Teen Patti (2010) *HQ*

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It’s a touch galling to see a movie dealing with an ingenious mathematical theory of probable outcomes having so little brain of its own self.For starters, let’s dump aside the obvious comparison between Teen Patti and the Hollywood film ‘21’ from which the co-writers Leena Yadav and Shiv Subramaniam have borrowed audaciously, liberally and without as much as the slightest prick of conscience (what’s that!).

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Sir Ben Kingsley, R Madhavan

The writer, director duo would have more than redeemed themselves by adding a punch of clever originality or some razor-sharp twists in the flick. Alas, after watching ‘Teen Patti’ one can’t help feeling gulled by the pretentious bluff played out in the name of a psychological thriller.

The reclusive genius Venkat (Amitabh Bachchan) has cracked a theory that could redefine the principles of probability and randomness. Venkat is encouraged to test his theory in the real world by professor Shantanu (Madhavan), an ambitious colleague of Venkat.Although Venkat has no interest in the money that could come from practicing his equation to crack ‘Teen Patti’, which could rake in all the moolah, he eventually succumbs to Shantanu’s charismatic persuasion. Soon, with the help of a few students, they explore the underground gambling dens of Mumbai.But what starts out as an experiment between a charismatic young professor and an eccentric older one soon descends into a game neither of them can control.

Leena’s direction shows maturity in her second outing. A number of sequences are deftly executed. But how one wished Leena would learn the art of narrating stories within commercial parameters. Aseem Bajaj’s cinematography is striking. The visuals are simply incredible. Salim-Sulaiman’s music has two catchy tracks – ‘Neeyat’ [the moves of the dancer are tantalising] and the track towards the end credits. The usage of B&W in this song is truly imaginative. The choreography of both these songs [Ashley Lobo] is superb.

Video Source: DVD
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