Cast: Jyotika, Revathy, Anandraj, Yogi Babu and Mansoor Ali Khan
If there’s one thing that writer-director Kalyaan’s Jackpot gets right, it is that it lets Jyotika have fun and not really care about anything else. It’s refreshing to see her play a character – a con artist – a role that doesn’t require her to do the right thing or set the right example. For instance, there’s a scene where she beats a female jailer to pulp and there’s no valid reason behind it. We are expected to be fine with it just because if the heroes can do it and we don’t have a problem, then why not Jyotika?
The film opens in 1918 and follows a milkman who accidentally stumbles upon an inexhaustible vessel (Akshaya Patra) while digging for a well. He uses the vessel to change his fortune but not for long as it eventually gets stolen. Many years later, the vessel is found by an old lady who sells idlis by a river bank and she uses it feed more people. She passes on the secret about the vessel and its power to Akshaya (Jyotika) and Masha (Revathy). The rest of the story is about how they try and get their hands on the vessel while dealing with their own problems.
Jackpot, which has its share of flaws, is not one of those films you try and find fault with. It’s an outright silly but eccentrically fun film that works largely due to its writing, especially how it manages to evoke laughter even with the most mundane scenes. There’s a stretch about the villain (a terrific Anandraj) and his henchmen who end up in a place near the Andhra – Tamil Nadu border and come across Tamil words that are starting to sound like Telugu because they’re close to Andhra. Almost every scene featuring Anandraj, his henchmen and his twin sister are a laugh riot and he’s one of the primary reasons why the film is funnier than expected.
Jyotika reinvents herself in Jackpot and she proves she’s a lot more comfortable doing comedy than playing a character that’s high on emotions and drama. She does go overboard on a few instances but it suits this character that you end up liking by the time you walk out of the cinema hall. It was equally refreshing to see Revathy, usually reserved to play mother roles, break free and play a role that sees her have so much fun. I don’t remember the last time I saw women hogging all the limelight in a Tamil film and Jackpot – a harmless comic caper — gives Jyotika and Revathy more than just a platform to shine; it gives them the opportunity to make a strong mark in roles that are usually headlined by heroes.