February 26 (Calcutta Tube): Teen Patti is 2010 Hindi Thriller starring Amitabh Bachchan, R. Madhavan, Raima Sen, Sir Ben Kingsley and others. A movie with “An equation that changed all other equations”. Amitabh Bachchan and R. Madhavan are superb while Bengali Movie star MoonMoon Sen’s daughter Raima Sen shines. Read the complete Critic’s review of TEEN PATTI at Calcutta Tube.
February 26, 2010 (Sampurn Wire): Teen Patti: Edgy but not taut enough
- Rating: 2.5 out of 5*
- Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Sir Ben Kingsley, R. Madhavan, Raima Sen, introducing Shraddha Kapoor, Siddharth Kher, Vaibhav Talwar and Dhruv Ganesh
- Director: Leena Yadav
TEEN PATTI MOVIE REVIEW 1
Teen Patti begins with Venkat Subramanium (Amitabh Bachchan) invited to the prestigious Cambridge University by Mathematics genius Perci Trachtenberg (Sir Kingsley). On meeting, Venkat an eccentric mathematics scholar himself narrates his personal tale of his invented theory and his tryst with the gambling world while using it. Venkat narrates how after writing a thesis on the theory of Probability his seniors didn’t agree with his theory. But when he plays an online game of cards of Teen Patti, he realises that his theory is right. He immediately shares it with his junior professor Shantanu (R Madhavan). In order to verify the theory, the two rope in their three students Aparna aka Apu (Shraddha Kapoor), Sid (Siddharth Kher) and Bikram (Dhruv). They all go to a casino and try their hand at the game. They play the game employing the theory and win it. But soon greed comes in and other emotions follow, which gets them all into trouble. An unknown blackmailer starts calling Subramanium and demanding a big share in the money they make from their games. The blackmailer even starts dictating which games they should play next. A richie rich student Abbas (Vaibhav) too joins the group. Subramanium starts suspecting the blackmailer to be one amongst his group members but soon a situation arises where he gets convinced its none of them but someone else who is playing the game on him. What happens next makes up for the film.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B0036HZF5O” display=”inlinepost”]The first thing that came to mind when the promos Teen Patti came was is it inspired from 21. But well though there are a few similarities, one can say that it’s a completely different film. Teen Patti is lavishly mounted and with the kind of subject it deals in is presented with intricate detail. In short, it is not your average Bollywood fare. But the confusing application of the theory of probability with the game of Teen Patti is definitely all set to go above many a viewers head. While the first half is lot of things happening and keeping you at the edge of the seat with the intriguing happenings, the second half is where it loses its steam big time. Repetitiveness, unimpressive cameos by Ajay Devgan, Saira Mohan, confused narrative and a pro longed climax brings the graph of the film completely down. Also the talk-a-thon between Bachchan and Kingsley seems to be never ending and at times even acts a spoke in the wheel of the narrative. However, the edgy moments in the first half have turned up really well, especially the group’s first tryst with Teen Patti at a gambling den amongst real Bhais.
Amitabh Bachchan is simply superb as the eccentric professor. Madhavan with a tinge of grey shade to his character is just excellent. Raima Sen playing his fiancée however gets no scope. Shakti Kapoor’s debutante daughter Shraddha Kapoor impresses. The talented newcomer surely will go a long way. Amongst the male newcomers all three – Vaibhav, Dhruv and Siddharth have good screen presence and talent to match. There are cameos by Ajay Devgan, Saira Mohan, Jackie Shroff, Shakti Kapoor with the most impressive one being by Mahesh Manjrekar. Sir Ben Kingsley is just first rate.
Camerawork by Aseem Bajaj matches international standards. Aarti Bajaj’s editing work however makes the film more confusing than it should have been. Salim-Suleiman’s music barring the Neeyat song featuring Brazilian hottie Mariah is nothing much to write about.
Teen Patti is a hatke experience which is no harm in trying provided you are willing to be a little patient with its second half.
TEEN PATTI MOVIE REVIEW BY IANS
Film: ‘Teen Patti’; Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ben Kingsley, R. Madhavan, Raima Sen, Sarah Mohan, Mita Vashist; Director: Leena Yadav; Rating: ***1/2
If you can get over the ludicrousness of a distinguished mathematician, whose god is Albert Einstein and who at the end of the film gets the ‘Isaac Newton Award’ for excellence in his field, masquerading as a seedy gambler, then ‘Teen Patti’ is a surprisingly skilful and audaciously complex piece of drama.
It is a tautly-scripted and brilliantly executed film on the deep-rooted link between financial ambitions and moral compromises.
Writer-director Leena Yadav gives the theme of monetary indulgence a dizzying but pinned-down spin. She speeds confidently across out-of-control lives on a college campus with the confident vision of raconteur who spins a seemingly indecipherable web of deceit, intrigue and crime.
Miraculously, Yadav’s yarn preserves its pencil-sharp edge of intrigue and wit right to the end. The story of the eccentric math-magician’s adventures takes the narrative from underground addas to high-class casinos where Professor Venkat Subramaniam, his junior colleague Madhavan and four students convert the professor’s newly-discovered mathematical theory into hard cash on gambling tables.
The plot reveals layer after layer of conspiracy until we come to the core idea.
The story unravels through an extended dialogue in Cambridge between Subramaniam and a British maths professor Perci Trachtenberg played by Bachchan and Sir Ben. Just watching the two distinguished baritones exchange notes on academia, life and their overlapping quirks is a pleasure that makes for full paisa-vasool viewing.
Alas, one of the baritones belonging to Ben Kingsley speaks in Boman Irani’s voice. And that too in Hindi! Why are the two professors huddled together in Cambridge speaking to each other in a language that suggests no tenability except a practical desire to make itself intelligible to Hind-speaking Indian?
‘Teen Patti’ targets its cerebral entertainment quotient at an audience that is willing to expand, and not suspend its disbelief. The proceedings charted by the intricate plot take the characters belonging to three generations through a smoky, compromised kingdom of the devil and the damned.
There’s a touch of Faustian wickedness in the way the old professor, his subordinate colleague and their four brightest students embrace hedonism. The parameters of what ‘is’ and what ‘should be’ are almost blurred beyond redemption. The film gets its moral colour and texture from the technicians who seem to know the exact shades needed.
The death of one of the students (debutant Siddharth Kher) signals the redemptive overture in the plot. Siddharth’s ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ act with his girlfriend (Shradha Kapoor) is indicative of the places that youngsters want to visit in their fantasies. The nightmare is just a hop away from the dream.
From the mathematical and magical to the murky and immoral, Leena Yadav exercises supreme control over the goings-on. At any given moment the narrative is susceptible to collapse like a house of cards. But Yadav shows a grip over her characters’ dithering conscience.
Aseem Bajaj’s camera work is exquisite in delicate shades. The camera knows where it has to go and slips in quietly to capture a world that has lost its plot.
The songs and dances are edited with an eye for elegant economy. This director means business.
Many sequences such as the one where Madhavan says goodbye to his screen girlfriend Raima Sen are shot to suggest the edginess of a world that could topple over anytime.
Presiding over this world of infinite infamy is Bachchan. He portrays the ill-understood proclivities of the academic genius with a profound absence of brouhaha. Even as the world outside falls apart, Bachchan creates an unspoilt inner world for his character.
As for Sir Ben, the British actor’s clipped tone is gone. What remains is half a performance… Good enough.
Madhavan pitches in a bravura act with lots of furtive, nervous close-ups indicating a moral breach that could destroy the character any moment. The four newcomers are pleasant enough in the spaces provided for them. But given how well each of their character is written, none of them goes beyond the script’s requirements.
A pity. Because the film quite often transcends the written word to go into the realm of the abstract where the existential joys of mathematics meet more earthly pleasures. Surprisingly ingenious, ‘Teen Patti’ is not so much about the cards that are dealt on the table as the ones that destiny doles out.
Teen Patti Detail CAST and CREW
Directed by: Leena Yadav
Story, screenplay & dialogue: Shivkumar Subramaniam and Leena Yadav
English dialogue: Ben Rekhi
Ambika Hinduja … producer
Amitabh Bachchan … Venkat Subramaniam
Ben Kingsley … Perci Trachtenberg
Madhavan … Shantanu
Dhruv Ganesh … Bikram
Shraddha Kapoor … Aparna
Siddharth Kher … Sid
Vaibhav Talwar … Abbas
Ajay Devgan … Sunny
Mita Vasisht … Mrs. Kale
Rubina A. Khan … Princess Rubina Rathore
Original Music: Salim Merchant
Cinematographers: Aseem Bajaj (director of photography)
Editors: Hughes Winborne
Casting Directors: Abhimanyu Ray
Production Designers: Ayesha Punvani
Costume Designers: Ameira Punvani
Second Unit Directors or Assistant Directors
Meenakshi Budhrani … second second assistant director
Rajat Gaur … second second assistant director
Richard Graysmark … additional first assistant director: UK unit
Chetana Kowshik … first assistant director
Aditya Mandke … third assistant director
Ananya Rane … second assistant director
Prashant Roy … floor assistant director
Kapil Sharma … first assistant director
Paula Turnbull … second assistant director: UK unit
Andrew Belletty … sound designer
Hitesh Chaurasia … additional sound recordist
Hitesh Chaurasia … supervising sound editor
Ajay Kumar P.B. … sound re-recording mixer
Joshua Thomas … sound editor
Visual Effects Department
Abhishek Goel … digital intermediate line producer: pixion
Pankaj Kalbende … lead compositor: vfx
Pratik Kalbende … digital compositor
Kishor Kanchan … scanning artist
Paul Naveen … visual effects supervisor
Hanuman Patel … digital compositor
Sohel Rodrigues … online artist
Abhinav Sah … visual effects supervisor
Gaurvendra Singh … digital compositor
Balakrishna P. Subaiah … digital compositor
Suchita Suryamurty … visual effects coordinator
Rachana Vora … visual effects coordinator
Martin Lederer … stunt department coordinator
Armin Sauer … action director
Armin Sauer … stunt coordinator
Rainer Werner … fight choreographer
Camera and Electrical Department
Asit Biswas … assistant camera
Steve Burgess … first assistant camera: “a” camera, UK unit
Prashant Pednekar … first assistant camera
Barney Piercy … first assistant camera: “b” camera, UK unit
Sanjay Sami … key grip
Luke Stone … assistant grip: UK
Robin Stone … key grip: UK unit
Anshumaan Singh Thakur … gaffer
Roger Tooley … Steadicam operator: UK unit
Roger Tooley … camera operator: “c” camera: UK unit
Nick Wall … special still photographer: UK
Jimmy Wilson … gaffer: UK unit
Gokul Chandran … animator
Mukesh Chhabra … casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Philip Goldsworthy … key costumer
Gopika Malkan … secondary costume designer
Paul A. Byrne … digital film colourist
Kaushik Das … co-editor
Aneta Chalas … production assistant: UK
Richard Daldry … production coordinator: UK
Charit Desai … script supervisor
Kanishka Mehta … production co-ordinator
Remi Adefarasin … very special thanks
Ravi Chopra … special thanks
Yash Chopra … special thanks
David Cozens … additional thanks
Seamus McGarvey … special thanks
Hugh Whittaker … special thanks: Panavision UK