Rating: 2 stars (Two stars)
Star cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Shreyas Talpade, Minissha Lamba, Vindu Dara Singh, Asrani, Chitrangda Singh (item song), Darshan Jariwala.
What’s Good: The direction; the music; the cinematography; some puns.
What’s Bad: The predictable storyline.
Loo Break: None.
Watch or Not?: It’s a timepass watch but not really engrossing.
As bland as the title of the film may sound, Joker does not disappoint.
In a bit of an out-of-world way, the small village of Pagalpur is overlooked when India’s map is being charted during independence. After the inmates of the mental asylum in the village break loose, all the other inhabitants flee the place.
Surrounded by his crackling machines, Agastya (Akshay Kumar) is a scientist in the US searching for signs of life beyond the earth. When he has nothing more than static to show his research sponsors, Agastya has a month to hope that ET or his brethren show him proof of their existence. When he finds out that his father is seriously ill, he abandons his work and goes back to Paglapur with this girlfriend Diva (Sonakshi Sinha).
The current inhabitants of Paglapur make one hell of a fruit basket. There’s Agastya’s brother (Shreyas Talpade) who speaks only in a strange tongue, his cross-eyed father (Darshan Jariwala), a loud friend (Vindu Dara Singh), a teacher (Asrani) who thinks that WW2 is still on and many others. Agastya finds out that his father was faking illness but decides to stay back and help the villagers out of their misery. Since Paglapur is not on the map of India, they don’t belong to any state, have no electricity, roads or water supply. Since the tiny crackpot village has nothing to offer, even the ministers Agastya approaches for help pass the buck to the next state.
At last Agastya comes up with a plan: to create crop circles in Paglapur and sell it to the media and the world as alien doing. Soon his plan brings reporters and scientists in hordes to the village and things are starting to look up with lots of song and dance. But Agastya’s competitor Simon Goeback (get it?) (Alexx ONell) puts a spanner in the works when he arrives in Paglapur and calls the whole thing a hoax.
This other-worldly mess plays out in the rest of the movie.
Joker Review: Script Analysis
Shirish Kunder’s premise for Joker is too simplistic. Obviously, logic takes a backseat but it’s the predictability that is the real downer. The dialogues are alright. Some of the puns like Simon Goeback, the tongue-in-cheek timing of the Ayega song etc. are well written. The reason behind the title of the film Joker is well thought of.
Why Agastya decides to stay back is not convincingly done. While scientists from all over the world ascertain the crop circles have an alien hand, how does Simon blow their lid in less than 5 seconds? Why do the armed forces stand at the perimeter of the forest where the aliens appear instead of hiding inside the forest? And why the heck did they open fire on them? Looks like Jadoo took all the logic away in his spaceship.
Joker Review: Star Performances
Akshay Kumar does a good job but nothing extraordinary as Agastya. Sonakshi Sinha mostly clings on to Akki’s arm as his girlfriend Diva. Shreyas Talpade is very good as the brother and manages to convey all his emotions with just a handful of gibberish words that he has to mouth throughout the movie. Vindu Dara Singh’s act is annoying. Thankfully Minissha Lamba gets very little time for hamming as a press reporter. Darshan Jariwala and Asrani are good as Agastya’s father and nut job of a teacher respectively.
Joker Review: Direction, Editing & Music
There’s not much that director Shirish Kunder could do to the script, but he does a good job. His editing is alright. Gaurav Dagaonkar and G. V. Prakash Kumar’s songs are enjoyable. Shirish’s background score goes well with the scenes. Sudeep Chatterjee and Anay Goswami’s cinematography is very nice. The colours keep the movie quite cheerful. Visual effects are well done.
Joker Review: The Last Word
Joker is an amusing but predictable fare. Nothing out-of-this-world.
Joker movie releases on 31st August, 2012