Joker – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on August 31, 2012 | 1 Comment
PRODUCER – Akshay Kumar, Shirish Kunder, Farah Khan
DIRECTOR –Shirish Kunder
WRITER – Shirish Kunder
CAST – Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Shreyas Talpade, Minissha Lamba
MUSIC – G. V. Prakash Kumar
We just had Salman un-Salman himself in Ek Tha Tiger and now we have Akshay un-Akshay himself in Shirish Kunder’s Joker. And that remains the only good thing to be said about this curiously ridiculous film.
Agastya (Akshay Kumar), a scientist from US comes back to his village Paglapur with his wife Tina (Sonakshi Sinha) to find it reduced to poverty and infested with lunatics that escaped the village mental asylum during Partition. The village does not figure on the map of India and as Agastya knocks ministers’ doors, he experiences first-hand the state of Indian politics. No one is willing to come forward to pull the village out of its drudgery. To attract attention to its problems, Agastya fakes a UFO landing and follows it up with some fake aliens too. Paglapur is swamped with not only national but also international attention and soon has the ministers fighting to include it in their jurisdiction the same ones who had called it a Joker – the card that’s never really a part of the pack. Yet, Jokers have value in circuses and Paglapur becomes a circus, entertaining media and ministers but how long will the charade last? And when it ends what?
Created for breadcrumb entertainment, the film does not let this question hang in the air for long. Agastya and his motley gang pull tricks out of their bags without much fuss, like the pumpkins they use to make their fake alien helmets and the drama simply refuses to unfold with punch. The film, begins with a cutesy value, with each of the crazy characters of the village holding their performances in check (thankfully) and gives glimpses of imagination that soon fade away as the film races to its tacky end. The humour is silly but cute and at times even ticklish but like everything else simply doesn’t hold enough.
It is a rather kiddy-oriented film, not too dumbed down for children nor too obtuse for their sensibilities but it is not this that lets it down. There is colour and graphics galore (fire-fly lanterns and magical-looking forests are nice to watch!) but the attendant low-on-intelligence, research or logic approach that generally afflicts everything Bollywood, afflicts Joker too. This, in an environment where the leads do a good enough job to be part of the story and try hard to stand out, seems simply disappointing. What holds them (and us) in place is the story and the story is too bizarrely flaky. Akshay Kumar plays his stoic part with a sobriety we had forgotten he could display and Sonakshi Sinha blends in yet stands out with ease, natural and un-self-conscious, two words she is slowly becoming synonymous to. The film has some serious comic talents like Sanjay Mishra, Vrajesh Hirjee and Shreyas Talpade but tying them up in useless parts and using them minimally does no good to the film. Minissha Lamba as the naïve and helpless reporter and all the cutesy she can muster does nothing to elevate her role or the film beyond a shaky, undefined one-line.
In this scenario, the title ends up being a far more smarter thought than the entire package.