table no 21

table no 21

Director: Aditya Datt

Cast: Paresh Rawal, Rajeev Khandelwal, Tina Desae

Vivaan (Rajeev Khandelwal) and Siya Agasthi (Tena Desae), like any other ordinary couple,
that are working their way to make ends meet can’t believe their luck when they win a chance to make a trip to the beautiful islands of Fiji. Not only is this holiday fully paid for, with their stay at one of the finest hotels, but they also get invited to dine at Suva, Fiji’s finest resorts on occasion of their wedding anniversary.

Fate however, has a different plan for them, when at the resort; they encounter the charming Mr. Khan (Paresh Rawal). Their luck gets only better when Mr. Khan offers to give the couple a staggering 21 crores, provided they play and win the ‘tell all truth’ game that he hosts. 8 questions, truthful answers and completion of tasks – the rules of the game seem pretty straightforward.

Realizing how an amount so large could potentially change their lives forever, Vivaan and Siya decide to take up the challenge. The game kick starts with the couple performing impressively well, managing to both speak the truth as well as complete the tasks thrown at them.

As the game proceeds, the questions and tasks become more intense, demanding and surprisingly personal, relating to significant parts of their lives.

Vivaan and Siya are stuck in a rut, as one important rule that they’re reminded of is that they aren’t allowed to quit midway. By the time they realize that their survival depends on the game, it’s too late to do anything about it.

By putting its two principal characters in inescapably moral and, frequently, physical conflict, the film becomes a reflection of our obsession with materialistic wealth, and money itself, and its obscenely destructive capacity.

The marriage of a perfectly fine couple reveals a disturbing duplicity when the two are put against each other, resulting in a collapsed relationship which may have something to
do with what the characters believed to be a harmless exercise in their carefree adolescence.

Khandelwal and Tina Desae having strongly etched characters with complex back-stories, neither can manage to pull off their respective parts credibly.

Khandelwal has an imposing screen presence but the effort in the acting is all too evident to make it look plausible, while the girl is plain amateur and even struggles with her lines.

Paresh Rawal, who plays the dispassionate devil’s advocate, doesn’t come up to expectation. Overly-styled, he looks a bit comical which doesn’t go well with the sombreness that his character demands.

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