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Tag: Ritesh Shah

Te3n Review (2016)

Thrives on stark suspense!

Te3n retains a brilliant narrative style that lets it stay miles away from conventional cinema. It has powerful performances by a stellar cast, with great actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui working wonders for the flick. It manages to swim across successfully despite the movie’s painful editing.


Te3n is a reflection of Montage, a South Korean thriller. The plot was well thought of to keep audiences riveted throughout the flick leaving them with their guessing games. Plenty of time is spent on character build-up in the beginning which Amitabh aces to perfection. Vidya Balan, I am afraid, doesn’t have anything substantial in her baggage to prove her mettle. Her acting prowess ends up getting overshadowed by the two beastly players. Screenplay is kind of okay but good enough for a thriller.


Music, well, I would like to put it this way:

Indian Cinema is still wrapped under the girdles of songs. To make you listen to an entire track, a director would do anything to make you connect emotionally through its lyrics. Wading through a Bollywood movie is like swimming across a lyrical sojourn. Te3n is no different when it comes to packing in music galore to open all your senses. Even though it is a pleasant addition, deliberately done to cater the needs of Indian public, something like that, if prolonged too much, messes with the gravity of the situation. Also, the subtlety in cinema making ends up getting withered. Ribhu Dasgupta tries his best to keep action frames afloat as he painstakingly appends backdrop songs to tingle your emotional quotient. To be really candid, we could have lived without it and the movie could have ultimately become much shorter.


Also, if you closely look at the direction of Te3n, there is no subtlety to it. Ribhu takes you for an amateur film-viewer showing every teensy bit till you get it. So, there is a frame for every theory. It is like spoon-feeding the audience. You couldn’t help but say, “I get it, get it. Move on please!”

Overlooking the apparent, if we look at Amitabh’s performance as John Biswas, you have to hand it over to him. He has been giving some of his life’s best performances nowadays which is good for the future of Indian Cinema. Standing close by is Nawazuddin’s naturalistic blunt yet powerful act that goes on to show that we are finally boldly heading towards progress.


Unfortunately this movie comes at a time when Amitabh had chosen a similar project just months ago, that entailed his granddaughter being killed, in Wazir. Even though how mediocre Wazir turned out to be, it skimmed on a similar story setup. Maybe the next time he signs a thriller, you will be able to guess who the culprit is. So you can enter a movie theatre with a know-it-all smug smile. 😉

Anywho, Te3N is a great thriller for a change! Go watch!

Airlift Review (2016)

A historical achievement enfeebled by poor film-making! Airlift is mediocre. Period.

Yes, we had a great plot in our baggage. A true story intended to pan out a biopic that could have turned heads, made some noise about the plight of 170000 stuck Indians in a warzone. An immaculate rescue operation that was so colossal that it lodged its name in the Guinness Book of World Records for being one of the largest evacuations of all times.

But what does Menon do with it? He changes facts, people, creates sheer fiction, rules out details, comes with a hand-woven shoddy script to replace the truth, places his own fake characters to enrich melodrama, throws in some songs in there to deliberately connect with the Indian audience, enforces unrealistic patriotism for emphasis, and squeezes in pointless unwanted tantrums to say the least.


The movie begins by depicting the lavish life of the protagonist whilst noisily pointing out how little Katyal, a big fish in the Kuwait business suburbs, thought of his homeland. He had turned, as suggested by a brayed intentional laugh of his friends, more Kuwaitian than a Kuwaitian himself. These bits again seemed forced rather than appear natural so as to benefit the script.

Chaos depicted by some pathetic CGI bombing, tanks and helicopters raids manifest how little we have progressed in movie making. Third grade young actors chosen here try to scare you with guns and a foreign accent. They fail terribly at it. Their acts were excruciatingly unpromising as they try to kick someone lethargically on the butt, shoot people to nail in absent fear, make advances at young girls, or occasionally stop people for intimidating enquiry. Amidst all the mayhem Akshay Kumar cries which somehow doesn’t blend in with the unconvincing setup. Also, when he runs home to not discover his wife and child, whilst looking unperturbed by the snot lazily hanging from his nose (which seemed a very forceful shot by Menon BTW), really squeezed out acting from him, which pretty soon disappeared in its next impending frames. Menon tries to shoehorn drama in there which seemed more enacted to have ever reached a gut-wrenching point.

What was however quite endearing to watch was how the movie unfurls into better horizons from there as the protagonist starts taking effective measures to get the job done. The way the story oscillates with the ‘how’ is the crux of the flick. It however also tries to milk a character called George, played by Prakash Belawadi, depictive of a head that doesn’t work well with the mass. What it failed to cash on was its moniker. The fact that Air India flew over 488 air planes in a war-hit zone was humongous, but it was vaguely mentioned in a daft line by Akshay. True heroics get overshadowed right there.

After watching this you will miss Neeraj Pandey big time, or even hope the likes of Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee or even the newcomer Neeraj Ghaywan to have picked this up. Airlift failed to engage and rivet us. The music couldn’t captivate us and there was hardly an adrenaline moment to keep our jaws wide open for long. To say that it even came close to the likes of Argo would be downright foolish.

Alas! the damage has been done. What you have is mediocre served on your platter! What could have turned into something phenomenal ends up being an average Indian mainstream movie. It is quite unfortunate that the Indian mass loves this kind of stuff. I would call it nothing but an average crowd entertainer.

Go with lesser expectations and you might enjoy it.