TEABLE NO. 21 review


Eros International and Next Gen Films’ Table No. 21 (UA) is a thriller. Vivaan (Rajeev Khandelwal) and Siya (Tena Desae) are college friends who court each other for some years before getting married. They are on a free trip to Fiji and while there, they are in for a surprise on their wedding anniversary – they are invited to an exotic island where they meet Khan (Paresh Rawal). They get talking and by the by, Khan entices them to play a game with him, which has a prize money of Rs. 21 crore. Since Vivaan is jobless, they see no harm in participating in the game which has a rule: you die if you lie. This game is watched live on the Internet the world over and the more exciting it becomes, the more number of views it gets. Each round of the game has prize money which gets transferred to Vivaan’s account as soon as they win that round.

At first innocent, the game gets tougher and murkier as it progresses but Vivaan and Siya realise, they can’t quit without great personal harm to themselves. They also realise that Khan knows a lot about their past life together. Both are physically and mentally tortured, all in the course of the game.

What happens ultimately? Do Vivaan and Siya complete the game? Do they win it or lose it? Who is Khan? How does he know so much about Vivaan and Siya?

Shantanu Ray and Sheershak Anand’s story, which reminds of Sanjay Dutt starrer Zinda, keeps the viewer on the edge as the viewer is not aware of what will happen next. Nevertheless, once the game becomes dangerous, the audience does get a hang of the drama and finds the same a bit boring and repetitive. Since the film oscillates between the present and the past (in flashbacks), the drama also becomes a bit predictable, in form at least. When the last flashback is about to start, the suspense is almost out and the audience realises that game has something to do with Vivaan and Siya’s past. Shantanu Ray, Sheershak Anand and Abhijeet Deshpande’s screenplay is interesting but having said that, it must be added that it also gets monotonus after a point of time. Once the suspense is completely revealed, a section of the audience might also get the feeling of the drama being too round and about. Most importantly, the film is quite different because of which the orthodox viewers, looking for their regular dose of masala and usual ingredients of a commercial film, would not get the same. By its very nature, the film holds appeal for the class audience mainly. One big drawback of the drama is that the audience’s sympathy does not go to Vivaan and Siya while they are being tortured as the writers have not revealed much about them in the first place. Dialogues, penned by Abhijeet Deshpande, are very appropriate and sometimes bring a smile to the face.

Paresh Rawal does a fantastic job and gives his all to the character of Khan. He lives his role and makes Khan intriguing as well as extremely interesting. Rajeev Khandelwal also shines as Vivaan. His earnestness and anxiety are brought out all too well by him. Tena Desae is quite effective as Siya. Dhruv Ganesh does a fine job as Akram. Asheesh Kapoor (as Bittoo), Hanif Hillal (in the role of Gaouse), Gulaam Gouse Deewani (as the technical head), Ankit (as Bobby), Sumit Rana (as friend), Inderjeet Singh Sagoo (also as friend), Niketa Agarwal (as friend) and Sana Shaikh (as Neeti) lend fair support.

Aditya Datt’s direction is nice. It could’ve been better if the pace of the drama were faster. Although there is not much scope for music in the film, songs have been included in the narrative. The ‘Man mera’ song (composed by Gajender Verma) is very good. The ‘O sanam’ number (Gajender Verma) is also nice while the ‘If you lie, you die’ song (composed by Sachin Gupta) is fairly good. Lyrics (by Aseem Ahmed Abbasee, Sheershak Anand and Jaspreet Jazz) are alright. Choreography (Adil Shaikh and Remo) is okay. Amar Mohile’s background score is alright but needed to be better. Ravi Walia’s camerawork is effective. Locations of Fiji are eye-filling. Sets (Shree Kumar Nair) are reasonably good. Parvez Khan’s action scenes are fair. Devendra A. Murdeshwar’s editing is sharp.

On the whole, Table No. 21 (weak title) is fairly engaging and exciting but its run at the cinemas will be short because there won’t be too many takers for this kind of a film. Recovery of the investment shouldn’t be much of a problem as the budget is not too big and the cost has been subsidised by the Fiji government.

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One Response to TEABLE NO. 21 review

  1. Pingback: Top Critic Review of Table No 21 | Biharprabha Bollywood News

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