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Table No 21  : Don’t Book A Seat For This Table
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Friday, January 4, 2013
Human drama
Aditya Datt
Rajeev Khandelwal, Paresh Rawal and Tina Desae
After Will You Marry Me, his last outing with the same director and with Paresh Rawal in a sinister role, Rajeev Khandelwal is back. But sadly not with a big bang.

The plot: Middle class couple, Vivaan Agasthi (Rajeev Khandelwal) and Siah Agasthi (Tina Desae), win a free trip to exotic Fiji Islands. Much in love and enjoying their holiday together, they take on the challenge to play a game of Truth or Die. 8 questions, 8 tasks and 8 answers, with rapid fire rounds too. Even one lie is enough to condemn them to death. Playing the role that Rajeev has done in real life as the host of the reality show Sach Ka Saamna is Paresh Rawal (Abdul Razzak Khan), who invites them to Table No 21 for the game. Why does Paresh make the couple go through squirmy situations?

The good: Cinematographer Ravi Walia needs a pat on the back for the visuals of Fiji Islands and though the film lacks solid content, you wonder if you are sitting before your TV set to watch yet another reality show unfold.

Rajeev Khandelwal is impressive as the husband but does not suit the flashback sequences as a ragging leader since he looks way past his student days. Tina Desae, who has acted in inconsequential films like Yeh Faasley, Sahi Dhande Galat Bandhe and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,and was seen in Cocktail, bares herself in a bikini for no valid reason and sizzles in her smooching scenes with Rajeev Khandelwal.

She has a flair for histrionics too, with a lot of variations in her character and her expressions. Paresh Rawal is not the most charming gameshow host but manages to pull off this one in his usual style, giving his best shot at the end.

The bad: At a very basic level, the film lacks a substantial story. The music (by Gajendra Verma and Sachin Gupta) isn’t a potential chart-topper and most of the songs don’t have a place in the story. The climax is stretched and quite a few situations could have been done away with for a sharper, neater finish. Hanif Hilal (Pooja Bedi’s ex-flame) appears almost throughout the film as Paresh Rawal’s henchman without delivering even a single dialogue. For fifth-timer Aditya Datt (Good Luck, Aashiq Banaya Aapne, Dil Diya Hai and Will You Marry Me were his previous four), it’s another nosedive.

Overall: Although the sluggish pace picks up speed after interval and has a riveting climax, it’s too late for something that clearly lacks appealing content. Don’t bother with reservations for this one.

– Jyothi Venkatesh

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