REVIEW: TABLE NO.21


TABLE No. 21
TABLE NO.21, the first Bollywood film to be released in 2013, shares its title with a novel published about two years back. And but for the fact that the pieces of the tale seem to come together only in the end, both in the novel and the movie, there is nothing in common. Somewhere in the movie, we are introduced to the fact that according to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, no person may be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. And till the last ten minutes of the movie, director Aditya Datt succeeds in leading the viewers to believe that the said article is being violated by Dr. Khan (played by Paresh Rawal), a game show organiser, who has lured the lead actors (Rajeev Khandelwal and Tena Desae) to play a reality based game show in Fiji.
The scenic Fiji Islands, in which most of the movie is shot, provides a fitting locale for the game to unfold. The romantic shots between the lead actors is limited to just four minutes of a song, which comes in the beginning and the only “light” lines are where we are told about the funny law in Portugal which prohibits anyone from peeing in the sea and another law in the state of Michigan about clotheslines! We do not get to see much of the sea excepting when there is a sea-plane or when the heroine emerges from the sea in a bikini. The Bo Derek style seems to be rekindling the interest of our directors; we saw Dimple in such a scene a long time back in SAAGAR and last month we saw Anushka Sharma do a similar act in JAB TAK HAIN JAAN; and next week we will see the same Anushka in Vishal Bharadwaj’s MATRU BIJLI KA MANDOLA emerging from a lake! The rest of the movie is serious stuff and the “game” itself seems to be seriously flawed in construction and execution. The incredulousness of the story is the biggest let-down, but considering that the three main actors do manage to extend a tone of realism to the characters as are defined by the script, and that there are just eight questions to be answered correctly to qualify for the bumper prize money, I managed to watch the movie till the last ten minutes without letting out a yawn. And once the movie begins to reveal all that was hidden cleverly till then, it grips you in a tense manner.
You then forget the amateur nature of the presentation and begin to laud the makers for the issue they have tried to tackle. Considering that the end is rather hard-hitting, the unrefined earlier parts seem less unrefined and this movie must be made a must watch for Indian College going students. Why? See the movie!
RATING: 3 out of 5
January 4th, 2013

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About Vijay from Muscat

A cheerful person who loves watching and reviewing movies and indulges in random writings!
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