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Joker (2012)

2.6
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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 ... See full summary »

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Title: Joker (2012)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Priya Ahuja ...
Female Reporter 6
Asrani
Neelam Bhagchandani ...
Female Reporter 4
Madhavi Desphange ...
Female Reporter 3
Avtar Gill
Gurpreet Guggi ...
Cameraman
...
CEO Mr. Smith of SpaceLabs
Vrajesh Hirjee
Javed Jaffrey
Bikramjeet Kanwarpal
Farah Khan
...
Rajkumar / Agastya
Minissha Lamba
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Storyline

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 mêlée 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 colorful 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 ... Written by Production

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes BEING ALIEN is the only option!

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 August 2012 (India)  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$105,865 (USA) (31 August 2012)

Gross:

$127,954 (USA) (31 August 2012)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was intended to be the first Hindi language 3D film starring a major name before Ra.One (2011) and Don 2 (2011), both starring Shah Rukh Khan, were slated for post-conversion. Due to this and lackluster reception to stereoscopic films in India, 3D plans were scrapped entirely. See more »

Goofs

Since Agatsya is working in US but born in India, it can be assumed that he has (had) Indian passport. This implies that Paglapur does exist in some government records, as at some point in time, Agatsya must have been required to submit the proof of his birth/residence. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Joker
31 August 2012 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

The producers, himself included, would love for you to believe otherwise. The signs are there reflecting a troubled production, with the making of the film stretching as far back as 2011, and deciding to abandon its plan of post-converting this to 3D, after the none too stellar outcomes of both RA.One and Don 2. But what's more criminal here, is how Shirish Kunder, in his second film outing as director, failed to capitalize on the fun premise that could have made it a more memorable film, rather than to now market this as for the kids market segment, hoping that the younger demographics would be more forgiving in what it had tried to achieve. Having started on a journey, but making no headway, then pinning it on a misunderstanding from the start, doesn't provide any confidence.

This marks the second time that Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha are paired together in leading roles in as many times, immediately after Rowdy Rathore. While the latter film was a lot of Masala fun, their outing here proved to be somewhat lacklustre. Akshay plays Agastya, a Non Resident Indian living with his stay at home girlfriend in the USA, working on a technology single-handedly that can communicate with the truth out there, but finds himself making no progress. I mean, it's an expensive project, and the dweeb of a trillion dollar company decided to put all its eggs in one basket, and one employee. Sure, he may be a genius, but even geniuses need help. So he's given one month notice to show results, or be shut down.

Some moping later, Sonakshi's Diva picks up a random call from someone from India telling her that Agastya's father is breathing his last breath. It's only 10 minutes into the story, but already the convenience with how things progressed, is showing signs of narrative trouble. Agastya had told Diva he's an orphan, and now some random call from a stranger comes in, claiming to be Agastya's brother (whom we find out only talks gibberish), citing some medical emergency back home, sees her packing up for the both of them, ready for the next flight out to India. Right. I guess Diva's only demonstrating that she's a real Joker alright, only that she's really serious about Agastya making that trip despite his work deadline, to attend to what could have, in any day, been a prank call.

But this is a film, so they do make their way to his village, in fairly comical fashion, and we see that things are still backward. The prologue had shown that lunatics have taken over the village just before Partition, and the maps having drawn such that this village was dropped out from paper existence, but it's still there, and amongst the madness comes Agastya's genius, who had decided to move out and overseas to make a name for himself. He returns, is moved by everyone's sincerity in seeing him back, and some Tarzan swinging antics later, is convinced to stay put, and make his village visible to the outside world again. The plan? To kill multiple birds with one stone, by crying wolf - that aliens have come, his device works, and having the world's attention focused on the village.

It all goes down from there however, as the ludicrous is piled upon by more ludicrous, and the jokes are just plain unfunny. Perhaps the item number Kafirana is just abut the best thing in the film with its energy, and provided for more livelier moments in the movie, but otherwise everything, moving like the expected clockwork of trouble finding its way to Agastya's plan like a spanner in the works, spelt boredom. It was fun to have the loonies dress up as would be aliens using very common household items and crops, but those cute moments dragged out for far too long. And as mentioned earlier that Agastya's brother speaks rubbish, well, actor Shreyas Talpade who plays him, speaks gibberish all through the film, that sounds rather familiar, like the chants heard over UTV's logo introduction, repeated ad nauseam.

Sure it's a kids movie, and one can point out that it shouldn't be taken too seriously, but I reckon kids should probably enrich their time by watching another alien film with more entertainment value, that of Steven Spielberg's ET. That's not to say there aren't some positives from the film though, but they belonged to the more technical aspects. The production sets here are incredibly beautiful and wonderfully designed, which is a pity given that it's adorning a story that finds itself losing steam from the get go, and not exploiting its art direction fully. The CG work used to recreate the aliens and their wares is adequate, not fantastic, but would still barely work to engage children who couldn't care more about the design, but only the presence of something out of this world.

There was bewilderment when the title of the film was announced, until Sonakshi Sinha tweeted that the Joker is found in a deck of cards not belonging to any suite. I guess that's true, that this film, in its current incarnation, doesn't find itself belonging anywhere nor fitting in, trying to be a lot that it isn't, and falling flat. The joke's clearly on us all, the audience, and you'd do yourself a favour by not falling for this joker. I hate to say this, but this goes into the shortlist as the duds the year has experienced so far. It's a real pity that Akshay Kumar had this to show for as his centurion body of work.


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