Director: Aditya Datt

Cast: Paresh Rawal, Tena Desae, Rajeev Khandelwal

b! Says: **½

Book a seat for Table No. 21

Playing games while on holiday isn’t unnatural, but when harmless stuff like antakshari or charades is replaced with mind-numbing ones like those shown in ‘Table No. 21’, we have a problem. Picking up elements from popular reality shows on television, the makers weave a story that might have worked on TV with innumerous repeat telecasts, but its appeal on the big screen is limited.

Aditya Datt’s ‘Table No. 21’ is about a couple, Vivaan (Rajeev Khandelwal) and Siya (Tena Desae), who win a free trip to Fiji on their fifth anniversary. Things look picture-perfect until they meet Mr. Khan (Paresh Rawal), their trip organizer. He encourages them to be part of a game which will be shown live on a website for millions of people to see. The prize money of Rs 21 crore will be theirs after eight questions are answered and eight tasks are performed. The couple is initially drawn in because of the big prize but when tasks become more difficult and questions grow personal, they realize that it isn’t just a game after all.

The film is interesting and between tasks, that include shaving your head to eating snakes, there’s hardly a dull moment. If you’re a child of the Roadies-generation, then tuck into your popcorn as this film is right up your alley. Not for faint-hearted, there’s plenty of gore and stomach-churning fare on display.

Paresh Rawal, as expected, delivers. His serpent-like hairstyle and evil stare is enough to give cold feet to the contestants. Rajeev Khandelwal (who’s been the host of a similar game show ‘Sach ka Saamna’) does his part sincerely, matching Rawal take for take. Tena Desae, on the other hand, is just about okay. Her accent is a big turn-off, but the absorbing story gives little chance for anyone to go wrong. Like the case with most films these days, the plot keeps going back and forth and references to their past have been aptly included in the game show proceedings. The film ends with a surprising social message but it doesn’t entirely dampen the experience.

Book your seat for ‘Table No. 21’ this weekend.