Teen movie review

‘Te3n’ is an official remake of ‘Montage’, a South Korean thriller. This is a film about John Biswas, a man in his seventies, who is obsessed with tracking down the kidnapper and killer of his grand-daughter and spends eight years on the trail before making a breakthrough. Amitabh Bachchan as ‘John Biswas’ gives a flawless performance. The poster and the trailer of the film show Amitabh Bachchan riding a scooter that’s as old as the hills. John Biswas struggles to start this scooter, has to clean it to get it going once but you can see a bond between the man and his machine. It’s not in-your-face but it’s there. At one point, John Biswas has to bribe a government clerk to get some information that he badly needs to zero in on the killer of his granddaughter. When he realizes he can’t afford the bribe, he gives the scooter as a bribe instead. This scene is the highlight of the film. It’s a very well written and directed scene and Amitabh Bachchan further elevates it with his sensitive performance. You realize how the same scooter means two entirely different things to two different people. It’s a scene that brings a lump to your throat, despite the director not giving it a build up or rather because of it. Nawazuddin Siddiqui has an interesting character and does justice to it. Vidya Balan is stuck with a somewhat underwritten, one-dimensional ‘tough cop’ character and tries hard to rise above it. Padmavati Rao as Nancy Biswas is fine but has little to do. Sabyasachi Chakraborty also delivers. The film is somewhat disappointing on the script level though. There are inconsistencies in the way characters behave. John Biswas tells Sarita Sarkar (Vidya Balan) that his wife won’t be able to live in peace till the killer has been found. Five minutes later, his wife expresses boredom with his obsessive pursuit and seems to have reconciled with the reality. The film’s screenplay is not linear. There are flashbacks, which would have been fine if they wanted to show a glimpse of the past. Instead, they go the whole hog, showing all the relevant events of eight years ago except one key event. This is more like ‘conning’ the audience preventing them from reaching a conclusion that they would otherwise. Characters act in ways that are unconvincing. You wonder why they make certain choices and not other more obvious, easier ones. Police investigation methods are somewhat contrived and amateurish. Kids behave oddly. I can’t give away any more without including spoilers. The cinematography is good. Shooting the film in real places, gives the film an authentic feel. If you can ignore the plot holes, watch it for the performances!

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