One flew over the ‘Paglapur’ nest. This is a batty movie, so cuckoo that you can actually watch it just to see how wacko it gets. It’s about an Indian ‘scientist’ at Nasa who has developed an advanced communication system to get in touch with aliens. But the little green men are not biting and so Agastya (Akshay Kumar) is given one month to get his interstellar phone working. After that, his funding will be withdrawn and the project handed over to his American rival, Simon (Alexx ONell).
To add to his woes, Agastya gets a message saying that his father in Paglapur, India, is ill. So he returns with his girlfriend, Diva (Sonakshi Sinha), to this town in the middle of nowhere, completely fictional for India’s cartographers.
This section of the film, where Agastya desperately tries to locate his hometown on the map, so that basic utilities like electricity and water can be delivered to it, is one part of the movie that touches base. Every time he visits a politician to initiate development projects for Paglapur, he is asked how many crores he, as an NRI, can raise for a bottled mineral water plant. In utter frustration, Agastya gets the daft idea of drawing media focus to Paglapur with a hoax on his pet obsession, a visit by aliens.
This is about mid-way through the movie, and this con job turns Joker into a joke. The problem is that director Shirish Kunder has done no homework on making the UFO idea cinematic. He recycles the usual garbage about ‘crop circles’ and ‘ET phone home’ messages and turns his film into something so infantile that it could be laughed out of a movie theatre. Chitrangda Singh, the real diva of Joker, sparkles in her item song Kafirana, and ONell is animated as the Yankee Doodle party pooper. It is a silly movie, true, but it is non-toxic and doesn’t offend.