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Review Tamil

Jackpot review: A silly, but eccentrically fun comic caper

Release Date: 02 Aug 2019 / Rated: U / 02hr 22min

Cinestaan Rating

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Karthik Kumar

If there’s one thing that the film succeeds in achieving, it is that it lets its leading ladies – Jyotika and Revathy – have a blast playing characters that don’t pander to any norms. 

Jackpot, from writer-director Kalyaan, is the kind of film that never takes itself seriously, and neither should the audience. It’s a comic caper that may not boast of an interesting story but has some eccentrically fun moments that make up for the weak plot. If there’s one thing that the film succeeds in achieving, it’s that it lets its leading ladies – Jyotika and Revathy – have fun playing characters that don’t pander to any norms. The actresses play con artists and get to do everything – from song and dance to fights - that is usually reserved for the heroes.  

The story begins in 1918 when a milkman stumbles upon an inexhaustible vessel (Akshaya Patra) while digging a well. He uses it to change his fortunes, but not for long, as the vessel eventually gets stolen. Many years later, the vessel resurfaces near a river-bank when an old lady who sells idli discovers it. She uses it to feed more people. She passes on the secret of the vessel and its power to Akshaya (Jyotika) and Masha (Revathy) and they try to get their hands on it while dealing with their own problems.

Jackpot is built on a very simple premise. The film shows what greed will eventually do to people when they let it take control of their lives. When the milkman finds the vessel and uses it to get rich quick, it gets stolen. When the old lady realizes the power of the vessel and uses it to earn some quick bucks, she finds herself arrested for no mistake of hers. Kalyaan’s first film Gulebaghavali (2018) was about the search for a hidden treasure. His second film Jackpot is cut from the same cloth, but what differentiates Jackpot from his first film is the fact that it is funnier and headlined by two ladies who are terrific in their respective roles.  

What really makes Jackpot fun is its writing, especially when it manages to turn even the most mundane scenes into genuinely funny moments. An example is the amazing scene when the villain (a terrific Anandraj) and his henchmen end up in a place near the Andhra – Tamil Nadu border and come across Tamil words that are sound similar to Telugu words because of the proximity to Andhra Pradesh. A lot of credit for Jackpot being funny has to go to Anandraj, who shines in two characters. He also plays the twin sister to his own villain, and scenes featuring him are a laugh riot. You could take his character and put it in another film and it would still work.  

It was refreshing to see Jyotika – who is used to playing serious, message-heavy roles - try a character that’s lighter and laid-back for a change. What’s even more surprising is to realize Jyotika is far more comfortable doing comedy than playing serious roles. Revathy, on the other hand, is equally good in a role that requires her to step out of her comfort zone.

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