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Seniors project

 
 

Club 60

Rating: 2

December 06, 2013

Cast: Farooque Shaikh, Sarika, Raghuveer Yadav, Sharat Saxena, Satish Shah, Tinnu Anand, Vineet Kumar, Suhasini Mulay, Zarina Wahab, Himani Shivpuri, Harsh Chhaya

Director: Sanjay Tripathy

Club 60, starring Farooque Shaikh and Sarika, drives an unmistakably heartfelt message home. This is a story about accepting the hand fate has dealt you and making the most out of life. The actors play a married couple struggling to come to terms with the death of their young son. Tariq (Farooque) becomes a bitter recluse, unable to go back to work, unwilling to engage with the world. Saira (Sarika) decides to return to her job, desperately seeking ways for them to move on with their lives. In a particularly poignant scene, delicately performed by Sarika, she asks their psychiatrist if there’s something wrong with her because she doesn’t sink into depression like her husband does.

The story takes a turn when their over-zealous neighbor Manubhai (Raghuveer Yadav) storms into their lives and drags Tariq to a recreation club for seniors that he frequents with his friends. This motley bunch of cheery oldies – an oversexed retired army man (Sharat Saxena), a stingy Sindhi stockbroker (Satish Shah), a former income tax commissioner obsessed with SMS jokes (Vineet Kumar), and a soulful shayyar always ready with a couplet (Tinnu Anand) – is each hiding a sad back-story that expectedly convinces Tariq that life must go on.

It’s the solid acting from this ensemble of veterans that compels you to overlook the film’s many shortcomings, particularly the indulgent screenplay that packs too many songs and some misguided sexual humor. The camaraderie between Manubhai and his buddies has a nice, authentic feel to it, their constant bickering and name-calling stemming from an obvious affection for each other. Raghuveer Yadav strikes the right balance between overbearing and endearing, his loud man-child one of the film’s genuine pleasures.

Yet it’s Farooque Shaikh and Sarika who get the juiciest parts, and ample opportunity to showcase their tremendous range. Both actors wring your heart in the film’s more somber moments, particularly during a scene in which Saira confronts Tariq over their shared grief. This is terrific acting, and the two stars are riveting in these bits.

Unfortunately writer-director Sanjay Tripathy can’t lift this script from its quicksand of predictability, and can’t avoid the mawkish melodrama that stories like these inevitably slip into. That, along with a clumsy, overlong climax, makes Club 60 a rather dull affair in the end. I’m going with two out of five – it’s a sincere film, but one that could’ve benefited from smarter writing and slicker treatment.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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