'Joker' is a film that has been designed for the kids which means one can't be expected to sit down and hunt for much logic in the proceedings.
A fair entertainer that does lead to some good laughs if you have a taste for some quirky humour, 'Joker' does have some lose moments in the middle of the second half but that can still be ignored in the overall scheme of things where you do stay on to be engaged.
Though it doesn't quite fetch a 'must watch' tag for itself, it won't really make you look the other way either while it is played.
There is no doubt that the film has a quirky touch to it. A bunch of villagers being led by their only 'pada likha ladka' [Akshay Kumar] first execute a plan around crop circles and then bring on an indigenous set of aliens, hence inviting attention from Government and powers-to-be so as to lend their village Paglapur a name.
The fact that these villagers are mad only gives Shirish Kunder an added incentive of going all out in bringing a different kind of humour to the proceedings.
This leads to varied characters who, unlike behaving like quintessential 'paagal' in Bollywood parlance, are as normal as they can, though in their own territory. This means that whether it is Asrani (village headmaster), Vindoo Dara Singh (Mr. Muscle Man), Vrijesh Hirjee ('darbaan'), Sanjay Mishra (the King) or the kid (who considers himself as a lamp a la 'Happydent') - each of them has his own trait which does manage to bring a smile and even some good laughs intermittently.
Though it is never explained why the village comprises only of men with no women around, you still go on with the narrative.
Resultantly, the first half actually passes by like a breeze and even though one wonders if aliens, the USP of the film, would ever arrive, you don't mind the delay as a definite story is being told.
The interval point is good too and the momentum continues at the beginning of the second half. The character which actually makes the biggest contribution in enticing laughs is Shreyas Talpade whose gibberish does manage to amuse you every time he opens his mouth.
However what doesn't really work to the great extent is the entire episode involving aliens. In fact these are the 15-20 minutes in the middle of the second half when the film threatens to go haywire.
Villagers turning into aliens, Akshay's rival scientist being held captive, armed forces arriving at the scene and firing away into nothingness, CIA and FBI sending their representatives, aliens trying to 'entertain' media - somehow laughs go missing in this part of the film.
Thankfully the film ends on a note different, what with Shreyas' gibberish doing the trick. Arrival of Golkot, the real alien, changes the graph of the narrative and manages to bring it upwards to some extent.
Even though one is left wondering about the culmination of Akshay's endeavour to touch base with the aliens, the very fact that 'Joker' ends on apositive note is a good enough reason to feel reasonably entertained.
As for actors, while Sonakshi Sinha is decent and shows a different side of hers in some comic moments, Asrani fetches some good laughs as well. Sanjay Mishra is fine too though surprisingly Minissha Lamba has the least screen time and even lesser dialogues to mouth.
Music does well in the film's context while background score enhances the narrative. Action scenes are lukewarm though and leave a lot to be desired.
The expectation factor - This is the key driver behind the 100 minutes that follow for 'Joker'. In a way it works in favour of the film because bare minimum expectations result in grabbing whatever good that 'Joker' has to offer.
In all fairness to 'Joker' though, the eventual product does manage to entertain to a decent extent even if one forgets all about the initial expectations part.