3-Card Salute

ecd578be678829b28909990b6910a6d3-2

TEEN PATTI. Director: Leena Yadav. Players: Amitabh Bachchan, Ben Kingley, R. Madhavan. (Serendipity Films).
ecd578be678829b28909990b6910a6d3-2Like a train hurtling forward on a startlingly off-beat track, Teen Pattiworks has strange places to go. With a stellar cast—in addition to Bachchan and Oscar winner Ben (Gandhi) Kingsley, there are also cameos by Jackie Shroff, Ajay Devgn, Sushmita Sen and Irfan Khan—Teen Patti offers an interesting premise. While many of mysterious and edgy pieces do just fine as stand-alone elements of a vast jigsaw, when combined, alas, they fall short of a complete puzzle.

The introverted and brilliant math professor Subramaniam (Bachchan) finds it much easier to make sense of his books than of the people around him. Subramaniam’s prodigal gift at deducting probabilities attracts a motley crew of campus geeks, along with their faculty-student advisor Shantanu (Madhavan).  Eager to imprint on his off-radar student group the real life applications of his didactics, Subramanian’s finds himself at the center of a secretive ring that invades seedy, remote gambling dens incognito to try their luck at 3-card poker using Subramaniam’s logic. That card games don’t always unfold as planned becomes apparent very quickly and Subramaniam and Co. finds itself ensnared by something more complicated and more dangerous.

With the narrative outlined in second person by Subramaniam’s garden-path chats with Percy Trachtenberg (Kingley), a U.K.-based “expert,” Teen Pattiwould be a standout film if not for some minor flaws. The pacing is brisk, the cast interacts wells, especially after nightly trespasses turn into a murder scheme. Having no claims to originality, Teen Patti is a near frame-by-frame remake of the 2008 Kevin Spacey movie 21 (based on a real-life story from M.I.T.). Despite the flaws, anyone seeking escapist buddy-buddy movie fare will find Teen Patti worthwhile.

Entertainment Quotient (EQ): A

You May Like This

Nayattu: Cops Vs. Cops

It's a small world in director Martin Prakkat’s latest Malayalam movie Nayattu, set in a town in Kerala. One of the three principal characters, the rookie cop

Mahesh Narayan Continues His Inventive Streak in ‘Malik’

I remember thinking and writing that the COVID pandemic had unleashed unseen creativity in director Mahesh Narayanan’s film C U Soon. But his inventiveness se

Disney’s ‘Spin’ Is What Is Wrong With Indian Representation in Media

Disney doesn’t have a great track record with diversity. When I was young, the only character that possibly represented me was Princess Jasmine, and she wasn

Sign-up and join our newsletter today!

* indicates required