So here’s the bottom line. Sunny Leone hardly ever strips in Jackpot. In fact she insists all the characters focus on her eyes rather than her breasts. And the one time when rips off her top we have no clue why she is getting all worked up. Maybe it is the Goan heat.
This film is not about skin. It’s more about scratching smooth surfaces to get to the evil avaricious core of the human heart .Everyone is greedy in Kaizad Gustad’s film, some more than the others. And every character is an imposter.
If you like films where a briefcase stashed with currency notes is tossed around with the cast in frenetic pursuit (think Guy Ritchie) then this is the film you would probably want to check this out.
Noire cinema gets a twist in the tale. Ten years after his controversial and colourful Boom Kaizad Gustad takes us on a Goan caper. Shot with dexterity by Artur Zurwaski in rain-drenched boats and the dockside desolation of Goa Jackpot is the kind of wild gambit of oneupmanship where heroes and wimps exchange places so swiftly and suddenly you don’t know who is doing what. And to whom.
There are three main characters, let’s just call them the Boss (Naseeruddin Shah), his mole (Sunny Leone) and the Boss’s right-hand man Francis (Sachiin Joshi). The tightly-packed episodes of the spiraling plot leave very little room for porous moments. There is no breathing space in the narration. Kaizad piles up ‘atmosphere’ so aggressively you fear the narration may collapse.
At 90 minutes Jackpot clocks quite a curious yarn, more notable for what it attempts than what it actually achieves. The narration dares damnation with episodes from the lives of the three main characters (The Boss, his Mole and the Mole’s Lover-boy) going back-and-forth as if time never really mattered to people who are on the road to monetary salvation.
It’s all very confounding. Kaizad Gustad who last made the badly received Boom ten years ago, does a ritzy take on the noire genre. Admittedly he lends an erotic edge to the game one-upmanship, with the Goan monsoon lending a sizzle and a drizzle that remain sadly unmatched by Ms Leone’s voluptuous presence. Sachiin Joshi, toned up physically and underplaying his charlatan’s part, and Sunny can’t seem to keep their hands off one another. The flesh is weak and sadly so is the plot.
Naseeruddin Shah in an interesting blonde Bob Marley hairstyle brings a wicked gleam in every frame. And yes he is in almost every frame probably trying to make sense of the plot the way he did while shooting for M F Hussain’s Gaja Gamini. There are as many coils twists and tangles in the film’s plot as there are in Naseer’s wig, though the plot is not half as riveting as Naseer’s hair.
Sadly the stylish packaging and striking cinematography remain unsupported by the plot and characters. Neither are interesting or dangerous enough to be endearing in their immorality.
Sorry, it just doesn’t add up.