To begin with, certain films are not meant to be reviewed with the usual set pattern since they have not been made with that routine mindset and have something precious to share in their thoughtful narrative about we the people, our relationships and the life lived in our final years (of old age) under some tough conditions. Now though, such a project might be lacking that gloss or finesse of a big budget film supported by any current heartthrob. Still a reviewer has a moral responsibility to praise this valuable effort deservingly and then help it reach the starving viewers who are eagerly waiting to watch such hidden meaningful experiments, silently being made in our Hindi Cinema with an admirable vision. Hence where you might find many reputed reviewers giving it a very average star ratings, I would strongly like to differ and rate CLUB 60 as a must watch since it does have a lot to teach about life, its profound contradictions and has a positive attitude which needs to be followed in our last phase of life i.e. old age.
CLUB 60 also remains a not to be missed film, as we haven’t seen many Hindi movies made on this particular subject of old age in our long history. Yes, one can easily recall a handful projects depicting the loneliness, hardships and ignorance suffered by the old caused by their own close relatives. And there are also a few ventures talking about a group of old friends going onto a naughty trip or expedition to fulfill their hidden desires. However, very rarely we have seen a completely different and positive presentation of old age in a Hindi film, wherein the characters are not dragging their sad or lonely lives in wait of that final moment to come any minute, but living it to the maximum without any grudge, complaint or regret as a ‘Celebration of Life’. And that is exactly the reason why CLUB 60 becomes an important film for me because it projects old age in a highly constructive manner, which is in fact the very truth of a life cycle, if understood with the right vision (discussed in more details later in the review after the film’s description).
Opening with a soulful narration by Farooque Sheikh about his own tragedy of life faced along with wife Sarika, the film clearly indicates that there is surely something extremely thoughtful and out of the routine coming in its next reels supported by a talented cast. Admittedly it does take a little time to sink in and even the introduction of Raghuvir Yadav at first feels like a bit over the top and loud. But once it all settles down after the initial introductions and a highly emotional scene comes in led by an amazing portrayal by Sarika, CLUB 60 starts influencing the viewer strongly and then seldom gives you a dull moment right till its well-conceived realistic climax following an impressive progression. Further the film has many insightful, well written sequences to be cherished with tears and smiles together, wherein many renowned veterans make a very impactful comeback after a long hiatus.
For instance, post a decent performance in “Listen…Amaya” (2013), CLUB 60 gives you back the Farooque Sheikh of the 80s (as in “Katha”, “Chashme Buddoor” & more) effortlessly playing the skillful surgeon who has given up the spirit of living life after the death of his young son. It makes you meet the good old Raghuvir Yadav transporting you back in the times of his great TV serials like “Mungeri Lal Ke Haseen Sapney”. The film pleasantly discovers a very fine actress in Sarika, who was more known for her bold choices of roles only back in the 80s. And the lady truly scores the maximum, playing the strong, caring and suffering characters of a mother and wife together in a splendid way. Along with these key names, CLUB 60 has Satish Shah, Tinnu Anand, Sharat Saxena & Vineet Kumar lovingly playing the group of old friends, plus Zareena Wahab, Suhasini Mulay, Himani Shivpuri, Harsh Chhaya and Viju Khote quietly leaving an impression in their short roles.
Directed by the debutant Sanjay Tripathy, the film grows on you as it progresses and delivers some extremely thoughtful ‘Precious Gems like dialogues’, forcing you to think over them with empathy. Yes it could have easily been more impactful with a shorter length and less songs, but actually one doesn’t notices these drawbacks after getting engrossed in the lives of its various characters and enjoys the songs too especially the well written ghazal “Rooh Mein Faasle Nahin Hotey”, “Pal Pal Khelti Hai Zindagi” and “Kho Kar Maine Aaj Tumhe Paaya Hai” sung soulfully. Moreover with a fairly enjoyable script giving a highly refreshing, rare and meaningful message to the audience, CLUB 60 certainly rises much above these minor hiccups and deserves to be seen even by the youngsters who are eventually going to reach that age too in the coming decades. The film made me smile, laugh & cry in its various sequences depicting the last phase of our life differently and then forced me think about the same from a new perspective, as shared below in some straight words.
Despite its visible shortcomings, as I see it, CLUB 60 can easily be called a revolutionary kind of project, since it simply breaks all those rotten patterns of showing ‘the old age’ in a depressing mode in our films since decades. In fact it brings forward an extremely important message to be passed on to every old and middle aged person around, that LIFE doesn’t end when you retire after the age of 60, but it actually begins with more spirit, freedom & fun if re-considered from a new cheerful angle full of positivity.
In other words, as widely seen, taught and accepted by majority of people (especially in our part of the world), Old Age is certainly not the most miserable phase of one’s life, to be lived in deep grief or plain sadness. On the contrary, it should be the most cherished, loved and carefree time of life, lived to the maximum because its end is soon going to be there any moment without any prior intimation or warning. It needs to be the most enjoyable phase of our living years, where one has got all the time to fulfill his numerous unexpressed desires related to music, poetry, reading, travelling, learning and lot more, which he or she might have missed while working all those years, making a living. And one should ideally prepare to live these final days of life in such a way that it simply doesn’t become a long sad wait for The Death to come, but instead becomes a celebrative time ready to embrace ‘The End’ any time, any moment with all bags packed.
To add further, CLUB 60 gave me the opportunity to look upon this important conclusive part of our life with a completely novel and fresh approach, bringing in many enlightening insights mentioned below and as I feel they should be inviting enough to force you to watch this under-rated gem at the earliest.
“The film made me realize that how rare it is to meet a smiling, joyful old man full of bubbling energy in our daily life, walking around whistling, singing or swinging his friendly stick as a carefree man…….! And visualizing the thought, I really struggled hard to remember any such man seen in the recent times in my locality honestly.”
“It interestingly raised a lovable question in my mind that as seen in the younger ones, Why the old age people do not or cannot have a 3 am friend too just a phone call away?”
“The film forced me to think that though we all (equally) get a beautifully wrapped gift from the Almighty called LIFE. Yet in most of the cases the gift remains unopened right till the end, resulting in a sad climax which can easily be converted into a joyful one by opening the gift wisely in time before the curtains are off.”
And then CLUB 60 made me remember one of the early discourses of mystic master OSHO, in which he interestingly mentioned a very common thought that,
“Why everyone always recalls the childhood or the school days, as their best time of life so fondly (instead of the old age)?
Now if truth be told, then this perception clearly reveals a bitter reality that if one so lovingly remembers his PAST to be much better & enjoyable than his PRESENT, then the person certainly has been walking on a wrongly chosen path in all the gone years……., and the progress has not been made forward but backward towards misery.”
So probably a depressing end largely means a life not lived well………because if one has really lived his different phases of growth in a given lifetime then its last phase i.e. old age should ideally be the most beautiful, pleasant and satisfying phase of life…..logically. And in case this is not happening then the things have certainly gone wrong somewhere in those middle years of life unarguably.
On a lighter note, this also gave me a thought that the time of Old Age can even be compared to a One Day Cricket match innings very easily………, since there too your chances of winning or scoring big, entirely depend upon how you have performed in the first 15-20 and then the middle overs (read years) of your innings losing the minimum wickets. In other words, whether your final 10 overs are spent full of tension, fear of losing or quite easily walking towards the winning end, it all completely depends upon how you have built-up the innings right from the beginning laying a solid base.
Hence with a hope that this message reaches all adults passing through any phase of their lives be it youth, middle age or old, I strongly recommend CLUB 60 to all like-minded friends here boldly, since we don’t get to see such honest and sincere attempts made in our Hindi Cinema often. Yes, the film is not perfect but still is a far better product and much above than even a hundred visionless big budget films supported by all the renowned stars. Hence do give it a chance at the earliest and then spend some time thinking upon its positive message too, in order to experience an encouraging, joyful and winning end of a journey well lived.
Rating : 4 / 5
(Included in the “Movies To See Before You Die” list at BTC because of its rare narrative and unique positive message about the old age.)
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A decent crowd of all youngsters coming to the theater in its first show was quite a pleasant scene unexpectedly and further a few cheers on its opening titles with the catchy music forced me to accept that may be I was wrong in underestimating another typical masala film before its wide release.
But within an hour the whole scenario changed into something entirely different. The cheers went silent, mobiles could be seen flashing and the energy suddenly vanished into the thin year as the film turned out to be a complete dud with absolutely nothing to offer even to the die-hard fans of its famous cast and director (except the music). In few words, the experience was just like watching one of those routine South dubbed films regularly coming on the channels in a repeat mode when they have nothing else to play in their timeline. With neither anything new in the story department nor something novel in its execution, performances or direction, R….RAJKUMAR simply seemed to me as a loud, over-confident and careless work of a director who has probably formed a fixed outlook towards film-making and has also assumed that the viewers are just a bunch of fools who can convert any crap into a hit if presented with the right packaging, over the top action, fast edits and catchy music.
In fact to explain it differently, I would like to call R….RAJKUMAR a very COURAGEOUS film for the following strong reasons related to its entire team.
A. It is a courageous venture since it has been made with such a lame but confident mindset as if it is to be shown to all dumb men and women sitting in the theater who have not grown their minds and thinking patterns since decades (or since the 80s).
B. It is certainly a brave attempt by the director, who is fast moving on the path of losing his status of a LEGENDARY dancer & choreographer, with all repetitive dance direction and a pinch of vulgarity too in his ‘Tapori’ kind of steps (more noticed in the last 5-6 years of his career). Moreover, with almost nothing in the name of solid content in his recent films it seems that we are now having quite ‘less read’ directors around who really are unable or not capable of finding a good subject for their next ventures and just keep making the same kind of movies regularly taking their viewers for granted.
C. The film is a bold move by its leading male star visibly, who despite of giving continuous flops, still displays no intelligence to choose his next projects and also carries a lot of attitude and arrogance in his onscreen portrayal of drama, action and comedy altogether.
D. It is a courageous step on part of its female lead too, who has now done exactly similar roles in so many films that probably she herself would not be able to recall any particular film if few selective shots are shown to her in a random order taken from her various films. Further, her expressions and mannerisms have such acute similarities that you often get a Deja-Vu kind of feel watching her repeatedly doing the same things again and again in her latest movie.
E. The project is surely a confident ‘at your face’ kind of attempt since it feels no shame in using lyrics such as “Achhi Baatein Karli Bahot, Ab Karunga Tere Saath, Gandi Baat” and “Kaddu Phatega To Sab Mein Batega” as its item numbers. No doubt there are some good tracks too like “Saari Ke Faal Sa” but here I wish to add that it seems to be quite weird that when a song has already been composed and arranged so well, then what’s the need of getting it written in such a vulgar and silly manner, following a completely sick vision to gain some extra attention.
F. The film is also a courageous one, since the makers here show no respect, sympathy or admiration in using the veteran actor Asrani in a same routine act, shouting, laughing and babbling even at this age, wherein he even gets slapped more than once by Ashish Vidyarthi in an utterly useless or silly sequence.
Hence as mentioned in the above points, R….RAJKUMAR is surely a brave film made by a courageous team, who thinks as if they have mastered the art of fooling the audience and can make anything in the name of cinema served with few catchy songs. The film has its few moments lead by loud music but you must have the same amount of courage to sit through it till the end and would only be able to tolerate this if you a regular viewer of numerous low grade South dubbed films shown on the cable channels as their filler programs.
Rating : 1 / 5 (And that too just for its catchy composing and musical arrangement.)
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Considered as one of the most insightful, thought provoking and experimental films made on the subject of ‘Love and Loneliness’, KHAMOSHI raises a very valid question through its intense content revolving around the psychiatric treatment of the patients. And therefore needs to be seen or studied with a completely different outlook as compared to the other popular Hindi films made on the Love-theme.
Based on a Bengali short story, 'Nurse Mitra' by renowned Bengali writer, Ashutosh Mukherjee, the Hindi version is a remake of director Asit Sen’s own Bengali film, DEEP JWELE JAAIi (1959) starring Suchitra Sen and it talks about a psychiatric hospital run by a Colonel (Doctor) treating his patients with a new questionable technique or vision. The patients are particularly the ones suffering from acute mania, caused by a male’s inner urge of an unconditional love, which he keeps searching in other women after being separated from his mother. And when he doesn’t get the same for long, the frustration turns him into a cynical personality, full of hatred and distrust requiring medical care.
Now Colonel Saab uses his beautiful nurse, Radha (Waheeda Rehman) to treat such passionate patients and he intends to do the same for their new patient Arun (Rajesh Khanna) too who has been just brought in. Radha, who has earlier successfully cured another similar patient named Dev (Dharmendra) takes up the assigned case, but in the process gets to encounter her own inner pain, longing for love and discomfort, seriously playing the lovable mother, lover and friend altogether for her new patient. So as the girl gets more involved in Arun’s personal trauma, forgetting her own hidden feelings following the moral path of a nurse, she goes into a depression and then meets a tragic end as a lonely person deprived of any real love & care by the people around.
The film proudly included in the list of All Time Classics of Hindi Cinema has Waheeda Rehman giving one of her career best performances as Radha, the nurse. And the actress says a lot with her speaking eyes conveying the hidden pain of loneliness, betrayal and unreciprocated love intensely. In fact her act of the lovable nurse should ideally be studied by every actress as her text book material to portray such deep expressions on the screen, so effortlessly and with an utmost devotion. In other words, though we have the superstar Rajesh Khanna too playing the lead role here, but still KHAMOSHI remains a Waheeda Rehman film from start to finish unarguably and that is the reason she was also nominated in the Best Actress Filmfare Awards category in the following year.
Admittedly more remembered for its mesmerizing soundtrack beautifully composed by Hemant Kumar and thoughtfully penned by Gulzar, the film has many hauntingly melodious tracks such as “Tum Pukar Lo…Tumhara Intezaar Hai”, “Woh Shaam Kuch Ajeeb Thi”, “Humne Dekhi Hai In Aankhon Ki Mehekti Khushboo” and more. Along with a soothing background score, another gem in its great execution is the Black & White Cinematography by Kamal Bose, who simply transforms many of its lovable scenes into sheer poetry, also winning the Filmfare Award for his spending work deservingly.
Yes, if looked upon from the medical profession point of view, the film does make you raise some valid questions on the irresponsible technique opted by the Colonel using her innocent nurse, neglecting her own emotional status completely. But despite this justified objection, KHAMOSHI still needs to be seen and cherished by every lover of Hindi Cinema unconditionally as such films get rarely made and they also remain the strong representative of the fact that why the people living in our part of the world are known to be highly emotional ones thinking from the heart.
(Note : As its hidden masterstroke, just notice the way director Asit Sen, uses Dharmender so subtly and softly without bringing him into the limelight, taking the focus away.)
Directed By Asit Sen
Starring : Rajesh Khanna, Waheeda Rehman, Nasir Hussain, Devan Verma, Lalita Pawar, Dharmender (Sp. Apperance) and more.
Music : Hemant Kumar Story : Ashutosh Mukherjee
Dialogues & Lyrics : Gulzar
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