Table No 21 - Review
Table No 21 is the kind of thriller that makes you feel you are smelling a fish through out. The "Something ought to be wrong, I just don't know what." turns into a regular twist in the tale without throwing you off balance. The social message shoved down your throat in the end doesn't help the film's cause either.
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A married couple, very much in love with each other, is pulled into playing a online reality game along the lines of The Moment of Truth. Interestingly enough, the Indian version of the game, Sacch Ka Saamna was hosted by the hero of Table No 21's, Rajeev Khandelwal. Anyway, the idea, of a couple having to complete a task related to the question just answered - a truth and dare of sorts - is very engaging. Unfortunately, it all ends up being very much as expected and is topped off with a social message.
My concern with films with social message is that an audience like me needs no convincing. I'm already on the story-teller's side of the issue. The people who need to watch the film are the one's who commit the crime. And even if they were to watch a film like this, would that make a difference in their behavior. Even powerful films might not have that effect, and Table No 21 isn't even hard-hitting enough. So, what's the point? Sorry, talking about the kind of crime in question would be giving the movie away.
Table No 21 doesn't come off as strong enough, despite some grueling stuff that the protagonists/antagonists go through, because you don't quite connect with the characters. You know they are grey and that's a brilliant thing in today's world of black and white characters in Hindi films. Yet, you don't feel for them even when they are going through some of the most mentally cruel ordeals. Their happiness and sorrow seems fake.
Some of the disconnect also seems to be because of the order in which the tasks pan out. Instead of escalating into more rigorous and painful ones. So after having gone through a major ordeal the couple's dilemma seems fake when there is a relatively simpler one comes after that. Sure, some of them are more symbolic tortures than others, yet the symbolic pain seems artificial.
That in turn, could be because of some very functional performances by Rajeev Khandelwal and Tena Desae. Paresh Rawal trying to be his devilish best, doesn't help. Paresh Rawal's character's sidekick provides unintentional laughter while trying to look all ominous.
So, yet another potentially interesting story falls prey to mediocre execution. Yet another topic of concern in the country sees a film that is made with all the right intentions and a lot of heart, but comes across as contrived and forced.
This review is by guest reviewer meetu. meetu is a Chartered Accountant and an MBA but she’d rather not keep books or run a business. She deployed her analytical skills to reviewing movies instead and, along the way, rediscovered her sense or humor. Doing this she is to exploit both her love for movies and writing. She thinks it is unfair to narrate the story of a movie in a 'review' - unfair to the makers, the audience, and the reviewer (not challenging enough). So, she took it upon herself to write reviews, "Without Giving the Movie Away". meetu also blogs at http://minusi.com/.
- Violence: Mental violence with mild physical implications.
- Language: A couple of swear words.
- Nudity & Sexual content: Prostitution, bikini clad women.
- Concept: The repercussions of not thinking about the effect of one's actions before hand.
- General Look and Feel: A very shoddy feel. Neither glittery-glamory, nor grim.
Table No 21 - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Eros Entertainment, Next Gen
- Producer: Vikram Rajani, Sunil A Lulla
- Director: Aditya Datt
- Lead Cast: Tena Desae, Rajeev Khandelwal, Paresh Rawal
- Supporting Cast: Dhruv Ganesh, Asheesh Kapur
- Story: Aditya Datt, Abhijit Deshpande, Sheershak Anand, Shantanu Ray Chhibber
- Screenplay: Sheershak Anand, Abhijit Deshpande, Shantanu Ray Chhibber
- Dialogues: Abhijit Deshpande
- Cinematography: Ravi Walia
- Editor: Devendra Murdeshwar
- Background Score: Amar Mohile
- Action Choreography: Parvez Khan
- Choreography: Remo D'Souza
- Music Director: Gajendra Verma, Sachin Gupta
- Lyrics: Aseem Ahmed Abbasi, Sheershak Anand, Jaspreet Jazz
- Running time: 110 minutes
- Reviewer: meetu
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Social, Thriller
Table No 21 - Trailer
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