|Directed by||Raj Kapoor|
|Written by||Khwaja Ahmad Abbas|
Raj Kapoor's lavish, legendary film maudit (or "accursed film"), clocking in at almost four hours, was condemned as an exercise in self-pity throughout the Indian film world. Both a colossal failure and a colossal extravaganza, its reputation has been gradually revived by Western critics, who saw in it echoes of Chaplin (particularly Limelight) and Fellini and proclaimed it a self-reflexive masterwork. Kapoor here completely undermines the tramp persona he had so carefully evolved over two decades, removing from it all traces of heroism and social justice: this tramp is a saccharine, mopey, love-obsessed clown whose one goal in life is to follow in his father's footsteps as a trapeze artist so he can "make Jesus laugh." Joker mirrors the three-story, three-ages structure of Kapoor's first film Aag, tracing the clown's three pathetically failed relationships: with his high school teacher, a beautiful Soviet circus performer, and a cross-dressing girl who dumps him when she becomes a movie star. As a sign of love he sends each a sad clown doll and, later in life, gathers them all together at a circus performance for the send-off monologue that begins and ends the film. A compulsively watchable, astonishing train wreck of a film.