Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, R.Madhavan, Ben Kingsley, Dhruv Ganesh, Shraddha Kapoor, Siddharth Kher, Vaibhav Talwar, Raima Sen, Boman Irani (voice)
Many people told me that this movie is going to be an Indian remake of the Hollywood hit, 21. I begged to differ and it is a big relief to say that I was correct, well almost. Prof. Venkat Subramanium (Bachchan) is a mathematics professor at a reputed institute. The university is not accepting his thesis on probability and in order to take things a step forward, he discovers Teen Patti aka flash. He realises that the game can be cracked by his theory and ropes in like-minded students to try his theory more practically. Prof. Shantanu (Madhavan) is being hounded by loan-sharks to repay them their outstanding money. Realising that Prof Venkat's theory could be used on gambling tables, he convinces Venkat to try his theory against professionals. Students Bikram (Ganesh), Siddharth (Kher) and Aparna (Kapoor) too have some need for money and along with the two professors, frequent underground gambling tables to try their luck. The institutes rich kid, Abbas (Talwar) learns of their gambling spree and shows them high-stake tables where they could more than quadruple their winnings. Prof Venkat doesn't like the idea of playing for money but he gets blackmailed by an unknown source threatening to open his secret if he didn't share half their winnings. Greed takes over which soon leads to crime and the game which was once a mathematical experiment gets very ugly. Thankfully the idea of university students gambling to earn money is the only resemblance to 21. The movie takes a different path there on and goes about showing the ill-effects of gambling. Ben Kingsley's role is wasted and uncalled for and is present simply for marketing reasons. His English dialogues have been dubbed by Bomar Irani, further killing any on-screen presence that his role had. The movie has its own bit of thrills and is interesting for most of it, but the over-stretched story goes a bit too far and becomes monotonous. The story feels a bit vague and lacks consistency. The movie does not actually explain Prof. Venkat's theory which makes the movie feel very fictitious. Appealing to the math genius or anyone not seen 21, a mediocre watch for the rest.
Thumbs up: Nice plot
Thumbs down: Story execution lacks structure, a bit too long