Veggies as Aliens
Unlike the slimy or machine-like versions from Hollywood, the aliens in Shirish Kunder's Joker are rather simple
The film Joker tells the story of a village erased from the nation's map, forgotten by the country's people and ignored by the government. Paglapur is home to a group of quirky, almost crazy individuals. In order to grab the nation's attention, the villagers devise a plan at the behest of a scientist — a native of the village who has just returned from the city after many years — played by Akshay Kumar. Together, they stage an alien invasion. To carry out the plan, the simple village folks create their own costumes for the aliens.
However, in contrast to the futuristic-appearing aliens created by special effects that one sees in Hollywood films, the ones in Joker resemble fruit and vegetable-shaped costumes that children wear for their school's annual days. This, however, says the film's director Shirish Kunder, has been done deliberately. "They are simple villagers, making their own costumes from fruits, vegetables and leaves to take the form of something that is unknown to man, yet familiar," he explains, referring to the aliens in his film, which seem to resemble pop culture icons, including a Pirates of the Caribbean character.
The material for these costumes was as simple as the appearance — tonnes of vegetables such as bitter gourd and pumpkin have been carved to make the costumes. Each day of the shoot required a fresh batch of costumes to be made since the vegetables would shrivel up by the end of the day.
The presence of aliens on the big screen has largely been limited to science fiction literature and films from the West. Therefore, the creatures have largely been distant from the Indian sensibilities. With Joker, the aliens will make their second appearance in Hindi cinema. Rakesh Roshan was the first to introduce them with Koi... Mil Gaya in 2003.
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