Actress: Chitrangada Singh, Farah Khan, Minissha Lamba, Sonakshi Sinha
Release Date: 31st August, 2012
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Jaaved Jaaferi, Shreyas Talpade, Minissha Lamba, Arya Babbar, Vindu Dara Singh, Asrani, Sanjay Mishra, Chitrangda Singh, Vrajesh Hirjee, Pitobash Tripathy, Gurpreet Guggi, Farah Khan, Darshan Jariwala, Anjan Srivastava, Avtar Gill, Bikramjeet Kanwarpal, Chitrangada Singh
Writer/Director: Shirish Kunder
Producer/s: Farah Khan, Akshay Kumar, Shirish Kunder
Soundtrack: The music of the film is composed by debut musician, G. V. Prakash Kumar, nephew of music maestro, A. R. Rahman.
Plot: In 1947 when the maps of India and Pakistan were being drawn, an oversight ensured that the village of Paglapur didn’t find a place in either country. The village had the distinction of housing the largest mental asylum in the region and in the melee that ensued during partition, the asylum inmates broke loose, drove away the villagers and established their own republic in Paglapur. And that’s how it stayed for the next 60 years! While the world outside changed, Paglapur remained isolated, with no electricity, television or sanity!
Now, decades after the world forgot this village, a NASA scientist of Indian origin, Agastya and his beautiful wife find themselves on the road to Paglapur. Agastya is working on a top secret project for creating a device to communicate with aliens. So why is he in a village whose colourful inhabitants include a man who speaks in gibberish, another who thinks he is a lamp post and everyone else who think Mahatma Gandhi is still around, fighting for independence? And more importantly, what are they going to do that will soon turn the universe’s spotlight on this forgotten village? Joker – India’s first extra-terrestrial comedy – coming on August 31st, 2012 to a theatre near you
Joker Movie Review Rating: 5/5 Stars (Five stars!)
Star Cast: All Hail Joaquin Phoenix! Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, Zazie Beetz
Director: Todd Phillips
What’s Good: Exploring the unexplored areas of how high a movie can touch when it comes to emotional connect, a character-defining performance by Joaquin Phoenix & a BGM that will haunt you for life
What’s Bad: It’s only a few times I’ll be able to witness this in a cinema hall
Loo Break: Only if you can even blink your eye from what’s happening on the screen
Watch or Not?: This is not a ‘superhero’ movie, this depicts the reality in the realist way possible. So keep your expectations accordingly!
Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) lives in a stinking 80s of Gotham when the streets are full of garbage due to the strike by the workers. A statewide emergency gets declared and people strive for the jobs. Arthur is fondly called as ‘Happy’ by his mother who is waiting for Thomas Wayne, a candidate running for the Mayor of Gotham, to make it a better place to live in. Arthur wants to become a comedian but eventually becomes Joker instead.
He wants to be a standup comedian but gets neglected by society for certain reasons. He works as a ‘party clown’ and gets fired for keeping the gun as a prop. Amidst the unjust society, Arthur aka Happy lives with his mother Penny Fleck (Frances Conroy) and they both love to watch the comedy show ‘Live With Murray Franklin’ (Robert De Niro). The movie shows an aching transformation of an ordinary person to the ‘Clown Prince Of Gotham’.
Joker Movie Review: Script Analysis
It’s 3 am while I file this review and I can still hear that hysterical laughter of Joaquin Phoenix. I was shocked by the Indian censor board not cutting anything until I saw the film. It’s disturbing at a mental level and not a physical one. There’s no scope of editing anything out because of the flawless writing and screenplay by Todd Phillips and Scott Silver. To those, who will compare this to Heath Ledger – please understand, both the Jokers are poles apart. Phoenix’s Joker starts off with the ordinary issues such as getting fired from the job, cutting off money from his paycheck, not being able to get to this father, but it’s the society that turns him into a Joker.
Much like Tim Burton & Jack Nicholson’s Joker, Phoenix’s antagonist tries to put on a happy face until he’s pulled out of himself and exposed to the dark world out there. The idea of giving Joker a medical condition of Pathological Laughter is a masterstroke and works in favour of the story. The symbolism of Joker, the message of being joker as a ‘state of mind’ translates smoothly through the process of chaos in the film. It ‘glorifies’ violence with the aim of ‘stopping’ it. Without nitpicking a thing, this is ‘once in a lifetime movie’ and I’m glad I was able to witness this masterpiece on screen.
“Do you want to know why Todd used Taxi Driver’s theme to build Joker’s aura? Because everything is too quick nowadays. You can’t savor all the… little emotions…”
Joker Movie Review: Star Performance
If Joaquin Phoenix isn’t getting an Oscar for his performance in this film, I’m abandoning to watch Academy Awards for the rest of my life. There are good performances, there are excellent performances, then there comes a performance which makes you live within that character. Phoenix masters the sequence of laughing maniacally, turning it into an eventual sobbing.
That squeak while laughing & maintaining a happy face but sad eyes, Phoenix blows everything away with his act. Losing around 25 kilograms for the role, his rib-cage is visible in scenes he contracts himself & there’s the limit one can get into a character. The sudden eruption to dance, detailed control over the tonality and most importantly nailing the ‘Joker Walk’, Phoenix has gifted us a different and solid perspective of a character we’ve seen multiple times on screen.
Tactfully used Robert De Niro plays a vital part in the narrative unlike a very ‘basic’ Pacino’s outing in the recent Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. De Niro, though have less screen-space, comes in and handles some of the very important moments of the film. Frances Conroy as Arthur’s mother is used beautifully to build a more humane connect to the Joker. Conroy does a wonderful job in playing the role of a bedridden woman holding some secrets under the sleeves.
Zazie Beetz as Arthur’s love interest enjoys her quirks while they last. A perfectly written and brilliantly performed character, and thankfully not stretched more than it should’ve been.
Joker Box Office Review: Star Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy
Director: Todd Phillips
Producers: Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper, Emma Tillinger Koskoff
Joker Box Office Review: Expectations
Heath Ledger immortalised the character of Joker in Christopher Nolan’s superhero film The Dark Knight back in 2008. He played the negative character with so much conviction that people consider it one of the best performances ever. Even the film has got a cult status among the audience.
Now Todd Phillips brings back the Joker and gets Joaquin Phoenix to play the role and give it a new dimension. The trailers promised a spectacular film and performance after The Dark Knight and the audience finally expected an act on par with the one of Heath Ledger.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) which was a sequel to 2008 film earned 33 crores at Indian Box Office. This one comes 7 years later and at a time when the Hollywood market in India has improved by leaps and bounds. The expectations were good from the film but it has clashed with two big Indian releases War & Sye Raa.. and hence has got a very small release. So, Joker might have been carrying good potential at Indian Box Office but it has been cut short by the release schedule.
Joker Box Office Review: Impact
Joker is extremely disturbing, depressing & dark something which the audience already expects from it. The film totally rides on the story of a villainous character and the circumstances which changed him to be like that. The screenplay sucks you into the dark and brutal world of Joker in no time and as the movie progresses you have no option but admire the writers for their brutal but honest screenplay.
There are several scenes that will make you anxious or feel a bit unstable and that’s the beauty of the film. Joaquin Phoenix’s sheer hard work and dedication is visible as he plays the psychic character. His whole character arc is worth all the praise and his laughter will stay with you for a long time.
Overall, Joker delivers what it promised and that’s a big plus for the film.
Joker Box Office Review: Prospects
The film has been released on a very less number of screens – 500 approx. The capacity is less so it won’t be able to do very good business at the Box Office. Joker is likely to have an opening in 4-5 crores range and from here it will sustain well at the Box Office and can do lifetime biz of around 50 crores.
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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.
User Rating :
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