Directed by Shirish Kunder
Rating: One crop circle
If we don’t have any extraterrestrials ever bothering to visit us, we know who to blame now. Shirish Kunder’s ‘Joker’ can be watched on TV sets with small picture tubes but not by those with a narrow imagination. After all, films featuring aliens enjoy unlimited creative liberty to design beings who defy form and feature for one simple reason: no one knows how they look. But regrettably, ‘Joker’ uses this great power with great irresponsibility and provides us with actors in pumpkin suits who put up a minimum wage performance. And while an orderly mind will be weak to comprehend the true meaning of ‘Kaala Ghoosh Goot Goot’ (a character’s trademark dialogue in the film), we can only guess that it is a warning to exit the movie screen as soon as possible unless you want your brains scooped out of your ears. Unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury, so we brave this audio-visual slaughter to bring you this review.
Welcome to Paglapur, a village so damned that none of the three states that surround it want to call it their own. As the name literally suggests, the inhabitants of this place include rejects of society who have all escaped from a mental institution during the colonial times and figured out a way to be self-sustainable. And while you might want to congratulate the cock-eyed Mukhiya (Darshan Jariwala) for his entrepreneurial spirit, he is, like everyone else in Paglapur, a carefree imbecile. Fortunately for them, the Mukhiya’s son Agasthya (Akshay Kumar) happens to be a NASA scientist who is called home to address Paglapur’s pressing water situation. So Agasthya (being a scientist and all) along with his girlfriend Diva (Sonakshi Sinha) comes up with an ingenious plan: dress up some of the locals in veggies, fruits and Diwali bulbs to attract the global media’s attention to alien sightings in their village. Why? Because wearing a skinny green suit with karelas stuck to your arms can’t make you look very human, no? If you really want to know whether they get by convincingly, the answer is yes, but only as much as a bearded Irishman cross-dressing for a Halloween party would.
While originality is frowned upon in Bollywood, ‘Joker’ earns the credit for being the first hindi alien comedy. But the intermediate level of VFX and the pre-school humour only ensure that it loses even without competition. And what is most disgraceful is that Director Shirish Kunder bragged about pulling editing resources from London and New York to work on this film and to make his lovely visitors from outer space a little more camera-friendly. But what we see on the screen could only be better if it were on the radio. At least our imagination could’ve brushed up a ‘Jaadoo’ who didn’t pack in Chitrangada’s thumkas.
While Akshay Kumar cannot be blamed for his performance, he can surely be accused for picking this film over the hundred others which were vying for his attention and time. But Kumar knows that his opportunity lost is nobody’s gain as the Priyadarshans of the world would delay their productions instead of making do with an Aftab Shivdasani (or equivalent). Sonakshi looks and acts just like she has in every other film that you’ve seen her in before and is a mere prop here. The rest of the cast seems to be briefed to do whatever they want and be whoever they want to be as that is the definition of being a ‘pagal’?
Kunder is the mastermind behind this 40-crore catastrophe and is solely responsible for this outer-world disaster. Making a film featuring aliens is entirely different from one that is for them and that is the only concern that Kunder overlooked while clowning around behind the camera. None of the songs will make it into any charts and the ‘Jugnu’ number has a creepy resemblance to ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’.
In a recent PETA event (check), a vital question raised was, what if aliens performed tests on humans. After watching this film and feeling like a guinea pig in Shirish Kunder’s lab, we know that it can’t be any worse.
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