Well, I started out with writing the review for Te3n today, but suddenly I decided, in turn, to write about Montage, which is the film, Te3n is based on. Now, let me start by saying that I absolutely hated Te3n. Compared to Montage, the film has numerous plot holes and very clumsy attempts to fill the holes. As soon as I got to know that Te3n is based on Montage, I went ahead and watched the film. Though I was a little skeptical aboout the language, but 5 minutes into the file, and I was completely engulfed.
The film begins at a very slow pace, with a small flashback, and confuses the audience at the very beginning. It establishes a murder, but does not show much of it in detail. Then it skips 15 years, and we see some officers knocking on the door, only to reveal that the statute of limitations on the murder case is nearing an end (something whcih is not apply for the Indian Law, plot hole in Te3n, no.1).
At this point, the viewer begins to understand the details of the case. We see the ailing mother of the girl that had been murdered 15 years ago, and we feel the need of chief detective in the unsolved case, to redeem himself.
Then, a strange thing happens. Another girl is kidnapped in the same way, and follows the same sequece of post kidnap events. The plot gains pace quickly after the event. The police department thinks of it as a copycat criminals doing, and the old detective is called. Here he gets his chance of redemption as well. The series of events that follows, establishes the film in a higher ground.
The film benifits from some brilliant actors. Uhm Jung‑hwa as the mother of the murdered child, is brilliant. Kim Sang‑kyung as the detective seeking redemption is very convincing as well. And the man playing the villian, is simply awesome (I’ll not disclose the name of the actor). And though there are clues left all over the film, they are too subtle to be noticed. And therein lies the strength of this film.
Coming to Te3n, I don’t understan the need of Blooywood to overstate the unnecessary things, and understate the necessary things. The whole story that is portrayed in Te3n, has broken away from the original flavour of Montage. This was what they had done with Memento, in Ghajni and they do it yet again. If I had to give ratings to it, I would rate it at 2.
Nevertheless, I’m going with 3½ out of 5 stars for Jung Geun-sub’s Montage. Even though it’s in a language you can barely make heads or tails of, go ahead and watch it. If it is a thrillar you’ve planned to watch, then Montage‘s for you.