Jackpot movie cast: Jyotika, Revathy, Yogi Babu, Rajendran, Anand Raj
Jackpot movie director: Kalyaan
Jackpot movie rating: 2 stars
You don’t expect ‘logic’ when Suriya’s face gets morphed into a lion in the Singam franchise. So, you shouldn’t have a problem when Jyotika kicks 50 men all at once and they fly in the air. After all, she dances energetically in a colourful song where she’s called a “shero”. Again, you don’t expect ‘logic’ when a commercial actor comes out with a film that literally says, “Hey, I am making this for hardcore fans.” After Gulaebaghavali, Kalyaan indulges in a full-on “heroine worship” and I think it is all right. In an interview with us, Jyotika had said, in Jackpot, she got to do everything that a hero typically does. Also, this should be her loudest film yet.
Jackpot opens in 1918 and we are shown a milkman stumbling upon an Akshaya Paathiram. After many years, an old idli-selling woman finds the same vessel by a riverbank. She feels it would be useful if Akshaya (Jyotika) and Revathy (Maasha) have the vessel. Jackpot is all about how the con women get the vessel buried in the backyard of Anand Raj’s home.
Akshaya Paathiram was given to Yudhishthira by Lord Surya in Mahabharata. It provides an unlimited amount of food to eat. Basically, whatever you keep in Akshaya Paathiram gets enhanced multifold. Jyotika keeps a gun in the vessel and it gets multiplied and keeps on coming. The idea is terrific, no doubt. But Kalyaan could have built some other story around this premise, instead of making Jyotika mouth awkward punch dialogues. She not only does that but is also made to act like a dog and say “baba mar gaya” line from Nayakan, with a twisted face. By the way, this is done to induce humour—acting like mentally-challenged, that is.
I am not saying I didn’t enjoy Jackpot. I very well did—when the film was less-offensive. Yogi Babu’s appearance is yet again made fun of. He is referred to as ‘muththina aamai’, ‘kaatu erumai’ and ‘echchathattu moonji’ among many other unpleasant stuff. How can this elicit laughter and in what way is this funny? Apparently, his character tries to commit suicide in Jackpot as he thinks others don’t find him desirable. Such scenes made me wince. The actor himself is okay being body-shamed.
‘Naan Kadavul’ Rajendran’s character equally gets shamed for not being conventionally good looking and attractive. Maasha doesn’t like him because he is bald and dark. And she can’t even stand his kiss on the phone. Oh, also watch out for this scene where Anand Raj pretends to be a woman and how ‘she’ falls for Rajendran’s character who once dipped a slice of pizza into a cup of tea—literally. Trust me, I judged him for doing that.
Jackpot borrows a lot of situations from—Mahanadhi, Jayam, Viswaroopam and Anniyan—to make the audience laugh. But the makers need to realise the joke is only on them. Films can be entertaining, but not at others’ expense.
Jackpot doesn’t take itself seriously. So, we also shouldn’t. It offers mindless entertainment that neither cares about formula nor treatment. It is obvious Kalyaan wants to just entertain the audience and he puts all his effort into making Jyotika ‘a mass hero’ and builds drama even from subtle moments. To be honest, it was a relief to see Jyotika not going into her usual lecture mode, with moral science classes—despite having Samuthirakani in the film.