John Biswas’ (Amitabh Bachchan) life is torn apart when his young granddaughter Angela Roy is kidnapped. Though Martin (Nawazuddin), the police inspector who handled the case has quit; John refuses to do so. Eight years after her disappearance, a similar kidnapping puts the spotlight back on the case. John, Martin and a new Inspector Sarita Sarkar (Vidya Balan) begin their hunt for the criminal. What is intriguing is that the modus operandi seems to be similar to the Angela case.
The plot starts with introducing the audience to the eight-year-old kidnapping case through a conversation between John and investigating officer Sarita (Vidya is dynamic). And its strength is that it never wavers from around its three principal characters – the granddad, cop and priest, each of who is involved with the case for reasons of their own. What is also impressive is that the mystery is kept alive right through. As the jigsaw puzzle falls into place, the protagonists’ feelings towards the situation and themselves falls perfectly into place, keeping the viewers pleasantly engaged with the plot and the people.
Debutant director Ribhu Dasgputa’s shimmering portrait of distant discontent is about John’s atonement , his 15-year long quest for justice(not vendetta,he stresses) and his rather unconventional method of seeking and obtaining a closure to his agonizing journey of pain hurt guilt and loss. In Te3n—the title refers to the three protagonists of this jagged jigsaw of crime and retribution—it’s his character’s wife who is on a wheelchair(how and when she got there, we are not told) while Mr Bachchan’s tries to find justice for his grand daughter’s murder.
The most sincerely done moments in the film show the obdurate protagonist grappling with the law and redtapism. In an early sequence when Vidya Balan, playing a no-nonsense blessedly non-uniformed cop, gently admonishes John for coming to the police station every day to inquire about the 15-year old grand-daughter’s case , John quietly mumbles, “I’ve nothing else in my life.” Nawazuddin is an actor who never ceases to surprise. He is interestingly cast a cop who ‘converts’ to priesthood after a guilt-ridden incident. Nawaz is uncharacteristically quiet contemplative and calm in his performance.