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"Joggers' Park"



"Joggers' Park" ... love transcends age.

THE SEA is the signature tune for this Mukta Arts venture, the metaphor that describes the ebb and flow of life. Of youth and freshness and the old and the retiring. How exactly it translates into emotions and situations is the question. Younger men falling for older women is now passé - but younger women falling for men in their sixties? Not that uncommon either. The Tamil film ``Apoorva Ragangal" made several years ago by K. Balachander, was bold and unapologetic about love transcending age, caste and all barriers one can think of.

Now in ``Joggers Park" (story Subhash Ghai) this is what is being told. It has an underlying sense of melancholy about it. For starters, the director Anant Balani died a few days before the film was released. Then it is about life after retirement, about being able to find new meaning in the mundane and the routine.

And then of course, there is the matter of the heart — falling in love! Even at 60 plus. A single girl like Jenny (Perizaad Zorabian) who appears to be bold and aggressive, becomes moody when she talks about being single. She loves it — living life on her own terms — which means not doing a regular nine to five job, but several things like modelling, working in a hotel and dancing. Beneath all that bravado is a lonely woman.

Then there is Justice Chatterjee - upright with 40 years of impeccable service. But how he assumes the status of a star, signing autographs and having a fan following, is beside the point. A family man with loving children who think they should help him to keep himself occupied. And that can be done best by going to Joggers Park every day. A park, which is live with all sorts of people running, exercising walking around. Which is what the poor man does - only to find Jenny, exuberant and completely in awe of him.

The honourable judge soon finds that he just cannot be without seeing her. And from the unsocial rather surly man, he transforms into this gregarious, lively person - and all at the Joggers Park begin to see the difference. Jenny is not far from being in love either.

The rest of the narration goes to show the dilemmas, the silent admirer for Jenny in the background, the family honour and the choices they have to make. Victor Banerjee is a mixed bag out here. When he talks about falling in love at a college meet and how that is negative, he seems convincing. But there are times when he looks stony and unmoved.

As for Jenny - she looks the ordinary girl in Bombay trying to make something of her life. Nothing to rave about though.

The others are there - lending presence, nothing more. Visually (Sanjay Nair) the film has a nice feel about it. It alternates between tying to be like the feel good films from Hollywood to our very own Bollywood values.

Especially in the music (Tabun Sutradhar) part which is racy sometimes and very minimal at times. Which is probably why this is definitely for a niche audience. For those who don't mind sitting through the meanderings of a slice of life!

CHITRA MAHESH

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