Critic ratings are important for a film like ‘TE3N’, a word-of-mouth film which has taken a slow start at the box office. The reviews are mixed so far, with Deccan Chronicle giving the film a 4 star rating.
TE3N Review by Indicine
An official remake of the Korean film Montage, director Bibhu Dasgupta does an astute job of setting that startling story to the Kolkata milieu. The pace is slow at first to make way for world building but it seems deliberate as the pace picks up when the case reaches important junctures towards the end of the movie. The detailing of Te3n is perfect and the dialogues and conversations never seem out of place. The strength of Te3n as a movie lies in the impeccable detailing of the setting and the characters and their homes. There’s a realism to it which is hard to achieve. The production design and the costume design should be lauded. And so should be the cinematography. The streets and bylanes of Kolkata are again captured beautifully making the city an incendiary character. The music by Clinton Cerejo is downplayed in the film but a better background score could have alleviated the movie into something else altogether.
TE3N Review by Bollywood Hungama
The film’s director Ribhu Dasgupta, whose last film was the forgettable MICHAEL, returns with the whodunit thriller TE3N. While the promos of the film were enticing and thrilling, the sad part is that the same cannot be said about the film in totality. Right from the first scene, the film’s oscillation between the past and the present leaves the viewers a bit confused. While the film’s screenplay (Suresh Nair, Ritesh Shah, Bijesh Jayarajan) has many loopholes and is far from compelling, it fails to do complete justice to the ‘shock value’ that forms the crux of such genre of films. Considering the film had three powerhouses of talent, the film’s direction seems to be a bit of a letdown. In an attempt to make the film an indepth thriller, the makers drag the film at many places adding too many details which at times seem unwanted. The pace of the film is very slow in the first half until it picks up for a few minutes in the pre-interval sequence. The same is the case with the film’s second half, except that the film picks up its pace here but only for a limited time. There are a handful of scenes and situations where the film goes astray.
TE3N Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies
Te3n is by no means a visceral thrill-a-minute crime drama, but its red herrings are sufficiently intriguing. They keep the viewer second-guessing its twists and turns. Te3n is studded with stellar performances. Amitabh Bachchan, who eschews much of his mannerisms, inhabits the character of the ageing man fighting against all odds to redeem himself – in his own eyes. The thespian’s visage takes the form of a map of deep, tangible emotions. Each twitch on the face and every flash of befuddlement or realisation in the eye is an expression redolent with the ravages John has endured. Vidya Balan, whose presence in the cast is rather mystifyingly billed as a special appearance, has a full-fledged role. Of course, the film is none the worse for it. But one wishes the character of the no-nonsense woman in uniform was etched out with a little more clarity.
TE3N Review by Meena Iyer on The Times Of India
The plot starts with introducing the audience to the eight-year-old kidnapping case through a conversation between John and investigating officer Sarita (Vidya is dynamic). And its strength is that it never wavers from around its three principal characters – the granddad, cop and priest, each of who is involved with the case for reasons of their own. What is also impressive is that the mystery is kept alive right through. As the jigsaw puzzle falls into place, the protagonists’ feelings towards the situation and themselves falls perfectly into place, keeping the viewers pleasantly engaged with the plot and the people. The film’s ability to maintain the suspense right till the end makes it a must-watch for those who like whodunnits. However, a better pace could have lifted this film a notch higher.
TE3N Review by Rohit Vats on Hindustan Times
It’s edgy, gripping and dark, mostly because of the actors and partly due to the milieu. While Nawazuddin brings a strangeness to the table, Sabyasachi shows how to get noticed subtly. Amitabh is the cohesive force behind this thriller. The director weaves a web of lies and psychological disorders, but he also attaches motives to his characters. Though his choice of background music surprises at times, he compensates with pace. His biggest success is the high degree of audience involvement in a 138-minute film. TE3N catches you by the neck and keeps you engrossed till the end credits. Amitabh’s superlative form is just one of the incentives to watch it. TE3N has enough to make you like it.
TE3N Review by Ananya Bhattacharya on India Today
The strength of TE3N lies in its performances. The weakest part is the writing. The story begins well, but soon you lose track of what is happening because there’s so much happening. Or nothing happening. The ebb and flow of important events in TE3N is not handled well. Also, it doesn’t help that the viewer can crack the biggest twist in the tale way before the filmmaker reveals it. It is disappointing considering what the film could have been, had the major issues been paid a bit more attention to.
Review by Vishal Verma on Glamsham
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.
Review by Tushar P Joshi on Bollywood Life
TE3N’s biggest cuplrit is its pace. It’s slow and tests your patience to the limit. You don’t mind sitting through a film that is gradually building up to something worth anticipating. Also the promos promised us a taut thriller, so what is this watered down family drama mumbo jumbo we are reduced to suffering? Vidya disappoints in her special appearance, there is too much effort and very little heart in this performance. Nawaz does a decent job in the first half, but by the climax he too seems disinterested. The editing is botched up and doesn’t lend to the film progressing into its climax. The constant flashbacks and explanations might end up giving you a migraine. If you are going in expecting a tight fast paced thriller then TE3N is not the ticket to buy.
Review by Lokesh Dharmani on Masala
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.
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
As for the plot, though the film had all the ingredients of a good and taut thriller, the treatment proves to be the movie’s undoing. For a thriller, the pace of TE3N is quite sluggish and though the viewer would be curious to get to the bottom of the mystery, the journey that leads to the destination is not quite thrilling or effective enough to arrest your attention. Unlike Kahaani, which had you in its grip and made you sit up and wait for the next scene, Ribhu Dasgupta, the director of TE3N takes his own sweet time getting to the point, which is somewhat predictable for an observant and smart viewer. A good thriller always offers multiple suspects and then springs the suspense on you, but TE3N is sadly bereft of this basic element, which makes it easy to crack the whodunit simply by a process of elimination.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
Amitabh Bachchan acts the part of the old man rather well except when they think no one is looking. And then you see his shoulders straighten and he stands tall. Nawazuddin Siddique looks like he enjoyed wandering about in a cassock. But if you watch him closely, you’ll find him smirking at the comic lines he is supposed to deliver – lines about the scooter – are delivered not with sarcasm, but with knowledge that he’s acting in a good script, and that the audience is going to laugh. Vidya Balan is competent as a police officer investigating the case. But you wonder why she has been given a ‘guest role’ in the title credits.
Review by Mehul S Thakkar on Deccan Chronicle
Coming to Amitabh’s performance he thoroughly shines in a plot which in certain portions appeared slow. May be because the story is about an aged character, the director decided to stick to a certain pace. Big B’s expression, his walk, his mannerisms makes him look like John throughout. If a director can strip off the stardom of an actor and bring out a character from his performance, he has won the battle. Only towards the ending of the film in a very important scene Amitabh slipped out of John’s closet and was himself. That is the only time it felt he wasn’t in his character.
Review by Shubhra Gupta on Indian Express
TE3N is a case of sadly missed opportunities. Because there are rousing actors in here, and there’s a real city to play it all out in. Kolkata is a perfect location for a film like this with its atmospheric patches and the iconic Howrah-Hoogly vistas, reminding you of producer Sujoy Ghosh’s far more engaging ‘Kahaani’, but how a man clad in a dark hoody ( in sultry Kolkata) manages to move around those streets so freely remains an unsolvable mystery. Its treatment does both place and characters in, turning everything lackadaisical. In its attempt to be less ‘dark’, loud background music is added in at each step. The plot has too much fuzz, and the characters are all surface : Bachchan’s droopy facial lines, Balan’s stolid-cop-stomping—these painstakingly drawn outlines call attention to themselves, but do not afford us inner details. Why is her full-fledged act termed a guest appearance? That mystery too stays unsolved. Only Nawaz’s guilt-ridden priest breaks free once in a way, and a few red herrings infuse some intrigue, especially towards the end.
Review by Shubha Shetty Saha on Mid-Day India
It is however, the performances by the two male leads that stand above everything else. Amitabh Bachchan lives and breathes Biswas with perfection. As his eyes glint with passion but also disappointment as his frail body is not supporting his intention. Nawazuddin as a guilt ridden man trying in vain to find solace in religion, is brilliant. Vidya Balan as expected is competent but her character is not fleshed out well. At times it looked like she’s in a hurry to wrap up the case and the film. Even though this film is a remake of a Korean film, ‘Montage’, full marks to Ribhu Dasgupta for giving it a strong local flavour, with familiar and comfortable sights and sounds.
TE3N Review by Indiaglitz
‘Te3n’ has some high-octane performances by its lead actors and has full potential to end up among decently made thriller films from our country. Sadly, the slow pace, predictable twists and non-glamorous looks of the film, dilutes the intensity and might fail to connect with its masala loving film viewers.
Review by Raja Sen on Rediff
One of the most exasperating things about Hindi movies are their over-reliance on flashbacks, their need to spoon-feed audiences by reminding them of something they saw 10 minutes ago, and the last half-hour of Te3n goes on interminably, recapping the entire film as if to show us how clever they’ve been. Tragically, however, they haven’t been clever at all. It’s difficult not to predict the film’s twist, and — the fundamental problem in films that hinge too critically on that massive twist — when that doesn’t fall into place, the whole house of cards collapses to the ground.
Review by Sarita A Tanwar on DNA India
Te3n is a remake of the brilliant Korean thriller Montage. For those who have not seen the original, it is a great suspense movie. You don’t see the mystery solve itself, till it does on screen. Te3n boasts of a wonderful cast even though not a single performance stays with you. In case you are wondering about the title, it is about the three characters, each with his/her own reasons for being to be interested in the case
Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
Director Ribhu Dasgupta’s job was a sticky one. Retelling a Korean story with local flourishes can be daunting. A strand out of place or a faint lapse in reason, and the whole film comes crumbling down. But Dasgupta is committed in manipulating precisely what the audience notices, assumes and predicts from what plays out on the screen. Like any thriller, the money here is on figuring out the perpetrator, hopefully before those hunting the person in the film can.
Review by Ritika Handoo on Zeenews
Although, ‘TE3N’ is based on Korean drama ‘Montage’, the screenplay by Suresh Nair, Ritesh Shah and Bijesh Jayarajan is worth mentioning and the background score by Clinton Cerejo is in sync with the genre. Dialogues by Ritesh Shah too have been written carefully keeping the background and setting in mind. Yes, and the thriller picks up pace from thereon. It would be safe to say that if the first half gives you an urge to play the fast forward button then the second half will give you the much-needed adrenaline rush. You will be pushed to the edge of your seat while you almost eat your hands as the climax knocks you down. All in all, Amitabh Bachchan will leave a lasting first impression in this flick while Nawazuddin Siddiqui excels in his dual job of a Father and an Inspector. Vidya Balan will remind you to not forget her ‘Kahaani’ performance, just as we know a sequel is in the pipeline.
Review by Ians on Sify
Visually, the setting is realistically natural and moody and is captured brilliantly by cinematographer Tushar Kanti Ray’s lens. There are a few manually focussed frames, which may seem artistic, but in actuality, blemish the viewing experience. The background score by Clinton Cejero merges well with the visuals and adds pace to the narrative. Overall, this leniently-paced suspense film which starts off with a swelling promise seems to have been wrapped with hurried compromises that doesn’t really leave a strong impact — except for the performances.
Review by Meeta on Wogma
Even though TE3N takes its sweet time to actually get things rolling, you have an indomitable Amitabh Bachchan playing the subdued, helpless yet determined John. While Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan (in a large-ish guest appearance) have nothing spectacular to do in terms of presenting their skills, their presence is reassuring. Reassuring that if nothing else, we know we won’t have to suffer bad acting. That comes in the form of Sabyaschi Chakraborty. He is absolutely unconvincing.
Review by Rajeev Masand on News18
The screenplay (by Suresh Nair and Brijesh Jayarajan) unravels skillfully but also sluggishly, particularly the first half which culminates in a terrific twist. You do wish, more than once, that this thriller would gather pace, but frankly this isn’t so much a nail-biting tension-ridden tale as it is a suspense-soaked whodunit.
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