Sunday, June 12, 2016


Kolkata Calling

Te3n which borrows the stylized title from Hollywood thriller Se7en and the plot (officially) from Korean film, Montage, but director Ribhu Dasgupta has made a quintessential Bengali film, albeit in Hindi.

It is a suspense thriller, but not the fast-paced, pulse-pounding kind. Te3n simmers its story over eight years and keeps adding bits of emotion and thrill to whet the appetite. More than the whodunit or why, what engages the viewer is the atmosphere, the chaos and calm of Kolkata, three seasoned actors who put their faith in a non-commercial film and give it their best.

John Biswas (Amitabh Bachchan) was traumatized by the kidnapping and murder of his granddaughter Angela eight years ago, and could not give up the search for the culprit, even when the cops abandoned the case as unsolvable.

In films, a man cannot be totally ordinary, especially when played a star as charismatic as Bachchan, so his Biswas is given more than his share of quirks and a decrepit scooter that somehow goes with the landscape.

Martin Das (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), who was the cop on Angela’s case was so disturbed,he quit the force to become a priest; the third angle of the Te3n triangle is a tenacious cop Sarita Sharma (Vidya Balan). When a new case comes up-- the kidnapping of Manohar’s (Sabyasachi Chakraborty) grandson-- that mimicks the eight-year-old kidnap-murder, the three start investigating and trying to finally unravel the mystery and get closure for the grieving old grandfather.

Dasgupta expertly builds up the sense of foreboding and intrigue, demands that the viewer pay attention and keep a lookout for clues, the way the trio of investigators do.  It respects the viewer’s intelligence and evokes empathy, which is more than be said for so many films made these days, the directors of which would be hard put to explain the reason for their existence.


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