Joker review - Mister Madras

After the critically acclaimed Cuckoo, Raju Murugan is back with a realistic take on the current state of affairs of our society in the form of Joker. Dream Warrior Pictures has bankrolled this project that stars Guru Somasundaram, who won our hearts with his performance in Aaranya Kaandam, Pandiya Naadu and Jigarthanda. The rest of the cast includes Ramya Pandian, Gayathri Krishna and others who look  fresh to Tamil cinema.

Guru and co carry out several comical and ludicrous protests in an aim to stand up for social issues which in turn gives a hard time for the government employees and cops. Even without the support of others and with only a strong belief towards the judiciary system, the odd group do their best in sorting out the sad state of affairs. But they’re only looked as ‘jokers’ and rarely are their actions rewarded.

The backstory reveals the reason for why Guru loses his day job and sacrifices himself to the service of common folks. But will a single man’s protest mean anything and would it create a ripple in a system that’s battered beyond recognition? And will Guru’s plea for justice, that haunts his personal life be delivered? The answers to these questions form the story of Joker.

Joker is a film that intentionally tries to not get tagged under a particular genre. There is an ample amount of satirical take on issues which are hard hitting at the same time without being preachy. On the other hand, emotional scenes are captured realistically without succumbing to melodrama. Citing the film’s dialogues as the first hero would be an understatement and the quirky one liners provokes laughter along with a pinch of sourness, courtesy, the issues our society faces today.

While the first half has a number of moments that would make us clap without realizing, because of the whimsical scenes, the story shows that it can also become serious thanks to a hard hitting second half. Raju Murugan has touched a number of issues by casually scratching its surface rather than dwelling deep into it and thereby making it a documentary. His razor sharp dialogues are the biggest pillar of support for the story following the talented cast and crew. The fact that real life incidents and characters, which reminds us of real life personalities, only makes the film even livelier and therefore entertaining.

Guru Somasundaram as Mannar Mannan steals the show with his excellent portrayal of a man who would go to any lengths to stand for what’s right. He maintains a perfect balance with his emotions on one hand and playful antics on the other. There is abundant scope for his character to adopt overacting but he proves his mettle by carrying out the role in a calm and composed manner. Ramya Pandian and Gayathri Krishna have done justice to their roles and Mu. Ramasamy’s scene in the climax is prodigious.

Music director Sean Roldan has well understood the script and has churned out the tracks aptly. The background music gels well with the scenes and sets the mood.

Overall, Joker is a well knitted story that gets the point across in the most entertaining way possible.

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