The 64th National film awards announced Joker as the Best Feature Film (Tamil) recently. I took to Twitter to ask my followers if the movie is worth a watch. I got a unanimous yes for an answer. The movie thankfully was available on Amazon Prime video, and so I began to watch the movie, 8 months after its release in August 2016.
It’s a hard hitting Tamil political satire movie, which poses some tough questions to the way we treat our regional and national issues. The first half though mostly filled with humour, makes one take a step back and ponder about the current state of affairs in our country. Director Raju Murugan has taken humour as a tool to subtly send across strong messages on a number of issues, which include illegal sand mining, safety of schools for children, basic toilet facilities and the likes.
The way the Protagonist and his associates are seen as Jokers by the society even though they spend their time and lives for the cause of the people is the underlying irony of the movie. Somasundaram as the Lead character shines as the Joker in Present and a poor guy vicitmized by the system in the Past. Certain scenes from the flashback are tear jerkers.
Somasundaram seems to be a versatile actor and I won’t be surprised if he gets called for roles in Mani Ratnam, Bala movies in the future.
Such small scale films with a strong story and message need to be encouraged by us as audience. Kudos to the Director. And thanks to the National Awards jury for selecting this movie as the Best Feature film (2016).