Director: Shirish Kunder
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi SInha, Shreyas Talpade, Minissha Lamba
The film’s tag reads: An out-of-the-world-family-entertainer. Perhaps it would be best left there, far out of your world too! The film pushes the limit when it comes to expecting a ‘suspension of logic’ even in the hardened of film buffs.
The only redeeming factor is the length of the film. At one and a half hour, it makes for that perfect opportunity to catch a power nap, take a loo-break and perhaps it will be the only time when you won’t mind standing in long queues for your ration of pop-corn too. The actors here are guilty not of bad performances — they seem to have delivered their goods —but for agreeing to join in the madness of Paglapur. There were rumours of Akshay distancing himself from the promotions and marketing of the film. One look at the film and the answer is evident, why.
Agastya (Akshay) is shown to be some sort of scientist working abroad, who is trying to build an instrument to communicate with the aliens. A few knobs turned here and there, he works on his machine as if trying to contact aliens is as simple as trying to set the right FM frequency on a radio. Further still, he is not working in some high-class lab, but in one of his rooms at home. When he fails to make the contact with outer space beings, the people funding his project tell him that he has one month to make it work or they will pass the project to his rival Simon (Alex). In the meanwhile, he gets a call from India saying that he needs to return home as his father is unwell. He heads to his native village Paglapur with girlfriend Sonakshi. (Once again her character’s name just simply doesn’t matter). So they come to Paglapur where a dozen or so villagers with their eccentricities prove that they are the rightful heirs to the place which was once home to a lunatic asylum. So, the villagers cut the same branch that they are sitting on, one of them believes he is a king, one roams about in a thigh-high mini-dress, a teacher translates everything in English literally and believes that the Germans are attacking each time a plane flies over, while Babban (Shreyas) talks in a language that only he understands.
The place is apparently not part of any state, and that’s why finds itself lacking basic amenities like water and electricity. On reaching Agastya discovers that his father is actually hale and hearty and he has been called to help the village. When all attempts fail, Agastya comes up with an elaborate hoax to ‘put his village on the map’.
So crop circles and aliens are made to appear. Media arrives, and one of them seems surprised on learning that an Indian village has no electricity, ya right!? Politicians arrive, and so does a team of scientists which is quick to declare that the crop circles are authentic, while in the White House, aliens are automatically declared a threat and the FBI is sent to put them down. Simon reaches there as well and tries to blow Agastya’s cover.
Where does the title Joker fit in all of this? Well, Kunder has especially written two dialogues only to justify that. Punctuated by unrequired songs, the film goes on from being silly to bizarre to ridiculous, all in a rather short span of time. Focussing on the village bumpkins of Paglapur, the director seems to have forgotten that the audience is not from Paglapur. Simply put: Watch at your own risk!