Now, Gustad has always been a votary of style over substance, a case in point being his last film Boom that went bust a decade ago. With Jackpot, Gustad seems all gung-ho to display his skill as a director, which to him means weaving so convoluted a plot with the use of non-linear storytelling that the viewers should feel trapped within the cobweb like lice would in Naseer’s dreadlocks.
So here’s the plot. Boss (Naseeruddin Shah) is the owner of a casino boat in Goa. He always stays on top of his game and has a hot secretary Maya (Sunny Leone) in tow. But there’s a big jhol in the works. Francis (Sachiin Joshi) and his sidekicks are ‘con artists’ planning to fleece Boss and swindle him of a precious 5 crore jackpot money.
However, there’s much skullduggery going on beneath the surface and it’s hard to figure out who’s conning who.
Kaizad Gustad keeps the cards close to his chest and does a swell job of confusing a viewer in the first half. It’s in the second half that he begins to tie the loose ends and bring some sense to the convoluted plot. It’s a notable attempt at hatke storytelling no doubt, but Gustad is done in by his unrestrained zeal and the hamming duo of Sunny Leone and Sachiin Joshi.
For one, there’s no chemistry to speak of between the two, even though they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. Sunny Leone’s dialogue delivery and her appalling inability to act is only matched by Sachiin Joshi’s deadpan expressions. Together the two cancel out whatever brio Naseer tries to put in his sprightly Boss.
The dialogues by Gustad are only a source of unintended humour in this noir caper. “Kaam nahi karna crime hai kya? Phir toh aadhe Goa ko jail me daalna padega,” goes one.
Jackpot is a film that tries too earnestly to be sleek, stylish and smart. Alas, thanks to its windy plot, terrible performances and kiddish dialogues, it ends up as a crackpot thriller.