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Can an actor be as prolific as a septuagenarian as or more than when he was in his fiery thirties?

We don’t need to look very far when Mr. Amitabh Bacchan is the said actor! Within the last year he has given three sterling performances – in Piku, then in Wazir and now in his latest – TE3N.

This wonder of Bollywood has arguably played the most diverse roles anyone can dream of! Not to say that all of them were good, but I am so in love with this man, I am prepared to overlook those gross potboilers as minor irritations and look beyond.

So now about the film. Not an original plot by any means; it is a remake of a South-Korean film titled “Montage”. I haven’t seen it, so no comments there, but the remake is slick and well-made.

The film progresses at a very, very slow pace, yet does not lose its grip, presenting a new twist just when one has stretched one’s imagination as far as it can go.

The film has two heroes and a female lead in a guest appearance. No song and dance sequences, no melodrama, no bling, no racy chases or gory torture scenes which one would expect in a kidnapping drama. Just a dogged pursuit of available leads for many years to get to the kidnapper. Each one of the three investigators trying to solve the mystery from their own perspective, in their own way. Hence the title “TE3N”.

There is no melodrama whatsoever in the end either, the villain going down and confessing easily, a little too easily, in fact! But then when you hear of the motive for doing it, you realise why so. So while it cannot be condoned, you also understand that it’s desperation and not greed that is the driving force, and there is definitely a huge sense of guilt; hence the confession, although after many years.

The dialogue that for me was a clincher was where Amitabh Bacchan says, “I only want justice, not revenge!” Hats off to you, Mr. Bacchan, once again, for the poignancy that you bring to it!

I enjoyed it, definitely, for the performances as well as the plot. More so, probably, because I haven’t seen the original. But I got the satisfaction, of having watched a good suspense drama; and I would hence recommend the same to you all too – watch the Hindi remake first if you want to enjoy it as an actual suspense film.

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