A few days ago, I glanced at a wonderful quote on life, which I deem fit to share with the readers...
"Life stops when you stop dreaming,
Hope stops when you stop believing,
Love ends when you stop caring,
Friendship ends when you stop sharing."
That, in short, is the essence of CLUB 60, directed by debutant Sanjay Tripathy.
CLUB 60 narrates the heart-warming and uplifting journey of five irrepressible individuals linked together by the quirks of fate. The lives of each of these [Raghuvir Yadav, Satish Shah, Tinnu Anand, Sharat Saxena and Vineet Kumar] revolves around a tennis court of a club and how each of them inspire a couple [Farooque Sheikh and Sarika], suffering from post-traumatic depression, to come out of it and fall back in love with life again.
CLUB 60 starts off with a sparkling monologue, laying the basis of the plot on which the director builds his story, delicately weaving together the lives of several individuals. Well penned and adroitly executed with a number of impeccable emotional moments, Sanjay does a credible and convincing job of exposing the depression faced by each of those characters, which, frankly, also mirrors the lives of most septuagenarians in today's age.
Conversely, while the emotional moments do make you moist eyed at times, the light moments don't really leave much of an impact. In fact, a couple of sequences [featuring Raghuvir Yadav specifically] are far from amusing, while the track featuring Sharat Saxena in a bar and the episode that ensues seems unwarranted when one looks at the larger picture. Furthermore, the film could've done without songs.
Though a bit stretched with a run time of over 2 hours, CLUB 60 does manage to keep you absorbed for most parts thanks to the message it attempts to convey. Additionally, the gradual progression of the story, detailing each character while taking the film ahead, is seamlessly executed, leaving the audience no time to stagnate on any particular topic. The plot also builds up to an emotional climax and what really works in favor is the optimism it attempts to convey through the characters.
Farooque Sheikh does a splendid job, portraying the part of a dejected and disheartened father who ultimately breaks free from the shackles to lead a renewed life. Complimenting him at every step is Sarika, who proves her credentials in several moments of the film, especially the one when she breaks down. Raghuvir Yadav, as the fun-loving, overtly vocal Manubhai, tends to go over the top at times, but leaves a mark nonetheless. Satish Shah is in terrific form, enacting the part of a Gujarati entrepreneur to perfection. Suhasini Mulay, as his wife, is adequate. Tinnu Anand is wonderful, Sharat Saxena is first-rate and Vineet Kumar is convincing. Zarina Wahab appears in a cameo. Himani Shivpuri, Harsh Chhaya and Viju Khote are alright.
On the whole, CLUB 60 talks of senior citizens facing a late-life crisis due to personal loss convincingly. An emotional journey of friendship, warmth, generosity and the indomitable human spirit, it's an honest attempt for sure.