Movies

Table No 21: An interesting film to watch

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MUMBAI: Table No 21 is one of those films which counter lack of stars and huge budget with a novel theme. The film has just three main characters and a single location, Fiji, offering the island‘s scenic beauty as an antidote to the rather heavy goings-on.



Producers: Vicky Rajani, Sunil Lulla.

Director: Aditya Datt.

Cast: Paresh Rawal, Rajev Khandelwal, Tena Desae.



A much-in-love couple, Rajeev Khandelwal and Tena Desae, are delighted to get an all-expense-paid trip to Fiji on their fifth wedding anniversary. It is a dream offer and soon as they land, they are treated to best of everything: food, wine and a villa of their own. This is not all. There are crores to be made by the couple. But, there has to be a catch. Nobody gifts such holidays and unimaginable sums of money for nothing. Barely has the couple soaked up the sun and sea of Fiji, than they are invited for a dinner by their host, Paresh Rawal.



Khandelwal and Desae are needed to play a game which is aired live on net with millions of viewers logged in. The couple will be asked eight questions each worth Rs one crore. The final question of the game will be a rapid fire round of seven questions worth Rs 14 crore. There is also a task assigned to one of the two after each answer. The proposal looks too tempting to refuse with a Rs 21 crore payoff for the couple. The only condition is if you lie you die. No wrong answers permitted.



Things look simple enough as the question answer session begins. But as the session progresses, the questions get more personal and tasks unexpected; like one task is for Khandelwal to go out on the main street parking lot and shatter a particular car. In another one, he is asked to shear Desae‘s mop of thick hair--tonsure her! Attempts by the couple to get out of the game prove futile. They are trapped and you feel empathy for them while branding Rawal as a sadistic maniac.



By the eighth round of rapid fire questions, there is one question about the couple‘s loyalty to each other and this question shatters their romance, affection, dreams and life. A wrong answer is given and the punishment will be death. One of the two has to die. If one has been waiting to watch where all this was leading to and what was Rawal‘s purpose in choosing this couple, it is time for a flashback into their college life. And you realise why some questions were asked. They realise the past has caught up with them. Following this flashback, the viewers‘ opinions change as does their sympathy for the characters involved. And there is a message to be delivered.



The film has similar theme as a 2011 film Chitkabrey in which more than one couple was facing the same kind of situation.



The casting is good as Khandelwal and Desae make a handsome couple while Rawal is, always in control, holding the narrative together despite its grim moments. His last scene is in total contrast to what he does through the rest of the film, showing his versatility. The direction is good. With just three songs in the film, Mann mera… is the pick of the lot. The film has an effective background score, much needed for this kind of film. Dialogues, mostly hogged by Rawal, are in keeping with the character.



Table No 21 is a decent enough film and its limited budget should see it through if it gets good patronage over the weekend. You may not call it an entertainer but it is an interesting watch.

 

Rajdhani Express: Headed for derailment

Producers: Manoj Kejriwal, Ritika Kohli, Rajesh K Patel.

Director: Ashok Kohli.

Cast: Leander Paes, Jimmy Shergill, Gulshan Grover, Siyali Bhagat.



MUMBAI: Rajdhani Express looks like an outcome of what somebody somewhere thought had a bright idea! Bring together a variety of odd characters on a train journey and these total strangers decide to play the game of telling each other all about their personal lives!



Leander Paes, the star attraction and a part of the bright idea, a domestic servant at a gangster‘s house, has boarded the Delhi Mumbai Rajdhani Express on a stolen ticket and guns as his baggage. Others travelling in the same cubicle with him are a fashion designer, Sudhanshu Pandey, actress Puja Bose, film writer Piyanshu Chatterjee with Gulshan Grover as the ticket checker. There are also assorted others like a politician, an old couple, a female cop and so on. If there are guns on board, there has to be a cop around too so we have Jimmy Shergill.



The film has no story at all, just events, twists and turns that make no sense. Just about everything in the film is ill-conceived. The Rajdhani set as well as the music and dialogue is poor.



As for Paes, a domestic help is the kind of character you cast him in? That is giving him a bad name besides defaming the premier train service of the country.



This Rajdhani Express is not going anywhere.

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