Can two different filmmakers come up with exactly the same plot (except that this one is better produced and set in Fiji with just one couple instead of many couples in Chitkabrey) and the same backstory at the end that justifies the bizarre reality show plot?
Or maybe they were both inspired by the same material or formula of the South Korean classic Oldboy where the protagonist must find out why he is being tortured by the mystery villain only to discover who the real villain was.
To be specific, here Vivaan (Rajeev Khandelwal) and Siya (Tena Desae), a couple spending their anniversary in Fiji are lured into a dangerous game by a mysterious resort owner Khan (Paresh Rawal).
While the setting of a reality show combined with tasks from Fear Factor does lend this thriller all the action it needs, the actors — especially Paresh Rawal and Rajeev Khandelwal — do a solid job of keeping us invested. Rajeev seems to be in great danger of getting typecast into the role of a guy running around town, assigned tasks to perform by the villain once again after Aamir.
We are easily sold on a rather bizarre premise (we are told the game show has millions of viewers on the internet) only to later find out that the premise has very little to do with the plot or the twist. In fact, the twist at the end only makes the premise seem contrived, convenient and silly.
Luckily for Table No. 21, it’s not a psychological thriller like Talaash that relies on the ending. It's an action thriller. A very forgettable one at that.
But thankfully, slick and smart that you are never bored. Think Abbas-Mustaan-meets-Mahesh Bhatt production. Vaguely familiar (inspired?) plot, good-looking people, action, thrills, twists and turns but with smaller stars, lots of skin and kissing.
Can't say if you will like what Table No. 21 leaves you with but while you are at it, you are likely to have a good time.
Table No. 21
Director: Aditya Datt
Cast: Paresh Rawal, Rajeev Khandelwal, Tena Desae
Storyline: A couple celebrating their anniversary in Fiji agree to participate in a bizarre reality show that tests their marriage
Bottomline: Well-produced, fast-paced thriller but suspiciously reminiscent of last year's Chitkabrey — same plot, same backstory twist at the end.