Writer, producer, director, but mainly astrophysicist Shirish Kunder has a new movie out. It is called Joker, and, most likely it has been silently funded by NASA.
As you might have cursorily observed from your nerdy friend’s Facebook post, Mars has been in the news lately. NASA recently shunted a fact-finding rover (i.e. a camera tripod on wheels) to the padose-wala planet. The idea is to figure out if life can/did exist in a hostile environment such as Mars where there is no water, no breathable air, and no hospitable terrain. It remains unclear as to why NASA needed to invest billions to go that far when they could have easily flown a couple of scientists to Gurgaon (or any other big Indian city) to obtain answers to their questions. Yes, life can exist under the conditions described above. In fact, I can see it flourishing right outside my window at this moment.
Anyhow, despite causing worldwide swooning and making physicists surge to the top-spot in all matrimonial eligible-bachelor lists, Shirish Kunder and NASA realized that such scientific antics still caused zero interest among Indians. We would rather spend our time watching Baba Ramdev’s Live Arrest on TV, or Ekta Kapoor’s new serial called ‘Woh Mere Saajan Aur Mein Unki Hawai Chappal’, or even Bol Bachchan, Rowdy Rathore and Once Upon An Ageing Tiger. Not to be deterred, the bright scientists figured that the only way to drum up interest in Martian antics among the population in this subcontinent was by making the first-ever scientific-Bollywood film. That, ladies and gentlemen, has resulted in the creation of a new vision for Bollywood, called Bollyvigyan, and its first offering – Joker.
The storyline is out of this world, quite literally. This is a story of two Martian empires and their battle for supremacy and universe-dominatio. One race believes in basic values of goodness and decency. This race is protected by the ability of its constituents to amplify their speed and reflexes to Krrish-like levels – a characteristic known as The Force.
The other race is just pure evil – they believe in corruption, black money, abuse of power etc., i.e. The Dark Side. These warring races bring their battles to Earth (also referred to as The Death Star by Al Gore, who makes a cameo appearance), specifically, to some prime real estate in India, presumably Gujarat or Greater Noida.
There, they make crop circles, dance to elaborately choreographed item songs and tell terrible jokes in their quest to crush the other side into defeat. In the end, without giving any more of this delightfully original story away, one of the two sides loses.
The film trailer seemed filled with subterfuge so the story might not exactly be the way I have described it above.
With regards to, let’s just call it acting credits, poor Akshay Kumar is like that whack-a-mole that keeps getting pounded by critics and audience alike, and yet pops back up every couple of weeks with a new blockbuster. If there was an Oscar for Resilience, surely there couldn’t be a more deserving winner than him? In this one, he is joined by Sonakshi Sinha and other Martian characters, giving the film an authentic sci-fi demeanour. The lead pair seemed to be enjoying the film making experience as much as you and I might enjoy a healthy cup of Brooke Bond Red Label tea.
The music in the film is by some unknowns (i.e. someone who is not A.R. Rehman, Pritam and Anu Malik) and the background score is by Shirish Kunder himself. And the lyrics are by Shirish Kunder, too. This mother lode of talent has resulted in songs like “I want fakht you”, and parents all around the country are eagerly waiting to train their kids to perform this number at birthday parties and the forthcoming Diwali celebrations in their colonies. As you will agree, it is simply too cute to see small kids stumble on big words like fucked etc.
In closing, Joker makes a case for compelling viewing – a scientific film made by a creative mind of astronomical proportions that is not only going to set the box office a-jingle, but also make you toss that vile ’50 Shades Of Grey’ and rummage your attic for your old school and college physics text books instead. And I expect many of us to change our Facebook status to “Move over Steve Jobs. I’d much rather be Shirish Kunder’s Joker” when we leave the movie theatre with happy smiles.
My fellow compatriots, if we miss this opportunity at getting inspired for greatness, the Joke will be on us.
The Joker spaceship arrives at a movie theatre near you on August 31st, 2012. Be there or be square.