Teen Patti…

Mr Bachchan, the King of diamonds has pulled another ace from up his sleeve.Just when I think Mr Bachchan has performed his best, he raises the bar and out does himself. Teen Patti pivots more so around Mr Bachchan’s finesse as an actor, the story is a far second. Mr Bachchan plays the role of a mathematics genius Venkat Subramanium. Venkat is a Professor at the Bombay Institute of Technology and his research subject is that on the theory of probability. His research applications faces countless rejections but Venkat is determined to prove his critics wrong. Venkat applies his probability theory on gambling, in an exciting fashion. He rounds up a fellow professor Shanthanu Biswas, ( a role played adequately by Madahavan ) and a couple of students ( new faces ) and applies his theory to practicality.

The gambling sessions commence in the notorious dens of underworld Mumbai where the Professors and the students under the guise of the locals play teen patti and experiment with Venkat’s winning theory. They savor early success and are convinced that the theory is destined to pave way for fortunes. The group gets settled with their evening experiments much to the uneasiness of Venkat. Venkat, who is appalled with the shocking insight he gets of the dingy dark gaming dens is reluctant to pursue his experiments after a brush with the local mafia. Unfortunately, Venkat is unable to drop the experiments as he is now threatened by a blackmailer who wants a cut of the winnings or endanger the lives of the students. Without too much of a choice, they promote themselves from the dingy gambling dens to the more sophisticated havens where three cards is played and entertained by high net worth individuals. The stakes begin to rise and so do their winnings. The students savor the new found wealth and do no mind taking risks and throw caution to the wind. Their relationships with each other reaches tenterhooks when the blackmailer’s threats do not cease and their individual share of the winnings are being stolen. The suspense ends when the blackmailer is revealed closely followed by the death of one in the group.

The movie is rightfully stylish and I must speak a bit about Sir Ben Kingsley. Kingsley plays the role of the erudite Perci Trachtenberg, a world-renowned mathematician who has invited Venkat to London. Venkat embarks on his trip to London with no notion of what is the purpose of the invitation. It is during his meeting with Perci does Venkat take us through the story of his research and the way he had applied it to the exciting game of “teen patti”. Needless to say Kingsley is good and I enjoyed the part where he demonstrated his theory of levitation with a tea-cup. But, Leena Yadav has not brought out the best from an academy award winner. I probably expect sky-high performances and meatier roles from one who has bagged an Oscar in the past. In this movie, Mr Bachchan has out done Kingsley and out shines him in all fronts. It would have been interesting if both these actors were given an equal play, I think Leena has toned down Kingsley’s role a fair bit. Most times Kingsley is only a shadow of himself. Under utilization of Kingsley is quite uncharacterestic in any movie that features him.

Mr Bachchan is as usual his articulate self. Right from his dress sense, to his facial expressions , to the passion that he brings about for the subject of mathematics is nothing short of splendid. Mr Bachchan is one actor who meticulously understands the nuances of what the character needs to demonstrate. There are scenes when he speaks a little bit of tamil, he does it convincingly, and he wears a lungi in one scene too! But, what I enjoyed more is his monologues. I immensely enjoyed the parts where he expresses his utter bewilderment at the proceedings in the hellish gaming dens and his astonishment at the behavior of the rowdy gamblers. At those times, even if his garb blended in with the surroundings, his perfect expressions make him look like a fish out of water. This is the hallmark of a great actor.

The new faces in the movie who play the role of students have not sprung any surprises. Amongst the lot, the guy who plays the role of Bikram ( Druv Ganesh ) is the better one. There are scenes in the movie which were not convincing enough. Leena Yadav tries to force chemistry between certain actors, it goes completely amiss. Madhavan is the second best performer after Mr Bachchan. I am not considering trying to rate Kingsley’s performance as it must be treated more as a guest appearance. Leena Yadav would surely have regrets here. The script could have been a bit more racier, it does not build enough of suspense as it tends to slow down in patches. The ending steers towards an expected one, albeit the integrity of the erudite mathematician is not lost and his sincerity comes through clearly. Leena Yadav had a near perfect star cast, an above average story and decent cinematography and music, but she fails to tie some loose ends together. Mr Bachchan looms tall over this movie, like he always does. His acting remains par excellence.

Director – Leena Yadav
Producer – Ambika Hinduja
Cast – Amitabh Bachchan, Ben Kingsley, R. Madhavan
Rating – 3 / 5

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20 Responses to “Teen Patti…”

  1. […] Read the rest from HERE […]

  2. masterpraz Says:

    FANTASTIC review here Shamz….I’ll be catching this in the weekend.

    BTW I”m half way through RANN and I’m enjoying that quite a bit too!

  3. I think you are trying to impress AB. This is the worst performance of his illustrious career. Be honest with what you write or else do not write.

    • Kamal – I am afraid you are not in a position to judge my honesty,as this happens to be MY view of the movie. You have a choice, to read or not to read.

  4. could u pls increase the size of the font on yr blog….its really a pain on the eyes

  5. Hmmm……that sounds to be the movie of my interest.Anyways,I had to watch it even if it wasn’t.Mr.Bachchan deserves to be given a look at least once in each of his characters.But I am yet to watch Rann.Would do it soon…….your review has increased my excitement to see the movie.Fantastic!!!!!!

  6. i agree mr bachchan was absolutely flawless, but the movie was pretentitious and uninvolving.

    • Rajan – Thanks for the comment.I concur with your thoughts. AB was near perfect but the movie lacked the excitement through and through. Besides, the ending was a bit rushed. I also thought that the Director failed to integrate the “group”, the chemistry was lacking between themselves and even between the so called “couples”. The new faces were quite disappointing too and I cannot believe somebody like Kingsley was barely scratched!

  7. Thanks Sharmila,
    Teen Patti is rocking film and hope will get success.amitabh is superb again,

  8. Is it bit different or a remake of 21 as speculated!? I am sure AB acted well. Hope he is not being too dramatic in this movie. its sad when writer,Director miss the stroke and can’t do proper justice to a very strong storyline.
    It’s very surprising that AB has and is totally silent about this movie. something must have transpired for sure or otherwise he has been showing very enthusiastic approach to his new releases until now.

    • Monalisa – AB was good in this role, not dramatic at all. I do not think the BO collections are going great guns for it. But, yes good point, he has not mentioned this movie much in his blogs after it’s release. Not sure why.

  9. Well, one is so used to expecting nothing but the best from AB. But how Leena could have somebody as exceptionally talented as Sir Kingsley on the project and not do any justice to his talent or the occasion is beyond me. Good review as always, though.

  10. How much were you paid for this review? Will you disclose if you know Ms. Hinduja or Yadav? Have you spoken or communicated with them? It is the worst film ever and has been trashed by almost every publication. I saw the first show and I fought hard not to walk out.

    Yes, this is YOUR opinion of this movie but the collections speak for themselves. This is NEITHER A MAINSTREAM HIT AN ART FILM HIT OR AN OFFBEAT HIT. It’s just one crap movie made by inexperienced and untalented director and producers with more money than talent.

    Do you know what the U.S. collections wre for this movie after a week? $50,000 that is how much 3 idiots, my name is khan earned in AN HOUR in NJ alone.

    What a joke. You’ve just lost a ton of creditability.

    • Rahul – Cool down please. Thanks for your fair views. Let me answer your questions one at a time.
      I do not get paid to write anything on this blog.
      This is a personal website and people randomly visit this site and comment. It is a hobby and contains my personal views of movies, politics, social issues and so forth. I am not a journalist but a CA by profession, in case you still have doubts.
      I have never spoken to Leena Yadav or Hinduja, they do not know of my existence or of the blog.
      If you read my review carefully you would have noticed that there are more positives for AB’s performance than the actual movie itself. I had clearly indicated the major flaws with it. The rating I have given ( 3 ) is lesser than what Times of India had given for this movie ( 3.5). TOI is also a major publication. I am aware of the collections. I do not think I have lost my creditability as my financial state of affairs is quite sound. If you meant my credibility, that is even safer. Thanks again. And yes, you have hit the nail on the head. These are MY opinions through and through.

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