Director: Raju Murugan
Stars: Guru Somasundaram, Mu Ramasamy, Ramya Pandiyan, Gayathri and others
Joker is a tragic-comedy created by Raju Murugan. Tantalizing with percussion beats made from strong currents of political satire and horrors of reality, it immerses its viewers in an emotionally humanistic and revolutionary distress signals which had previously remained insignificant in mockery.
Mannar Mannan(played by Guru Somasundaram) declares himself as the 14th President of India overnight, to fight against the injustice and incongruity surrounding his village, with the help of his associates Isai(played by Gayathri) and Ponnoonjal(played by Mu Ramasamy). Mannar Mannan embarks on an idealistic journey of informed activism where he protests against hypocrisy, political authoritarianism, negligence and general immorality. He picks up cases and sues individuals on the grounds of conducting harmful acts such as injuring a goat through illegal sand mining activities and the construction of a school which results in the fatal accident of a toddler. Mannar Mannan’s demonstrations are ignored and often mocked and shamed, resulting most likely in his remand into the local judicial custody for causing unwarranted nuisance and raving lunacy. The authority imprisons Mannar Mannan after he exhibits mental imbalance and then, he recalls the incidents of his recent past involving his wife Mallika(played by Ramya Pandiyan), in isolation. A tragic chronicle of an awkward but endearing tale of love, humility and simplicity ultimately doomed because of government mismanagement in a corrupt, free-toilet scheme.
Joker is one of the bravest efforts in all film making. Guru Somasundaram gives an exemplary performance in cooperation with his supporting actors. In a profound ode against political corruption, it touches extremely relevant topics from all film making frontiers of direction, dialogue and music whilst projecting a great reverence and care for village culture and happiness in simplicity. Joker is also extremely thought provoking and disturbing film. If horror cinema is characterized for invoking psychological feelings of horror and disturbance, Joker succeeds so in doing the aforementioned far better than any conventional horror film. Only, Joker does it unconventionally, displaying the raw brutality of the unavailability of basic commodities and the seething corruption of governance. This is a tale as dark as Poe’s Raven, only it does not showcase fantasy. It showcases scenarios of an everyday reality. The biggest demons of the society that is, political debauchery and the negligence of the same by the common folk co-exist mutually, reaping benefits until one falls victim to the nature of the other. Amidst this baffling and nauseating human sphere, exist a few good-Samaritans. But, they are not our noble heroes or an influence or a source of inspiration. They are materials of joke and shame because of their comical indulgence in principles which inspires more hilarity than that of a ventriloquist’s dummy. Principles and ideologies concerning general well being, animal sentimentality and genuine humanity are indeed a clown’s manuscript of dramatic laughter. If noble ideologues are jokers who offer comic relief, we need to rethink our political and societal standards because, nothing is more foolish than to expect an idealistic society while willingly cooperating with falsehood and corruption and also dismissing revolution and passive activism in the pretext of security and comfort. Joker is a very bold and an emotionally exhausting film regarding the immediate concerns of our crumbled, disintegrating and entangling society. However, it is not a wake-up call, for we have reached a time where it is too late for wake-up calls. It is a distress signal which will perhaps remain unheard in obscure darkness.