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Teen Patti

A formula that can break through all the odds of probability and randomness is cracked by a mathematics wizard. And this modus operandi is experimented by playing Teen Patti, also known as Flash. A pack of playing cards changes the fate and future of a bunch of his enthusiastic students who, though are trying to help their professor crack a theory, each has a personal agenda and is later driven by greed for money. Gluttony, monogamy, betrayal breaks them apart and ruins their lives in some way or the other. Thus, Teen Patti revolves around the instant benefits and eventual hazards of gambling.
 
Sir Ben Kingsley, who essays Perci Trachtenberg, widely regarded as the world’s greatest living mathematician, meets Venkat (Amitabh Bachchan), a reclusive math genius from India, at a high rolling casino in London. Venkat tells Perci about an equation that could not only change the dialogue on mathematics forever, but one that has already left an indelible impression of guilt – for many painful reasons – on Venkat’s life. However, as with all exceptional knowledge, his equation has its upside as well as its dark underbelly.

Venkat is encouraged to test his theory in the real world and is helped by a younger professor, Shantanu (R Madhavan). But what starts out as an experiment soon descends into a game neither of them can control.

So, now, this game which becomes all about getting moolah, soon leads to blackmailing and a suicide. A thriller, as it claims to be, the film fails to grasp the attention of the audience from the very beginning. With Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley on the deck, one expects it to be high raking but, instead, falls short. He is not given a decent role which can exploit his histrionics and his character is just peripheral.

Furthermore, Teen Patti has no edge-of-the-seat escapades. One can possibly guess the villain behind all the mishaps in the first half of the film itself. So what’s left for the second half? Nothing much, just random games going on and on! Another drawback that pulls the film down is its editing. The focus is on too many lives and new characters that keep making their presence felt every fifteen minutes, a total mishmash!

Amitabh Bachchan as the ‘psycho’ mathematics professor is inconsistent; why does he droop in front of the Dean and is, otherwise, almost his restrained self! As always, he delivers his lines with plenty of emotions. R Madhavan is decent and proves himself once again. The newcomers, Dhruv Ganesh and Siddarth Kher standout and do show potential. Shraddha Kapoor and Vaibhav Talwar are just okay. Raima Sen does justice to her miniscule role. What disappoints is the not-so-important role of Ben Kingsley. With more powerful lines and a better character, he could have turned the tables for this movie. A bunch of guest artistes are wasted.

Direction is purely average showing a tendency to stretch scenes in to oblivion. Music is practically nil, except for the item song which goes a little overboard. Background score is good, adding crudeness to the scenes when required. Cinematography is fair; locations for the games, especially the underground addas, are well shot. The script has many English dialogues, which should have been avoided.

Overall, the concept is new for Hindi cinema, but one can recollect numerous Hollywood flicks with same storyline. Instead of a quick paced thriller, Teen Patti is a tedious art house film with poor prospects.

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As on September 24th, 2016
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