Te3n – Amitabh Bachchan as an obsessed grandfather searching for clues to a family tragedy

Amitabh-Nawazuddin-Still-from-Movie-Te3n

Te3n is a Hindi thriller starring Amitabh Bachchan as the grandfather of a young girl who was kidnapped and killed 8 years ago.  He can’t let the unsolved case go, and visits the police station every day for an update.  Vidya Balan is the police detective who tries to gently get him to move on.

amitabhbachchan-viyabalan759

Nawazuddin Siddiqui was the police officer investigating the case 8 years ago, and botched it.  He has since become a priest, and Amitabh (John) also torments him regularly about the cold case.

Amitabh neglects his disabled wife, the bills and regular life in his obsession to find justice for his granddaughter.  He uncovers what he believes is new evidence in the case, and gets Martin (Nawaz) to accompany him to track down more clues.

Then another young child is kidnapped, and the details of the case seem to be an exact copy of the case of John (Amitabh)’s granddaughter.  Vidya calls on Martin (Nawaz) to help her find the kidnapped boy.

NRMyDBxmSrc

What this movie got right was the obsession that family members can fall into, especially the elderly, with an unsolved case.  Our family happens to have a missing person/probable murder cold case.  Having a tragedy like that hanging over a family can take a heavy toll.  Amitabh lets all the despair and pain show in this movie.  His wife, and every one urges him to just let it go, but he can’t.  He just can’t.

Te3n

Te3n is written and directed by Ribhu Dasgupta and produced by Sujoy Ghosh of Kahaani fame.  It’s an authorized remake of the Korean film Montage, which I have not seen.  Te3n is set in Calcutta, but just never manages to reach the level of suspense and tension of Kahaani, or true surprises.  Here you have three of my favorite Indian actors in Hindi cinema, and while the film is good, it’s not as great as I was hoping it would be.  The ending was a satisfying conclusion to the thriller, but I had some unanswered questions.

Amitabh’s John is fleshed out, but I was left wondering if it was just this one case that led Martin, Nawaz’s former cop character to become a priest.

n9n80yrzyq07vc2b.D.0.Nawazuddin-Siddiqui-TE3N-Film-Image

Three and a half stars out of five.

Advertisements

Manjhi: Mountain Man – Nawazuddin Siddiqui is amazing as always

I was at my local library looking for another film (Dookudu!), when I happened to see that Manjhi:  The Mountain Man was in the new release DVD section.  Our local movie theater had shown trailers for Manjhi for months, but it never came to the big screen in our town.

I absolutely love the acting of Nawazuddin Siddiqui.  He is consistently amazing in every movie I’ve seen him in.  Like Irrfan Khan, I’d bet he could make reading the phonebook a dramatic triumph.  Since half the movie has Nawaz acting only with himself and railing at his mountain, you need someone of Nawaz’s talents to pull it off.

Manjhi is based on the real life story of Dashrath Manjhi, who really did carve a road through a mountain with just a hammer and a chisel.  Dashrath’s wife had died from a fall, and died because it took so long to get her to medical care.  After her death Dashrath Manjki vowed to make a road through the mountain to allow for faster medical access for his remote village.  He worked at it for twenty-two years.  It sounds like a story that is so fantastical that it couldn’t even be real, but it is.

My favorite part of the movie was the first half which has the romantic story of Dashrath and his wife Phalguni (Radhika Apte).  Dashrath was born in a caste so low that they were the rat-eaters of the village.  There is a tyranical zamindar and his evil son who rule the village with an iron fist.  Dashrath runs away from home to escape being forced into lifelong bondage to the zamindar.  He returns to the village after some years working in the coal mines.

He falls in love with a village girl, and realizes that she was actually his child bride.  I just loved Nawaz and Radhika Apte and their scenes together.  Life is hard.  The Zamindar and his son are barbaric to the low caste villagers.  But Dhashrath and his wife carve out happiness together.

Tragedy strikes when a pregnant Phalguni falls from the mountain while pregnant with their second child.  Dhashrath carries her miles and miles to the closest hospital, but it isn’t soon enough to save her.  He is left with two children to raise alone, and at this point he goes a bit mad.  He vows to the mountain that he will break it.

The second half of the the film shows his struggles chipping away at the mountain all those years.  The filmmaker tries to insert some drama here, and it gets a bit metaphysical with visions of his wife talking to him, and soliloquy’s with the mountain.  Nawaz tries his best, but the script is not as good here.

Nawaz does not make Dhashrath a saint.  This is a man so obsessed that he leaves his children in the care of his drunk father to work on his mountain path.

The film is definitely worth seeing just for Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s performance.  Seeing him romance Radhika Apte in the first half of the film makes me anticipate the romantic comedy he’s filming right now even more.

Manjhi:  The Mountain Man was not quite as great as I’d hoped it would be, but I give it four stars out of five.

 

Nawaz Siddiqui in a Rom Com!

I just heard from the BollyFools guys that Nawaz Siddiqui is currently filming a romantic comedy with Amy Jackson called Ali.  Really excited to hear that he’s getting to be a romantic lead.  He is obviously a fantastic dramatic actor, but he really showed his comedic skills in last year’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan.  Ali is directed by Sohail Khan.