This remake of 21 is a gaudy dramedy of whatever makes the crowd at Gaiety or a suburban multiplex click. You would expect at least a modicum of gripping, nailbiting cinematic experience (after all this is a direct ripoff and they’ve got Ben Gandhi Kingsley onboard) instead you get a watered down version with corny dialogues and mundane melodrama.
The movie has the greatest mathematician in the world (Kingsley) inviting Professor Venkat (Bachchan) to Cambridge to explain his “casino theory”. In flashbacks, Prof. Venkat relates a story that starts by applying an unproven formula into a card game, the success of which gets the executers (a bunch of math students) cold hard cash. But when the professor conveys his unwillingness to take advantage of his perfect theorem, he is blackmailed into playing the game for quick cash, a decision that takes its toll on the other 5 accompanying him. When the money comes rolling in, the game gets riskier, and lives much more in danger. But when a student dies, Professorji cannot take it anymore, and bows out of college to becomes a recluse.
It’s not like Teen Patti is a bad film, the problem lies in calling it a thriller. Leena Yadav does nothing of that sort, including letting her cast members overdo every scene. The dialogues don’t cut it out either. So who exactly is calling the bluff?
You wonder if Ben Kingsley aka Krishna Bhanji is really speaking Hindi, through the badly-botched dubbing sequence. Also to find Shakti Kapoor behaving himself and not hitting on any PYT in a casino is refreshing. Bachchan, however, remains in character as a subdued and tormented mathematician throughout, until he starts prancing around to a gyrating number in the closing credits.