Director: Raju Murugan
Cast: Guru Somasundaram, Mu Ramasamy, Ramya Pandian, Gayathri Krishna
Joker, directed by Raju Murugan, is a sharp commentary on the current state of affairs in this country. Mannar Mannan (Guru Somasundaram)is an ordinary, rural type of guy without much of a name or influence to boot. One day, he simply decides that from now on, he is the president of the country. Mannar goes about his days as though this was indeed true and begins using his newfound powers to fight injustices in society.
He’s not alone in this task though: with fellow accomplices Potti Case Ponnoonjal (Mu Ramasamy) and Isai (Gayathri Krishna), Mannar goes about challenging every aspect of his village that is unfair or doesn’t seem right. Although the locals hardly take him seriously and brush him aside, there’s a hitch in the proceedings: Isai acts as his secretary and uploads nearly every move of his on social media, garnering huge reactions from various online platforms. What is it that had triggered Mannar to take up this mantle in the first place? You got to watch the rest to find out.
Joker has plenty of side-content and backstory to keep you constantly engaged. First there’s the realization of Mannar actually becoming president through his efforts. Then we’re given flashbacks of his life before where he woos a neighboring village girl, Mallika (Ramya Pandian), who agrees to marry him on the condition that he build a toilet in his house. While all this goes on, the real president is slated to visit the village, making things all the more interesting. But a cruel incident takes place due to our faulty system which leaves Mallika struggling for her life and she slips into coma. Thus Mannar is mentally disturbed.
Joker is predominantly a satire on the current political climate and Raju Murugan has portrayed this in a slick manner. The dialogues can come across as bit too instructive and lecturing, but everything else has been largely toned down in comparison to his previous film, Cuckoo. Furthermore, nearly all aspects of the film: the cast – small or big, Sean Roldan’s excellent songs and score, and the camerawork of Chezhian have been utilized to enhance the impact of the scenes. Guru Somasundaram has given an award winning performance.
Ramasamy is equally impressive. Both actresses involved in this film are genuine and intuitive. Clocking at just above 2 hours, Joker lives up to its name: that in a digital age ruled by social media, protestors who oppose injustices are no longer seen as cringe-worthy buffoons. That though, a few decades ago, would have been nearly inconceivable. A film not to be missed!...