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Perci Trachtenberg, widely regarded as the world's greatest living mathematician, meets Venkat, 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. As it turns out, the reclusive genius Venkat has cracked a theory that could redefine the principles of probability and randomness. However, as with all exceptional knowledge, his equation has its upside - as well as its dark underbelly. Aware that he is on the precipice of an extraordinary discovery, one that could find applications across various sciences, Venkat is encouraged to test his theory in the real world by professor Shantanu, an ambitious colleague of Venkat. Although Venkat has no interest in the money that could come from practicing his equation to crack Teen Patti, (a poker game) he eventually ... Written by
Ambika A Hinduja
Its not about what cards you are holding, but its all about how you play them in a game.
The title of the movie is "Teen Patti" which is the Indian famous name for the card game of Flash. And if you really know the game and also happen to be a great player of the same then the movie is simply not going to win its game against you. In few words it can only partly impress the people, who know nothing about the game and are there in the theater only for watching just another new release on a routine Friday.
Frankly speaking, If you are making a movie on Card Gambling and also naming it with a title such as "Teen Patti" then you simply ought to know about the finer details of the game and its thrilling moments. But after watching the flick it seems that the director Leena Yadav knows nothing about the game in details and has made her second movie only around an inspired idea from the West. In fact all the writer-director knows about the game is a blind, three aces and numerous trails which come so easily in the game as if someone is setting the cards for the main players.
Moreover, all the thrill, excitement and skills involved in the game can be found no-where in the movie, which in turn takes away all the charm associated with its tempting title. Written around the character of a Math's Professor who is working on a perfect theory of Probability, the movie takes the viewer as granted and explains nothing in technical terms about his unique achievement. The director is simply not interested in telling the viewer that how the professor and his team are operating on the gambling tables and winning continuously. In reality, whether the makers accept it or not, the project takes majority of its content from Hollywood's "21" released in 2008 featuring Kevin Spacey in the lead role of a professor. But Leena Yadav unimpressive handling of the project is quite timid in comparison with its western original.
"Teen Patti" starts off with a foreign sequence featuring both Amitabh Bachchan and Sir Ben Kingsley in the same frame. From there on the movie is entirely narrated in flashbacks where Amitabh is sharing his past year's experiences with Ben. It was quite surprising to see the way Ben was introduced to the audiences and also the strange kind of dialogues filmed on him, dubbed in the voice of Boman Irani. No doubt Ben looks great on the screen and excels in his short cameo, but was his inclusion in the movie required at all in the first place. Any other English actor could have easily done the job as it was not that important for the movie. But the makers called him in only to increase the face value of their project and nothing else. In straight words, Sir Ben Kingsley is simply wasted in the movie and the director simply misses the great opportunity she was given to work with.
However, there are few entertaining moments in "Teen Patti" which keep you engrossed at regular intervals, but they all are too scattered to give you a lasting impression. Like the scenes in the local gambling dens in the first half and the sequence where Amitabh challenges the Black-mailer while holding the money bag in his hands. The later one is unarguably the best scene of the movie. Apart from these the most enjoyable moment of "Teen Patti" is when you have Mr. Mahesh Manjrekar on the screen in full spirits as a local Bhai. He thoroughly entertains you in a short cameo with his funny facial expressions, an authentic body language and hilarious "Tapori" lingo. All the other special appearances by Jackie Shroff, Tinnu Anand, Shakti Kapoor and Ajay Devgan are strictly OK.
Cinematography proves as an asset of the movie with many well conceived sequences of gambling dens and their prefect visuals. Salim Suleiman and Ashley Lobo both have done a good job in the only song of the movie "Teri Neeyat Kharaab Hai". Interestingly at one end the director is intelligent enough to us only one song in the movie and avoids any unwanted elaborate love angle in the storyline. But on the other hand she is so confusing in her execution and completely lost in the writing department of her big project. For instance in the whole movie you keep wondering what kind of professor is Madhavan teaching in the same college, dressed just like the other students and Why on earth Amitabh and his team takes a beautiful girl along with them to the risky gambling dens in the get up of a prostitute? (Where she doesn't even contribute anything in the game.) Amitabh Bachchan as the genius professor performs his role efficiently with few glimpses of the professor from "Black" in some particular scenes. Yet at certain places I found him doing it with a greater spirit and force than actually required. His speech in the climax also fails to catch your attention in absence of any well written and appreciable lines. Madhavan looks confused along with the writers as they never care to tell us what specific subject he teaches in the college and what kind of debt he is in. The four new talents introduced in the movie perform with the right confidence and excel. Especially Shraddha Kapoor and Dhruv stand out of the lot as they also get the maximum exposure on the screen. Raima Sen is passable but Barry John is truly excellent in his few scenes.
In short, "Teen Patti" fails to provide the much needed thrill and excitement associated with its title. In gambling language, director Lena Yadav holds nothing in her hands in the name of cards but tries to play a bluff with the big names of Amitabh Bachchan and Ben Kingsley. Amusingly I felt a strong urge of seeing Dev Anand's "Gambler" once again, after watching this weak interpretation of the game.
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