Why Tell Who-Dun-It As Soon As They Done It?
Audience Likes Discovery!
Audience Likes Discovery!
A cop turned priest is connected to an old man obsessed with his grand-daughter’s unsolved kidnap and murder as well as a new case of kidnapping which is practically mirrors the old man’s case. This could have been a good who-dun-it. The movie is well shot, and the actors are more than competent, but it remains average because the script insists on pointing fingers until you want to break its fingers and say, ‘Stop!’
The movie has been promoted as the story with ‘three’ stars: Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan. Hence the fancily written title: Teen or three. The story revolves around these three characters all right, but the real star of this film has not been given credit. It steals the scene effectively from Amitabh Bachchan. It pushes the story forward, and its presence is unmistakable. The real star of the movie is the annoying, ancient scooter that Amitabh Bachchan drives.
Every time the scooter stops, something happens to push the story forward. Every time it sputters to a stop, it behaves like Sherlock Holmes, it has led us to a clue. And this movie is laden with clues. So many you want to yank the pen off the screenwriter’s hand and run it through the clues given away freely within the first twenty minutes.
If you read a lot of crime fiction, or even watch TV shows like Crime Patrol or CSI and their ilk, then you’ll watch the movie stumble through to the end.
Amitabh Bachchan acts the part of the old man rather well except when they think no one is looking. And then you see his shoulders straighten and he stands tall. Nawazuddin Siddique looks like he enjoyed wandering about in a cassock. But if you watch him closely, you’ll find him smirking at the comic lines he is supposed to deliver - lines about the scooter - are delivered not with sarcasm, but with knowledge that he’s acting in a good script, and that the audience is going to laugh. Vidya Balan is competent as a police officer investigating the case. But you wonder why she has been given a ‘guest role’ in the title credits.
They keep saying eight years ago this was like that, and that was such and such. But none of the characters age. Plus the mistakes! Oh the mistakes...That’s when you want to watch Sujoy Ghosh’s Calcutta. Thankfully the movie has been shot beautifully even though the only ‘Calcutta’ thing you will experience are the yellow Ambassador cabs. Watch it, if only for the very last image of Amitabh Bachchan wiping away his tears.