India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Joker: The joke is on you


Akshay Kumar, wearing an outrageous hat, is dancing with a long-haired, ash-smeared, nearly naked holy man perched on his shoulders. At times, Kumar pats the man’s stomach even as the “baba” waves a “We Love Aliens” placard. No one will blame you if you ask — What exactly is going on here?

But hold your breath, for such moments will be too many to count and by the time you see an alien dancing to an item number, your brain will be numb and nothing in life will make sense except the neon EXIT sign that will seem like the light at the end of the tunnel.

“Joker” has Akshay Kumar playing Agastya, a scientist working for NASA who returns to his native village when he learns that his father is unwell. We are told Paglapur is missing from the map of India because the British officer who was supposed to survey it ran away on learning that escaped mental patients had taken over the village (yes, really).

Since then, Paglapur has been untraceable and has no electricity, no water or basic healthcare, but wait a minute, it does have a super-fast internet connection that allows the characters to watch live news, without buffering, on a shiny new Macbook Pro. In such situations, you have to look at the brighter side of life.