motivations and approaches to finding the killer, and the film does justice to all three.

Bachchan, as the aging grandfather who struggles even through life’s most ordinary tasks but finds it in himself to keep fighting, is easily the best thing about the film. Balan, as a tough-as-nails cop, is understated and conveys more with perfectly-timed, sardonic lifts of the eyebrow than any dialogue could have. Siddiqui is competent, although his Father Das does seem forced sometimes.

You may or may not be able to guess the final plot twist and the identity of the killer, but one can’t fault Dasgupta and his team for making it a hilariously obvious conclusion.

There are plenty of twists and blind alleys to keep the audience’s inner Sherlock occupied. Definitely worth seeing.


Published: June 11, 2016 04:00 AM


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