Movie Review: Teen Thay Bhai

This article was last updated on June 18, 2022

Have a few questions to ask… The first question is for Mr. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Pray, what prompted you to green-light the screenplay of TEEN THAY BHAI? Okay, I am sure, you got fascinated by a fascinating concept [what an idea, sirji], but didn’t you realize that the screenplay was going nowhere, on paper itself? The second question is for the three actors – Deepak Dobriyal, Shreyas Talpade and Mr. Om Puri specifically, whom I hold in very high esteem. What was narrated to you [before you signed on the dotted line] and what comes across on screen – is it the same movie? If the answer is in the affirmative, I would like to pose another question to each one of you: What prompted you to say ‘Yes’ to this project? Credible names backing it? Or, well, spare dates? It can’t be the script, right? Or is it? The third question is reserved for the director of this [sinking] ship – Mr. Mrigdeep Singh Lamba. How could you let go of this golden opportunity? I mean, with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and PVR backing the project, three supremely talented actors at your beck and call and one of the best cinematographers in the business [Ashok Mehta] giving vision to your concept, how could you come up with this embarrassment of a movie called TEEN THAY BHAI?

Irrespective of how his films fare, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has gradually emerged a name that’s synonymous with qualitative cinema. His name commands respect. But TEEN THAY BHAI hits a new low. Besides a shoddy script that prompts the viewer to tear his hair in disgust, even the three actors look completely out of form. In view of the fact that the subject is rooted in Indianness and is easily identifiable, the director could’ve come up with a film that made you laugh and also left you moist eyed at crucial stages. But TEEN THAY BHAI fails and fails miserably on all counts. I wonder, what is the target audience of this film? Is it the elite, the thinking viewer, the multiplex junta who crave for something different? Or is it the aam aadmi, the hoi polloi whose sole maqsad is to be entertained? TEEN THAY BHAI is a shining example of a brilliant idea gone horribly wrong! Is blood really thicker than water? Can the lure of money bring together three brothers who can’t stand the sight of each other? Three down-on-their-luck and out-of-money brothers meet for the reading of the will when their grandfather dies. And this is no easy meeting, because they hate the very sight of each other. Suddenly, there is hope for freedom — from money, woes and from each other. They find that their grandfather has left them an inheritance that will free them of financial worries forever. But as always there is a catch. The brothers will get the multi-crore estate only after fulfilling a series of bizarre clauses set forth by their eccentric grandfather. They will have to spend an entire night at an abandoned cabin on the estate, along with the two other people they hate the most — their brothers. And their dead grandfather’s ashes for company. That’s not all. The brothers are required to repeat this ritual every year for the next three years. Having somehow suffered through this ordeal for the first two years, the brothers meet finally at the third and final year. It’s been a heavy winter and the cabin is snowed-out. It’s the night of the reunion and the brothers arrive one by one at the cabin, in a tearing hurry to get over with the ‘blasted reunion’ and move on. That’s when the unexpected happens.

Hindi cinema is going through the best phase as far as experimentation is concerned. On the one hand, if masala entertainers remain the first choice of moviegoers, films like LOVE SEX AUR DHOKHA, PEEPLI [LIVE], UDAAN, TERE BIN LADEN, PHAS GAYE RE OBAMA and BAND BAAJA BAARAAT have taken the alternate route of emphasizing on a sound story rather than stars. TEEN THAY BHAI tries hard to navigate the same path, but it slips soon after we are introduced to the three brothers. Ideally, one would expect the three brothers to resolve their differences, after something dramatic occurs. But what transpires, more so towards the second hour, is absolutely heart-breaking. The writing is amateurish and the situations the three brothers land up in are so weird that you wonder, why am I devoting two precious hours of my life to this film? The firangi babes who dabble in drugs, the faltering cop, the dog, the jasoos who’s hiding in the dilapidated mansion and the finale, just about everything is questionable here. The flatulence jokes are in poor taste as well. The drama doesn’t work, while the comic scenes evoke no mirth. Director Mrigdeep Singh Lamba could’ve come up with a smart film that offered a refreshingly different take on brotherhood. Unfortunately, the shoddy writing acts as a roadblock. Ashok Mehta’s cinematography is striking, especially the stunning snow-clad locales of Kashmir which are well captured on celluloid. As for the music, ‘Pigeon Kabootar’ is the sole track that’s worth a mention. Om Puri is over the top. Deepak Dobriyal is theatrical. Shreyas Talpade tries too hard to make you laugh, although he gets to deliver some smart one-liners. Ragini Khanna adds a lot of freshness to her part. Yograj Singh is perfect.

On the whole, TEEN THAY BHAI is a terrible waste of a striking story. An exercise in boredom!

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