Friday, 10 June 2016

"Te3n" (Guardian 10/06/16)

Te3n ***
Dir: Ribhu Dasgupta. With: Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vidya Balan. 136 mins. Cert: 15

Riffing, Se7en-like, on the Hindi word for three (“theen”), this remake of 2013’s Korean thriller Montage splices together a disparate trio hunting a long-gone girl: grieving grandfather Amitabh Bachchan, guilt-racked priest Nawazuddin Siddiqui, no-nonsense cop Vidya Balan. We’re watching Bollywood respond to grimtertainments like True Detective – hence director Ribhu Dasgupta’s lugubrious, lights-off aesthetic – while wondering whether Te3n has taken on too much baggage at once: the first half proceeds at such a crawl even the songs sound like somebody’s last gasp. Yet Dasgupta’s playing a reasonably intricate, long game. The pulse quickens with a mid-film ransom drop; skilled playing shepherds us through the twisty second hour. A touch tentative – the work of an industry straining to mature in line with its audience’s tastes – but creditably committed to a new realism: it’s a rare contemporary item to have licensed its sleuths to pursue their leads through Google, rather than the now-standard “FastFindz” or “Netlook”.

Te3n is now playing in cinemas nationwide. 

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