Movie Review: 'Club 60'
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Cast: Farooque Shaikh, Sarika, Raghubir Yadav, Satish Shah, Tinnu Anand, Sharat Saxena, Vineet Kumar, Himani Shivpuri, Zarina Wahab
Director: Sanjay Tripathy
The Indian Express rating: **1/2
The loss of life is a devastating thing. When a doctor couple lose their only child, they relocate to Mumbai, leaving behind their cosy life in Pune. 'Club 60' tells their story, and in its better parts, the film turns universal, becoming our story.
Tareek Shaikh (Farooque) and Saayra (Sarika) flee their quiet town to drown their sorrows in the bustle of a busy metropolis. He is broken, unable to come to terms with the senseless death of a young son who was about to step into his prime in faraway USA. She holds her grief within, and tries to get on with life.
Just for the creation of this pair, 'Club 60' needs to be commended. Bollywood has done poorly by its senior citizens: the spectrum of the middle-aged, the elderly, and the old is huge, and our films usually have no idea what to do with characters that fall within, even if they do have a part for them in the first place.
An encounter with the annoyingly cheerful, won't-take-no-for-an answer Mannubhai Shah ( Yadav), propels a reluctant Tareek into a group of sixty-pluses which meets every morning at the club for a game of tennis. There's the stingy-from-the-top-but-a-softie-within Mansukhani (Shah), the wind-breaking Zafar (Anand), the lonely Dhillon (Saxena), and a bad-joke-loving retired income tax commissioner (Kumar).
The banter between these old friends is real, if stodgy and repetitive: the film could have done with some pruning. The characters are played by actors good enough to escape their stereotypes (the miserly Sindhi broker, the Gujju bhai with an accent, a hearty beauty who fakes-flirts) when given a chance, and there are sequences in the film which manage to do this successfully. Raghubir Yadav's T-shirts, with their legends (I Have Sex Only On Days That Start With T) are a hoot ; his 'hobby' of collecting strange-looking wind-pipes gives him some heft, and he plays it like he knows and likes the instrument .