wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?)

quick review:

Underwhelming in all departments other than acting. Doesn't thrill and leaves huge loopholes.

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Director: Ribhu Dasgupta
Running time: 135 minutes
Genres: Revenge, Thriller
More Movie Info

TE3N - Preview

What is the priest's role? Is the little girl missing or dead? What do the mirror images in the posters mean? It certainly has something to do with the supposed mirror image in “E3” in the title, the trailer and promo material so far don't look like they are trying to be kewl. What is that something? Will these questions be answered or left as mysteries for us to solve or live with?

I don't remember the last time a trailer, let alone a poster or the film's title created so much intrigue. With the HUGE Kahani-like Kolkata feel, and the acting reigns in the hands of Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui there is nothing left to do but to wait for 10th June.

I am just so kicked that this particular Friday comes right in between the two blocks of times that I am going to be away.

(This preview was written in the second week of May and has been auto-published.)

- meeta, a part of the audience

The palpating thriller “feel” is missing from the word go, but it takes a while to register that nothing really has happened in the first half hour. A huge reason could be that you are expecting something to happen as an effect of the trailer. You adjust yourself to the sombre tone and the low lighting of the film bracing yourself for a gripping drama. But, it doesn't really come through.

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.

Once you have gotten used to the actors and the characters they perform, you wait for the story to kick in. And kick in it does. Only it comes with its share of huge loopholes. Of course, I can't discuss those here. These are questions that come as the story moves along which you are very sure will remain unanswered but are hoping not. Unfortunately, almost all possibilities you can think of as answers are implausible and don't fit in.

The one trick they pull is pretty neat but the details are rather dull. The 'how' of 'what' happened seems uneven. As in bits are explained in much detail and other bits are just glossed over. Meanwhile, there is a lot of repetition of dialogue and situations for some 10-15 minutes of the second half. Precious time lost in a thriller. And then to wrap it up, TE3N does what annoys me most about thrillers – has some character narrate the whole sequence of events and over-explains.

The tricks then seem pointless because the basics seem to be off. Along with the writing then, the other departments, the dark mood created by the lighting, the music wanting to take a lead on providing thrills - all seem a little too deliberate and thus forced.

I don't quite like using the word “disappointing” for films. It has a trail of expectations attached to it. As if you had very high expectations and then were let down. The way TE3N turned out, it would've been an underwhelming experience even if I wasn't looking forward to it.

- meeta, a part of the audience

External reviews for this movie are not available

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

3 readers - 1 yays 2 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Anuj

So-So, by Fan

So-So, by TimELiebe : Thumbs WAY Up on the Acting, and Way DOWN for plot & pacing

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Children are kidnapped. No overt violence as such.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: A grandfather wants to find out who kidnapped and killed his granddaughter.
  • General Look and Feel: Very serious and the lighting is dark. Unlikely that little kids will enjoy it.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

TE3N - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Action Choreography:
Music Director:
Running time:
135 minutes

Comments (13)

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Strong star cast. Promo looks interesting. Amitabh looks emancipated.

Let's hope that this does not disappoint like Wazir which had the most puerile plot.

@Fan *fingers crossed*


Wazir was a spicy little thriller with a smart and clever metaphorical use of the game of chess, especially in the climax. Teen looks a notch higher at least as far the trailer goes. And then again, AB in a thriller genre, enough said :-)

@Fan - "emancipated"?

Or "constipated"? ;)

@Meeta - is there some reason you didn't list the basic premise of the movie, or is that too spoilery?


@TimEliebe: well observed. Emaciated is what I wanted to say.


The performances are strong, the setting is dingy, the pace is slow. Te3n is the kind of film that slowly but steadily sucks u into its suspense and scheme of events. Its funny how people who praised that genuinely boring and rubbish thriller Byomkesh Bakshi are criticizing te3n for being "slow" of all things. This one requires its viewer to be patient, but it does not disappoint in any way! Grand old legend Amitabh Bachchan delivers his 3rd consecutive phenomenal performance after Piku and Wazir in the last 1 year


@TimELiebe Well, actually I had nothing to add to the trailer, in terms of plot. I always assume, maybe wrongly, that people who are reading a review have seen the trailer.

@Meeta - actually, I don't usually watch the trailers because ::embarrassed mumble:: I don't speak Hindi and they're not subtitled.

@TimELiebe aah! I see. I will try to weave the basic plot line into the reviews from now on. Thanks for the feedback.


Whilst watching the film, I constantly had this Kahani-esque feeling, what with the streets of Kolkata, search for a person, and by chance the same two faces as in Kahani i.e. Vidhya Balan and Nawazuddin. The similarities (coincidences) with Kahani stop there, the film is just a shade of Kahani.

It has a slow feel about it, but that does not bother because the pace remains consistent throughout the film. The thriller part, once the story shifts into that mode, is quite nice whilst watching - had me hooked into it. The climax and the reveal somehow just did not seem to work. Despite a decent build up, the climax came as a bit of a let down. I still feel that something is amiss, or something could have been done better. It is not "THE" thriller like a Kahani or a Drishyam. I am just unable to pinpoint what it is that I felt missing, but it certainly is to do with the climax. Probably the fact that it was revealed rather than allowing the viewer to discover it gradually. I don't know.

Other than the climax, what had me annoyed was the fact that there are two different threads of the story unrevealing slowly at the same time on the screen. [comment partially delete because it gives a part of the plot away] This could and should have been better explained by the director at the start - rather than just allow the audience to accidentally discover the fact.

The plot (at least of the initial kidnapping) is pretty smart - and thought out at a professional level. The story certainly had the potential to be turned into a major thriller.

For the performances, there is nothing that I could add to the fact that this is just one combination of a possible dream team. Amitabh Bachhan as John is in top class. His mannerisms, expressions, dialog delivery, attention to details, etc. of a bereaved octogenarian on the hunt for the truth (and justice) are perfect and to the point. This gentleman just does not stop to surprise us with his skills - truly genius. Nawazuddin and Vidhya are totally reliable. Although they do not have much scope to display their acting skills they were a treat to watch, a sign in itself of their brilliance. Any other actor without any strong role would have made it a pain to watch them on screen, but these two manage to keep the proceedings lively and sufficiently taut to keep on waiting to discover what happens next. Other than these top 3 stars, all the rest are strictly alright - Sabyaschi Chakraborty being the only other actor who gets a sufficiently large role, all the rest just being faces in the crowd.

At the end, the question that still bugs my mind and for which I do not have an answer is: why is the movie called Te3n?

Okay, I saw it finally, and - what was that I just watched? It didn't really have that as a denouement. did it? I wandered out the door babbling incoherently at the sheer WTF?ness of it - to the amusement of our friends, and annoyance of my wife.

With that said, I don't think I've ever been so impressed by Amitabh Bachchan as an actor as I was here. I was pretty sure that, after his roles in films like Teen Patti, casting him in "little man" roles was akin to casting a lion as a mouse, because he's such an amazingly charismatic and powerful actor that he just - couldn't "go small". But he certainly did here, and so convincingly that I forgot for long stretches I was watching Amitabh Bachchan, Indian Megastar.

Kudos also to Vidya Balan, who did the woman cop so modestly and well that I didn't realize it was her until the end credits. She's really on her way to being one of India best actresses, isn't she?

You're right - aside from the acting, the movie's so slow I almost fell asleep watching it. And that ending - what did I just see happen?!?!?

@TimELiebe I will let you get over the shock :D

@Meeta - Agree with you about the writing, and how great the acting was in all cases.

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