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Movie Review: Table No. 21

Mayank Shekhar | Last Modified - Jan 04, 2013, 04:30 PM IST

Movie Review: Table No. 21
  • Movie Review: Table No. 21
    Movie Review: Table No. 21

    The lead couple in this film win a free trip to Fiji. So do the filmmakers to shoot this thriller in the Pacific island. It’s not clear how the hero and heroine land up in this fully-paid holiday to a resort that offers them hovercraft for a private taxi and Dom Perignon for an after-lunch drink. There is no such thing as free lunch. The couple doesn’t question much either.

    They seem the sort of people who could fall for anything. They’ve been married for five years. The hero is unemployed. The owner of the resort manages to get them to play a game of truth and dare. Each correct answer fetches them Rs 1 crore. The money gets instantly transferred to the participant’s bank account. There’s Rs 21 crore to win in all. The couple signs away all their rights in a lethal contract that can’t have any legal standing anyway. Now they can’t get out of the game, even as they don’t know what the questions or dares are likely to be. Cameras start recording every move of the couple. This part of the movie sounds suspiciously similar to Rajkumar Gupta’s smart thriller Aamir (2008), which was partly based on the Philipino film Cavite. The game show itself is roughly the same as the popular TV show Sach Ka Samna, based on the hit American series The Moment Of Truth.

    Rajeev Khandelwal was the hero of Aamir. He was also the anchor of Sach Ka Saamna on TV. This explains why he is in this film. Baldie Paresh Rawal plays his host. Why do the hero, heroine decide to play his guests is only as hard to figure as why so many minor celebrities agree to wash their dirty linen in public or eat insects on shows like Bigg Boss or Survivor. Sach Ka Saamna appears an easy way to make a fast buck, if you have nothing to hide. You tell the truth. You win some cash. Except, the questions on the programme, as in this film, revolve around not what you’ve done, but what you could have also thought in your head. This is tricky. I was once asked to participate in Sach Ka Saamna. I flatly refused.

    The game before us is even more dangerous. The only rule is: “If you lie, you have to die.” It involves killing, causing harm to random people, and possible arrests by cops. It’s apparently being done for a live audience of 8 million people on the Internet. Given the illegal nature of the dares, and that the location of where the game is being held is known, the organisers could be in trouble in no time. It doesn’t seem to bother them.

    Khandelwal as the leading man donates half a litre of blood to save his wife from suffocating, even as he faints at the sight of blood. He’s okay to do this. The only time he decides to run away from the game is when he’s asked to shave his wife’s head. Going bald for a while is the worst thing that can happen to a human being. Or so it seems. As you go up the levels of the show, the dares start getting more ludicrous: now kiss her in a public square, now slap him hard (“zordar chaata”).... You already knew this was a strange sort of couple. While engaging in parts, you head out of the theatre knowing this was an odd, bald kind of film too.

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Web Title: Movie Review: Table No. 21
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