Review: Jackpot tries to be a mix-plate of unrelated stand up comedians
The film forces one situation in the name of ‘comedy’
Why do you watch a film? Is the sole purpose of it ‘entertainment’? What is entertaining to you? If it means, that a bunch of actors throw away lines (many of which are extremely vulgar) at the speed of light, then you will find Jackpot entertaining. This is perhaps director’s Shoaib Khan’s version of entertainment. It isn’t that much different from old school theatre catering to a certain type of audience. Does it match it with your requirement of a film, you decide.
Jackpot, primarily is a Javed Sheikh’s film. He plays Jo Jo, a don, who excels in turning black money into white. The usual suspects or ‘chaaley’ are all present with some, the sultry girl friend Faiza Khan, guards named Panama & Pajama and a few others. Jo Jo manages to buy all but one lottery tickets of a scheme launched by Aslam Mehmood. The scheme is launched in a hotel where the lead cast Lucky (Noor Hasan) is a waiter and Sanam Chaudhry (Chandni) works as a receptionist, who as are told are in love. Chandni’s love while not unconditional but comes with monetary pressure on Lucky.
Perhaps as a reward of bearing his constant farting, a guest gives out that one ticket to Chandi & Lucky. And because life is just that way, that ticket wins the Jackpot, price. Another parallel plot is running, where Tipu (Adnan Shah Tipu) and Malka (Sana Fakhar) are a married couple. For some odd reason, Tipu has sexual fantasies about his wife. There are fleeting mentions of erectile dysfunction but much like everything else, it is joked about. That could have explained the insecurity of Tipu towards her self indulgent Malka. Sameer (Inayat Khan), is cousin of Malka, while his love interest is played Indian actress Reyhna Malhotra.
Jo Jo, who we are told loves money is incensed. The ticket is lost and to find it, Jo Jo initially kidnaps the whole of lead cast. Jo Jo is menacing, is not afraid of going to the extreme for money. But swiftly, he decides to take all these random characters to Phuket, because that is where he thinks the ticket is. The find, continues till the last day of ticket’s expiry. You don’t need me to tell you how the story goes from there.
Jackpot to me felt less like a film and more like a show of stand up comedy. There are a few funny lines, credit where due but in trying to inject humour every scene, the writer Kashmir Babri and direct Shoaib Khan, seem desperate. Unrelated characters appear out of thin air to create comical situation or space for a one liner. The ticket is sole reason, which connects them loosely. Character’s are written inconsistently, and are there to induce laughter. A lot of the dialogues are from the playbook of those infamous stage plays, more famous for their vulgar dances than anything else. If it weren’t for the cinematography, film would have been much worse. The shots from Baluchistan are gorgeous. Lahore & Phuket scenes are visually pleasing too. As for the music, nothing really stands out. As for the performances, no one stands out particularly because the content just isn’t there.
I am happy to suspend logic for entertainment. I did for this film too (the whole ticket story is implausible but its a film). What I can bear is crass humor. It is lazy writing often bordering on misogyny and stereotyping. Jackpot uses good transitions that go with the feel of the film. I hope they put the same amount of effort in developing character.