Movie Review: Jackpot

For the record, very few thrillers are made in Bollywood. Dramas flirting with romance, comedy and action generally take the lion’s share among the genres attempted. So given the paucity, a thriller is welcome anytime. But more often than not, it falls short in the basic department: its ability to thrill. Jackpot is similar because of its lack of punch. On top of that, actors who can’t act are paraded with actors who can and thus forced to make both the categories look bad.

A scene from 'Jackpot'.

Set in Goa, the film is directed by Kaizad Gustad. Best remembered for his ambitious debacle called Boom from a decade ago, the filmmaker tries something different this time around. Concentrating on a small group of con artists who are more of loafers than artists, his story keeps moving back and forth. After a little while, money becomes the real protagonist as all the characters involved are blindly pursuing it. Although the suspense factor holds tight at moments, the charm of deception is severely missing. Even before the interval, it becomes obvious that there shall be a twist in the tale regarding the ‘good’ guys in the other half.

Pacy at 90 minutes, Jackpot doesn’t have a single memorable dialogue. Perhaps the better ones were spoken in Konkani — largely by Makarand Deshpande’s short-haired character. On the upside, the lyrics of two totally-unrelated-to-the-plot songs are outlandish but good to hear.

Speaking of performance, none of the cast members click. Not even the mighty Naseeruddin Shah. In fact, he appears so out of his usual commanding space with a hairdo that does significant little to augur his villainous character. Sachiin Joshi’s voice works against him. As a result, he comes across as a tattooed wannabe throughout. He is barely challenged, either via expressions or rhetorics. Similarly, Sunny Leone hams for a major part of the movie. Makarand’s police act is the only interesting drift away from the others.

After watching this venture, you receive a hint on why Hindi cinema prefers to stay away from the thriler genre.

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