By Hindustan Times
Joker testifies to the power of the star in Bollywood. It is staggeringly inept. I can't imagine that it was persuasive even as a concept.
Yet it got made, in all likelihood because Akshay Kumar said yes. (Curiously, after making it, he disengaged from the project and didn't do any promotion). Joker has Akshay playing a NASA researcher named Agastya working on a machine that will communicate with aliens. He's struggling to make the one-million-dollar contraption work when he gets news that his father is dying. Agastya comes from a village called Paglapur. The 600-odd residents of Paglapur are eccentric because they are have all descended from the inhabitants of a lunatic asylum. Agastya's father, it turns out, is actually hale and hearty, the story about his dying a ruse to get his son to come home and help the floundering village, which has