Joke’s on You!
Review: The joke is definitely on you, on your intelligence. Titled a fantasy adventure, Shirish Kunder’s Joker is nothing but a bhelpuri of plots from many different films (Swades, Peepli Live, Signs etc.). Bollywood is full of stolen/inspired/lifted stories and plots, but Joker not only makes a mockery of those films it has taken inspiration from, it also makes a complete joke of itself.
Joker follows the story of Agastya (Akshay Kumar), an Indian researcher for NASA on extra-terrestrial activity. On his trip back to his native village Paglapur with his girlfriend Diva (Sonakshi Sinha), he discovers that the village has no electricity, it has water issues and has been completely ignored by the government. Infact, by 3 different state governments. Paglapur apparently does not exist on the map and does not happen to fall under the jurisdiction of any state government.
In order to change the fortune of this small village and its crazy inhabitants, Agastya decides to fake everything from crop circles to home-made aliens to attract media attention to his village. And attract attention it does. This is the part where you wish the director had not taken the brain size of the audience for granted. With all the media (Indian and otherwise) descending on this tiny village, it eventually becomes a mela of media, foreign scientists, military, FBI (Yes, FBI, even they are not spared).
The tamasha doesn’t end there, wait till the climax. It takes an even more brainless turn. Performance-wise, Akshay Kumar pulls off a sincere effort. But even a bankable actor like him cannot save a weak script like that. Sonakshi Sinha needs to find good scripts soon, before she gets type-casted as a masala movie ‘dance drama’ heroine. A meatier role for starters, maybe? It’s also disappointing to see talent like Shreyas Talpade wasted. Anybody remember Iqbal? The movie also could have done with two to three songs edited out. All in all, editor-turned-director Shirish Kunder’s Joker is disappointment to say the least.
Verdict: Weak script, shoddy direction. Even masala movies cannot take their audience for granted.
Director: Shirish Kunder
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Shreyas Talpade, Minissha Lamba
Music: G. V. Prakash Kumar
Length: 1 hr 45 mins