Review: ‘Joker’ - absurd and avoidable

Bikas Bhagat

Owing to the technical challenges, the concept of weaving a story along aliens and UFOs has always been tricky for Indian filmmakers, but I would like to applaud Shirish Kunder just for the fact that he dared to make a film around extra-terrestrials, even though the success of the venture looks very bleak.

‘Joker’ upped the curiosity level of Indian audience, especially after Bollywood’s exciting and a rather successful brush with ‘Jaadu’ - the most adorable alien we all met in Rakesh Roshan’s ‘Koi Mil Gaya’. But, Kunder’s much ambitious project- ‘Joker’ clearly lacks the ‘wow’ factor which it abundantly promised in the film’s trailer. Entertainment wise, the film really has nothing to offer.

Producer Farah Khan while promoting the film, confidently said that ‘Joker’ would make for a great family viewing at the theatres as elders wouldn’t have to worry about raunchy kisses and scintillating skin show popping every now and then in front of the kids. It is fine for the director to think of making a ‘clean’ movie, but at least there has to be a story to make people sit in the theatre. And I doubt that the kids of today, after being fed with Hollywood flicks like ‘Ice Age’ and ‘Spy Kids’ would buy this Kunder’s fantasy.

What with fascinating and colourful characters, who painted the town red while promoting the film, I had so much expectation from ‘Joker’; but all that has been washed out as the film has come as a big disappointment. The only saving grace is in the form of Akshay Kumar who desperately manages to tether the film’s loose elements into a mediocre fun caper, but even his efforts succumb to the weak plot and utterly mismanaged cast of the film.

The story is very run-of the-mill. Akshay (Augustya), a NASA scientist returns to India to improve the condition of his village named ‘Paglapur’, apparently which has lost its identity from the face of the earth. Now since the administrators have no clue as to under whose jurisdiction Paglapur exist, Augustya’s village is devoid of any basic amenities like bijli and paani leading to the inhabitants going eccentric who incidentally happen to be former fugitives of a mental asylum. To improve the situation, Augustya with the help of the villagers hatches an absurd plan to attract media and the administration’s attention, but somehow the scheme doesn’t work out eventually leading to utter chaos.

Finally, the ‘unimaginable’ (which was very predictable) happens and Paglapur gets the due it long deserved.

In the acting department, besides Akshay, Shreyas Talpade manages to tickle the funny bone with his gibberish talk. Sonakshi, as usual is just there for the ornamental purpose, but what is really unfortunate is the editing of the film which I expected to be top class considering that it is coming from Shirish Kunder, the master editor himself.

Oh! I almost forgot the mention the best thing about ‘Joker’ – undoubtedly the gorgeous Chitrangada Singh, who rocks in ‘Kaafirana’. Wish there was more her in the film.

Watch it for her, if you must.

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