Throughout the film, the one thing which stays with you are Nasseruddin Shah’s deadlock hairdo which kind of resembles the film – all style, somewhat interesting but amounts to being a big mess. You can either be amused with it and carry it with you or forget that it exists. Jackpot, somewhat resembles it well. Director Kaizad Gustad returns to direction or the Bollywood horizon almost after 10 years. And while watching this thankfully 1 hour 35 minutes film, you realise his direction has caught rust and he could have done better.
Jackpot is all about con jobs, winning jackpot worth 5 crores and enjoying the beauty of Goa during rains all for whatever money you paid for the ticket. There is Boss (Nasseruddin Shah with dreadlocks), who runs a cruise casino in Goa. Boss does not liked being messed with and wants deals which make him super rich. You also have Maya (Sunny Leone with clothes on) who is a manager of the casino. In come three youth who are con artistes with some mega plan to cheat Boss – Francis (Sachiin Joshi), Anthony D’Silva or Pondy (Bharath) and Kirti (no idea who this actor is). They provide an investment plan to Boss which involves launching Disneyland in Goa, shady property deals and rigging the Jackpot. From here, you start a race of conning each other, mistrust and the one question on everyone’s mind – where are the 5 crore?
Jackpot has been touted as a comedy thriller with A certification and all the three accounts, you have the Parle G baby’s face stuck to you – finger in the mouth. The comedy is far (almost by miles) and very little. The comedy resembles a more bearable tickling. One can be much kinder to the thriller which is slow to start with but gets more interesting as it progresses. You have to give it to Gustad for a rather interesting revelation of things and a surprising end. As for the A certificate, spoiler alert – the film is as adults as any typical potboiler in recent times. In fact, Ramleela has more adult content than Jackpot. You have the occasional swear words and Sunny Leone watered down strip scene. But it boils down to a rather joke of A film. Gustad has the original rather bohemian touch in him, but he has jumbled it up with trying to be all masala. What brings his attempts up is some neat if not great cinematography by Artur Zurawski but the music by multiple composers fails to leave any impact on you.
If Gustad and actor-producer thought of making the movie saleable by casting Nasseruddin Shah as Boss, that’s probably the one thing they got it right. Shah in this grungy Rastafarian hairdo and a ‘don’t give a damn attitude’, is indeed the boss of the film. Sachiin Joshi does a neat job of being a convincing con artist. But his problem is that he is not a solo hero and the sooner he realises, the better it is for his career and money. Except for a tired and bored Makarand Deshpande trying to convince you that he is a cop and not one of the hippies who come to enjoy in Goa, the only other person to get your appreciation is Bharath, the talented young actor from Tamil film industry. His portrayal of Pondy is someone who does not think much and imbibe the Goan spirit. The rest just exist.
All you guys, now we shall talk about yours truly, Sunny Leone who actually gets a role which is also about her acting as much as her skin show. Looking gorgeous and wearing clothes in quite a few scenes, her attempts to act are severely disabled by her accent. She still has a long way to go about getting convincing expressions, though she shows some signs here.
Is it a comedy? Is it a thriller? No, it is Jackpot trying to be both but just about scrapping through. One can attempt to watch as it has shades of entertainment, but do not expect it to be a complete winner. At best, it will not win all awards at the Ghanta Awards for sure.
P.S: A Certificate? Seriously?
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