Mera Naam Joker is the story of Raju, considered the best circus clown ever. Ever since Rajus father died in an accident during his performance, Rajus mother had been repulsed by the circus. As luck would have it, Raju had a natural affinity towards the circus world. The film traces Rajus journey from his childhood to the day of his last performance.The first chapter is about the adolescent Raju and deals with his infatuation with his teacher Mary (Simi Garewal).
She gives him confidence in himself, and he discovers the world of femininity and desire. She is older than him. He attends her wedding in a state of false merriment. Marys lessons nevertheless arent lost: Raju comes to realise that he was born to make the world laugh, despite his own troubles.After his first heartbreak, the story follows adult Raju who has found work with Gemini Circus as a clown.
His dream materialises! The circus is owned by Mahendra Singh (Dharmendra) who has understood Rajus potential and hires him. The circus hosts a visiting group of artists from Russia, and he falls in love with Marina (Kseniya Ryabinkina), the lead trapezist. Despite the language barrier they become close, and Raju half hopes that they might live together. But he faces heartbreak once again when the circus ends and Marina returns to Russia. It is in this chapter that Rajus mother dies during his performance, watching him perform the very stunts which caused her husbands death.
In the final chapter, Raju has left the circus and wanders aimlessly. One day he meets Meenu (Padmini), an orphaned girl who has ambitions of becoming a famous actress. Meenu and Raju set up an association, start a small circus business and later move on to the theatre. They are quite successful, but their collaboration ends when she is offered a role in a film. She leaves him, and he realises she has used him in her pursuit of success.
Raju always carries a clown doll which belonged to his father. Every time he falls in love, he gives away his beloved doll, only to see it come back to him. The doll is used as a metaphor for Rajus simplistic heart where there is room for everyone.At the end of the film, Raju is shown doing his final act, as promised to Mahender. He invites the three ladies he was in love with, to watch his last performance.
He also reassures the audience that he will soon be back with more to make his audience laugh again.
Raj Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Dharmendra, Simi Garewal
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