Table No 21 (2013) - A Suspense Thriller of the Kind Rarely Seen in Indian Cinema (WBRi Bollywood Movie Review)

Paresh Rawal
Paresh Rawal seen in new Mohawk hairstyle in Table No. 21 (Hindi, 2013) film

Kolkata, Jan 6, 2013 (Washington Bangla Radio) Indian acting powerhouse Paresh Rawal has presented us with countless outstanding performances with unmatched versatility. The huge popularity of his recent comic roles does not overshadow his equal reputation as one of the most sought-after actors to essay the antagonist in Indian cinema. With the release of his new movie ‘Table no. 21’, Rawal returns to portray a dark and devilish villain -  a character the likes of which has never been seen before in Bollywood.

The Hindi movie is directed by Aditya Datt who has previously dished out some average fare like ‘Ashiq Banaya Apne’ and ‘Dil Diya Hai’.  Datt's latest venture is in the new-generation suspense thriller genre.

Tina Dease and Rajeev Khandelwal
Tina Dease and Rajeev Khandelwal

“Table No. 21” starts off in a merry note with a happily-married couple Vivvan (Rajeev Khandelwal) and Siya (Tina Desae) embarking on a vacation at the spectacular Fiji islands in the south Pacific where Hindi is an official language. Khan (Paresh Rawal) - the owner of their hotel - invites them to a strange game with a prize money of 10 million Fiji dollars (one million US dollars, Indian Rupees 21 crores) if they win. The couple chooses to play, and the drama begins.

The game involves 8 questions and a task after each. The terrible side of Khan gets exposed as the game progresses with the couple feeling increasingly helpless as they fall prey to sinister settings.

The climax of the film is a shocker and perhaps the most unpredictable one seen in recent times.

Paresh Rawal and Rajeev Khandelwal have delivered towering performances which are the life force of the film. Paresh Rawal reaches acting perfection in this reviewer's mind. The cunning Khan is surely going to be one of the most memorable villains on film. Rajeev, too, has somehow managed to measure up to Rawal with his fine performance, proving his flexibility once again. Tina Desae is a bit overwhelmed stuck between the two enormous characters, and a little improvement in Desae's enunciation would have helped to make her performance even sharper.

After a long-lasting slow innings, Aditay Datt finally hits a smashing six with this film. He successfully challenges conventional wisdom on good and bad.

Full credit also goes to the script. The screenplay of this original thriller must not have been easy to pen down. No wonder it took three writers to accomplish the feat, and Shirshak Anand, Abhijit Deshpande and Santanu Ray Chibber deserve admiration. Cinematography is another strength of the film. The sweeping shots of the beautiful island nation are soothing to the eye and quite remarkable.

The background score composed by Gajendra Verma is adequate and has elements that take it deep into the viewer's mind.

“Table no 21” is an outstanding thrillers, easily among the best from Bollywood. Even if one is not a passionate admirer of thrillers,  one should not give this a miss – thrillers of this quality is rare in Indian cinema.


Watch the Bollywood Indian Hindi Suspence Thriller Movie TABLE NO 21 (2013) Trailer.

- Jyoti Prakash Mandal (jpmandal@washingtonbanglaradio.com)