A clown, or a Joker as he's popularly called, is a potent theme in literature and films. So rich in emotions, stories, colour and appeal. We can't blame Shirish kunder for the temptation to create his version on celluloid.
Unfortunately, he ends up building a dilapidated structure of absurd notions, some of them blatantly borrowed at that. Worse, the cinemascope joke reduces superstar Akshay Kumar to a joker of sorts who simply goes through the motions of the loose kind from start till end. In sharp contrast, a sidekick like Shreyas (the surname's gone missing in the title credits to signify star status) wins a meatier role, in fact the sole one that makes any semblance of sense. Rest of the cast, including the plump leading lady Sonakshi, has to contend with the leftovers. Chitrangada is as pathetic in the item number as she often is in Sudhir Mishra's films. The jarring voice of Sunidhi Chouhan adds needless gimmickry to a decent tune.
Kunder's Pagalapur is full of jokers, each one different in get up, mannerisms and even mother tongues…but all with a common job at hand - they must make us laugh at all cost. They turn laughable instead, generously helped by Kunder's direction, or the lack of it. The best part is that the circus ends much earlier than you expect.
Kunder wears many hats - writer, lyricist, background score composer, editor and of course director. We think he could have done with one, especially given his long, flowing hair. That a worthless Joker often plays the trump card to help seal a triumph reflects such moving pathos, one that’s ideal for cinematic projection. Sadly, the director only mechanically underlines this philosophy at different intervals in the film but to no avail.