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Why TE3N reminds us of Kahaani and Wazir

Trailer for Amitabh-Vidya suspense thriller goes viral but with a sense of déjà vu

Mayur Lookhar

Recent Amitabh Bachchan films have not been blockbusters though each has aoused the viewer’s curiosity before release. Shamitabh and Wazir both promised a lot but did not deliver much. Bachchan’s only hit in recent years remains the 2015 family drama Piku, for which he won the National award for Best Actor.

Once again, fans are waiting with bated breath for Bachchan’s next, TE3N – a suspense thriller by unheralded director Ribhu Dasgupta, co-produced by his mentor Sujoy Ghosh.

Shortly after the official trailer was released, TE3N began to trend on social media with fans waxing lyrical over it. 'Intriguing', 'brilliant', 'fascinating' were some of the adjectives used to describe the trailer.

While there is no doubt that the TE3N trailer is enticing, one can't help but get a sense of déjà vu after watching it. Those who have watched Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani (2012) would find shades of it in TE3N.

Make no bones about it, the two stories are vastly different, but there are certain uncanny similarties between the films. In Kahaani, we had Vidya Bagchi (Vidya Balan) searching for her missing husband. In TE3N, John Biswas (Bachchan) is an old man still hopeful of finding his abducted daughter (or so it seems from the trailer). In Kahaani, though, the plot turns upside down when it emerges that Bagchi had faked her pregnancy and wasn’t looking for her husband but for her husband’s killer. We don't know yet what lies ahead in TE3N.

While VIdya Balan walked away with most of the plaudits in Kahaani, one should not forget the role played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The actor played Intelligence Bureau officer Khan who is on the hunt for a rogue IB agent.

Siddiqui reportedly has a meatier role in TE3N. He plays father Martin Dias, whose life is changed by the same crime that has claimed the life of John’s granddaughter. It is a role reversal as Nawazuddin Siddiqui now appears to play a victim while Vidya Balan plays a police officer, Sarita Sarkar.

Amitabh Bachchan played a small part in Kahaani having sung the song ‘Ekla Chalo’. Well, the superstar now finds himself walking alone in TE3N hunting for his granddaughter.

Though different films with different producers, there is an element of Wazir (2016), too, in TE3N. Amitabh Bachchan is hunting for his granddaughter in TE3N while in Wazir he was hunting for his daughter’s killers. Similarly, Farhan Akhtar was hunting for the same man in Wazir because of whom his daughter was killed in a terrorist act. Oops! But didn’t Vidya Bagchi lose her husband in a gas attack by terrorists?

These comparisons can be deemed coincidences and irrelevant in the actual context of these films. In the end, all that matters is whether like Kahaani, TE3N will be able to hold audience interest. We shall find out on June 10.