Movie review: 'Jackpot' is stretched-out lameness

JackpotMovie Review: Sunny Leone's 'Jackpot'

Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Sachiin Joshi, Sunny Leone, Makrand Deshpande

Director: Kaizad Gustad

The Indian Express rating: 1/2 star

A little way into Jackpot, I heard a character say: "Yeh plot bada complex hai (this plot is very complex)." My heart sank. This is not what I expected from a film featuring a very pretty porn star, a buffed-up stud, and a thesp in jazzy threads. It should have been simple, fast in-and-out, grimy fun. What I got was stretched-out lameness, for an hour and a half.

Meet the characters. Naseer has a splendid head of hair, with long white dreadlocks flowing over brightly-patterned cotton shirts. He is called Boss, and he owns a floating casino. When he's not drawing beads on guys who cheat at his tables, he is talking dirty. His thing is to make money any which way he can, and the latest jackpot is worth Rs 5 crore.

Or is it more? In this confused tale, spearheaded by con artists Francis (Sachiin Joshi), his long-limbed lover Maya (Sunny Leone), and a couple of cronies, the numbers keep changing. Sometimes it is five. Sometimes it is double and three times that. What doesn't change is the way the director leaches all the it's-so-bad-it's-great from his story, and replaces it with dullness.

We don't really need plot from a film like this. Heck, there's Goa in the background, whose beaches and the people-in-their-itsi-bitsies can be fore-grounded anytime. We don't get any of that. Leone is the sole eye-candy, and she's turned out in clothes. Here a man's shirt, there a white shift over purple flimsies. What men. She does get to say "kutte", but that's small change.

We can forgive Sachiin Joshi because he does what he knows, though he's also kitted out in Hawaaiin shirts and hawaii chappals. It is Naseer being ill-used that I'm really upset about. Having done a wonderfully florid part in Sona Spa (remember that one?), he should have chewed up the scenery in this one. And he would have too, if he had better actors, and a story maybe, to play off against.

... contd.

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