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JOKER

Ambazhathil Karanakuran Lohithadas
2000




Script: Lohitha Das
Music: Mohan Sithara and S.P.Venkatesh
Starring: Dileep, Nishant Saagar, Late Bahadur, Manya




Lohitadas, who made his debut as a director with the film Bhoothakannadi, has come up with his sixth movie, Joker , in which he has made his debut as a lyricist. After Raj Kapoor's Mera Naam Joker (based on K.A.Abbas novel), and Aravindan's immortal Thambu , Joker is the only movie that gives an insight into the lives of circus folk.

Royal Circus, owned by Govindan, is on rocks. With the help of his manager Khader, Govindan just manages to run the company, though not in a satisfactory manner. All the members of the troupe live as a family. The other characters in the story line include: Kumaran, who takes up clowning, as he is aged and gives up other feats. And he is living there with his wife Jameela, with whom he is ill matched. There is Shekharan, the trainer who has an emotional attachment with the elephants, lions etc under him. Susheela an artist, is also the cook for the whole troupe and tries many tricks including little bits of trivial stealing from the neighborhood like coconuts, plantains etc in order to feed the troupe. Then there is Ranjan Bappa, the hefty wrestler type man with an unending appetite.

Abookka, once a clown, has turned insane. As he still insists on putting up the make-up and entering the ring, he is caged, when the show goes on. Babu, the favorite of the troupe is the clown of Royal Circus. Abooka has trained him to become the perfect clown. And he has learnt the perfect art of masking his sorrows behind the clown's ever laughing mask. He has been there in the troupe ever since his childhood, looking after the other children, especially Govindan's daughter Kamala. And Govindan has always been saying that Babu is to be his heir and is to marry Kamala. And of course Babu, deep in his heart, has feelings of love for Kamala.

The movie takes a turn when Sudheer Misra, the young son of Padmini, a former member of the troupe makes his entry into the camp. Sudheer's arrival marks the beginnings of change. He steers the company out of its crisis and gives it a new form and name as New Royal Circus. Things change for the better. But there are undesirable changes too. These changes which come about make the movie interesting and worth watching.

Dileep is perfectly cast as Babu, while Nishant Saagar fits in as Sudheer. Late Bahadur has put up a brilliant performance as Abookka, the character that was his last one on the celluloid before his demise recently. Newcomer Manya as Kamala is O.K. While Bindu Panicker shines as Susheela. Mala Aravindan as Kumaran, Mamookoya as Khader, Sreehari as Shekharan, N.L.Balakrishnan as Ranjan Bappa, Zeenath as Jameela all have put in good performances. The songs, penned by Yusuf Ali Kechery and Lohitadas and tuned by Mohan Sithara are melodious. Camera is by Venugopal while the background score is by S.P.Venkatesh and editing is by Sreekar Prasad. Krishnankutty as an art director has recreated the atmosphere of a circus camp very effective.

Biofilmography
Ambazhathil Karanakuran Lohithadas was born on May 10th, 1955 in Chalakkudi. In 1985 he started writing stories for Malayalam Language Drama. Since 1987 he has been writing scripts for Malayalam language Cinema. His first screen play, 'Thaniyavarthanam', was filmed by the director Sibi Malayil with Mammootty in the lead role. He has directed his thirty-third script BHOOTHAKKANNADI himself.
Films
1997: Bhoothakkannadi.
1998: Kanmadam.
2000: Joker