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Jackpot review: Kaizad Gustad goes boom! Again

Movie:
Jackpot
Director:
Kaizad Gustad
Cast:
Sunny Leone, Sachiin Joshi, Naseeruddin Shah, Makrand Deshpande
Avg user rating:

The first scene of the film shows off Naseeruddin Shah in an octopus-like wig. The second scene has Sunny Leone in bed wearing very less. It’s clear the film hopes to run on the steam of these two people, famous for very different reasons.

Then there’s a James Bond style ‘song-accompanying-opening-credits’ portion wherewe meet our hero Sachiin Joshi. Joshi, whose wife has produced the film, was recently quoted as saying this about acting: ‘A great body does 50 percent of the job’. Ok, then.

Little wonder that the only actor with fewer clothes than Sunny Leone is Joshi.

So Joshi’s Francis tells the audience that “apun ki life poker maafik hai (my life is like a game of poker)". He and his buddies (all dressed in shorts because, you know, it’s Goa) liaise with a local mafia-man called Boss (Naseeruddin) to pull off a casino heist.

Boss himself owns the floating casino called Jackpot, and the gang hopes to make money off the false heist and an insurance claim. It all gets more and more convoluted as the story progresses. Don’t bother. Most of the times, the viewer won’t know what’s going on.

The plot is weak, and writer-director Kaizad Gustad, makes it worse by telling the story in a non-liner format. This format works only if a story has that many layers to warrant a back-and-forth technique. Here, it only alienates the viewer further.

Gustad made the unforgettable Boom ten years ago. The film that launched Katrina Kaif and made Amitabh Bachchan play a lecherous mafia boss (his career-worst role).

Anyhow, Gustad holds similar sensibilities in present time as well. Shah’s character is a paler shade of Bachchan’s role. And he still thinks skin show can substitute for a coherent story and astute storytelling.

So you have Leone’s legs in the foreground as Francis explains his plan to Boss. In another scene, the frame shows just her body in the background (no face, thank you) completely revealing the purpose the director has signed on the actress. He seems to do this in all his films (even Boom had blatant skin-show without context).

Songs pop in and out without warning, including the music video-ish Full Jhol number.

Otherwise, it’s repetitive romantic numbers where we see Joshi’s tattooed biceps yet again and Sunny Leone in flowing dresses.

About the only relief in the film is Makrand Deshpande as a quirky cop, but he’s there in just a couple of scenes.

Sachiin Joshi is right perhaps. In mainstream Bollywood, the right body is very important. But what about the rest? Bulging biceps does not mean you can't have vacant expressions, a weak dialogue delivery, and no concept of acting.

Sunny Leone does a tad better. She’s being portrayed as eye-candy, but she seems eager to go beyond just that. And if that’s what she wants she’ll have to work big-time on the acting and diction.

Naseeruddin Shah sleepwalks through the role, adding in a bit of nuance here and there. He does the best an actor can do in this scenario.

And as I begin compiling my year-ender lists, I realize the list of the ‘Worst Film of 2013’ just got (yet) another addition. Sigh.

Rating: 0.5 stars

 

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