Mera Naam Joker

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For the Malayalam film, see Mera Naam Joker (2000 film).
Mera Naam Joker
Mera Naam Joker poster.jpg
Film poster
मेरा नाम जोकर
Directed by Raj Kapoor
Produced by Raj Kapoor
Screenplay by K. A. Abbas
Story by K. A. Abbas
Starring Raj Kapoor
Simi Garewal
Manoj Kumar
Rishi Kapoor
Dara Singh
Kseniya Ryabinkina
Rajendra Kumar
Music by Shankar Jaikishan
Cinematography Radhu Karmakar
Edited by Raj Kapoor
Distributed by R. K. Films
Release dates
  • 18 December 1970 (1970-12-18)
Running time
255 mins
Country India
Language Hindi

Mera Naam Joker (translation: My Name is Joker) is a 1970 Hindi drama film directed by Raj Kapoor. The screenplay was written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas. This film was the debut of Rishi Kapoor. Mera Naam Joker is a film about a clown who must make his audience laugh at the cost of his own sorrows. The film is considered to be one of the lengthiest films of Indian cinema. After Sangam became a blockbuster, Mera Naam Joker was highly anticipated as it was six years in the making and was heavily publicized to be loosely based on Raj Kapoor's own life. Upon release the film turned out to be a critical and commercial disaster putting Kapoor into a financial crisis. The film was heavily panned for its length and plot. However, over the years, the film has gained a cult status and is regarded as a classic today. Both audience's and critics' response has turned highly favorable with the passage of time. An abridged version was released in the 1980s and had a highly successful run at the box office. Raj Kapoor termed this his favorite film and described it as having deep philosophical depth and meaning. The film is regarded as one of Kapoor's finest works today with film experts labeling it a 'misunderstood masterpiece'.


Mera Naam Joker is the story of Raju, considered the best circus clown ever. Ever since Raju's father died in an accident during his performance, Raju's mother had been repulsed by the circus. As luck would have it, Raju had a natural affinity towards the circus world. The film traces Raju's 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. Mary's lessons nevertheless aren't 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 Raju's 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 Raju's mother dies during his performance, watching him perform the very stunts which caused her husband's 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 Raju's 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.



# Title Singer(s) Lyricist
1 "Ang Lag Ja Balma" Asha Bhosle Shailendra
2 "Kaate Na Kaate Raina" Manna Dey, Asha Bhosle Shailendra
3 "Teetar Ke Do Aage Teetar" Mukesh, Asha Bhosle, Simi Hasrat Jaipuri
4 "Jane Kahan Gaye Woh Din" Mukesh Hasrat Jaipuri
5 "Jeena Yahan Marna Yahan" Mukesh Shailendra
6 "Ae Bhai Zara Dekh Ke Chalo" Manna Dey Neeraj
7 "Daagh Na Lag Jaye" Mukesh, Asha Bhosle Hasrat Jaipuri
8 "Kehta Hai Joker Sara Zamana" Mukesh Neeraj
9 "Sadke Heer Tujh Pe" Mohammed Rafi Prem Dhawan


Six years in the making, with Raj Kapoor investing much of his own personal fortune, Mera Naam Joker flopped at the box office. In later years, however, the film is considered a classic.[1]

Running times[edit]

The movie had a running time 255 minutes with two intervals. The international DVD release from Yash Raj Films Home Entertainment runs for 233 minutes (224 with the disc's PAL speed-up), while the Indian DVD by Shemaroo Entertainment is heavily cut at 184 minutes. Mera Naam Joker is the second Hindi film to have two intervals, the first being Sangam (1964).[2][3]



  1. ^ "Cult Hindi films that flopped". The Times of India. 2015-11-25. Retrieved 2015-11-25. 
  2. ^ "New script: Bollywood cuts a long story short". The Times of India. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2015-11-25. 
  3. ^ "'Lagaan made me brave'". The Telegraph. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2015-11-25. 

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