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Movie Review: Table No. 21


It’s not very difficult to imagine a voyeuristic world where Internet rules and clicks translate to money as we’ve already created one and miserably living in it too. However, when you attach a mysterious cinematic plot to it — wherein secrets from the past unravel gradually — you’re in for a smooth ride. More or less, this is the case with Table No. 21. 

The movie takes you to pristine Fiji along with a made-for-each-other couple (Rajeev Khandelwal and Tena Desae) who are basically riding on their luck. Things appear fancy for the two for a while. And then they happen to meet this curiously rich fellow-Indian (Paresh Rawal) who is more than happy to reward them with unbelievable cash prize provided they participate in his game show. He sets the rules. They play along. Cyberspace becomes the audience.

Although the first half fills you with myriad of emotions ranging from apathy to fear, the second half jostles back the equilibrium. And how! The chronological twist and the climax make up for editing flaws. It’s almost as if the makers of this film concentrated more on the second half than the first. Even the pace between the two parts differs with the former being the slower one. Having said that, a good script in hand made the real difference.

Tina Desae
Tina Desae in a scene from the film. Pic/SantaBanta.com

There are loopholes in place that question the possibility of such high-octane drama ever occurring without the crime patrol getting a sniff of it. Or should we assume that they too were busy streaming videos? Also, there is a strong hint of resonance of films already made before.

Since this thriller relies heavily on performance, the onus falls squarely on the leading actors. Given his status as a veteran, Paresh simply fails to disappoint. In fact, he carries the film on his knack — not to forget his distracting hairdo. Rajeev establishes once again the reason why he chooses his filmography to be the way it is. You get to witness the varying shades of his character’s personality. For a Bollywood starter, Tena does a fairly commendable job but the make-up guys who made her look like an alien didn’t. Dhruv Ganesh is impressive in a shorter role.

In conclusion, this Aditya Datt-directed film is worth a watch, thanks to the detour its message takes before delivering itself.

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