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A THRILLING ENTERTAINER!
A THRILLING ENTERTAINER!

By Eye TV India Bureau

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan,Sir Ben Kingsley,R Madhavan,Raima Sen,Sushmita Sen,Jackie Shroff,Irrfan Khan

Critic's I-view

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This movie is made for the big screen. It's set in India and England. It's stars are two of the greatest living acting legends of our times - czar of the Indian film industry, Amitabh Bachchan, and Academy Awards Winner Ben Kingsley. Not just that, 'Teen Patti' the movie is quite an emotionally riveting and razor sharp thriller about greed, deception and giant feats of imagination. The movie, directed by Leena Yadav, who previously made the thriller 'Shabd', introduces four newcomers - Dhruv Ganesh, Shraddha Kapoor, Siddharth Kher, Vaibhav Talwar. The multi-starrer also includes a host of other actors, namely Madhavan, Raima Sen, Danny Denzongpa, Sushmita Sen, Jackie Shroff, Irrfan Khan and Boman Irani. There is also a special appearance by Ajay Devgan.

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 shares with Perci a mathematical equation that could change mathematics forever and has already left an indelible impression of guilt - for many painful reasons - on Venkat's life. Venkat has cracked a theory that could redefine the principles of probability and randomness.

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This extraordinary discovery has the potential to find applications across various sciences. Enter Shantanu (Madhavan) an ambitious colleague of Venkat, who encourages a test of this theory in the real world. Well, as the name of the movie suggests, Shantanu convinces Venkat to use his equation to crack Teen Patti (a poker game). Venkat the genius has no interest in the money that could come from poker. But then he does succumb. With some students by his side, each with a complicated and singular fate of their own, they explore the poker joints (aka 'addas' that is underground gambling dens) of wild Bombay, and a series of edge-of-your-seat escapades begin.

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There is a frenetic pace at which the film moves. We see the experiment of Shantanu turn the charismatic young professor and an eccentric older one go down into games that have no control. Chaos follows and the two find their greed and desperation driving them to danger. As in all stories, motives are exposed and the darker side of humans revealed. This is not the climax as a tragedy occurs. In London, Perci understands that Venkat's theory essentially questions the idea of what is random - and what is fated. It is this deeply moving redemption by Perci that closes this thrilling modern saga of a movie. A different and welcome movie that through science and real life shows private equations of honor and chance on the one hand and knowledge on the other.

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Technically, the film comes off as well-handled with superior cinematography by Aseem Bajaj, decent art direction and apt costume designs by Ameira Punvan. Salim-Sulaiman's music and background score are reasonable. Cameos by everyone from Jackie Shroff to Ajay Devgan are unnecessarily juxtaposed. The movie works on minimal logic.

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Amitabh Bachchan is animated and dramatic throughout but still manages to be the ace of the pack. Madhavan is dignified with his restrained act. Shraddha Kapoor shows promise for the future. Dhruv Ganesh is okay but should contain his melodrama. Siddharth Kher and Vaibhav Talwar do well. Mita Vashisht is not needed for the plot. Saira Mohan and Raima Sen seem wasted. The trailers had raised expectations about the intertwining performances of Ben Kingsley and Big B. To that end, 'Teen Patti' disappoints. But, it is a thriller of a different kind and not a waste of money or time.

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