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Nothing ‘out of the world’

Nothing ‘out of the world’
What can you possibly expect from a movie that runs with the tag line – ‘Sometimes being Alien is the Only Option’? Nothing much.

And what if that movie comes from a production banner that has dished out flop after flop — each one getting a little more suicide provoking than the former release? Nothing at all.

That is perhaps exactly where Joker scores. The audience enter the hall expecting mindless nonsense that can give some couples some ‘alone’ time, and walk out laughing. Simply because there are bad jokes piled one of top of the other with a consistency that will ultimately draw you in.

Joker is all about a quaint little village that once upon a time housed the largest mental asylum in India. During British rule when the map of India was taking shape, this little village called Paglapur was the last to be charted. Paglapur is all set to get its geographical red mark but tragedy strikes when the cartographer [in a terrible wig] is headed there and learns that the inmates of the asylum have taken over the village. He turns back and Paglapur vanishes off the map and consciousness of the country. Years later, Agastya [Akshay Kumar] is called back to Paglapur by his father and brother [Shreyas Talpade] with the excuse that his father is dying. With girlfriend Diva [Sonakshi Sinha] in tow, the scientist who has spent two unsuccessful years trying to contact aliens, comes to India.

On arriving he soon realises that his father is fine and he was called to save the obscure little village from poverty and lack of resources that plagued them since they officially belonged to no proper state.

Agastya tries reaching out to the political leaders but they are only interested in a possible American investment. In a desperate bid, Agastya comes up with a plan of conjuring up a cop circle to get all eyes on Paglapur. With the crazy obsession with aliens, the crop circle ploy works for the village and complete with absurd alien costumes, the stage is set for ultimate madness. But the twist in this tale is the American scientist, ironically named Simon Goeback, who has been out to get Agastya’s project grant, arrives in India following the alien trail. Duping the media can be easy, but how does the village plan to dupe a scientist? Watch and find out.

What works for Joker is not the aliens, in fact the real alien is sadly comical. And since when did aliens decide to leave gifts? Beats us! Joker is filled with crazy dialogues that follows such a steady tenor that it is unbelievable. The characters are mad with a conviction that is hilarious. Shreyas Talpade speaking in a language that aliens understand [not kidding on this one], a village king who walks around with a metal globe, a kid who believes he is a lantern and a school master [Asrani] who thinks every plane passing overhead is an attack by the Germans. Not slapstick funny, but the characters grow on you.

Sonakshi Sinha should learn to stay out of the scenes that have the likes of Chitrangada in them.

Chitrangada cannot dance, true, but Sonakshi looks like an over-grown kid next to her. Akshay plays a natural self, but as an aside, he was much better in Rowdy Rathore. The story of Joker is good. The idea that the Joker card trumps the game when it chooses side is well thought out. While Paglapur looks like a shady horror film set, we can only wonder if things would have been better if Kunder had executed his plan better.

Worth a watch.
Jhinuk Sen

Jhinuk Sen

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