Jackpot Movie Review: Jyotika and Revathy seem to have fun, we don’t

Kaada muttai (quail egg). Muththuna aamai (overripe tortoise). Asingamaana moonji (revolting face). Echchathattu moonji (a face like a used plate). Kaatu muni (wild hermit). Kaateri (lamia). Kaatu erumai (wild buffalo). Pardon my rather offensive beginning to this review, but I’m simply recounting the many descriptions of Yogi Babu’s appearance in Jackpot. He’s apparently so unpleasant to behold that people are taken aback at the sight of him. In one scene, even a raging bull freezes in its tracks when it catches a glimpse of him. Eventually, his character decides to put himself out of his misery, but apparently, he’s so fat that the house whose ceiling he’s trying to hang out of, crumbles under his weight. Jackpot is relentless and remorseless in its assault of his physicality. Rajendran’s shaved head gets a fair bit of ridicule too. His character is in love with Masha (Revathy, reprising her character from Gulebagavali, and ostensibly, Arangetra Velai), and he gets manipulated by her throughout the film. Ultimately though, he’s seemingly judged by the film to be too ‘unattractive’ to get a woman like Masha. Instead, he gets Anand Raj pretending to be a woman.

You could argue this film aims to be a comedy, and that expectations of political correctness limits its horizons. You could argue that it’s almost noble that this film doesn’t care about offending, in pursuit of its goal to make you laugh. But notice the scene in which Masha and her foster daughter, Akshaya (Jyotika), perform a mock namaz before fighting some bad guys (in a dull callback to the scene from Viswaroopam). Notice how in the very next scene, Masha says, “Allah has helped us, even though our namaz was fake.” Jackpot, it seems, is worried about being offensive, but only about religion—not so much about physical appearance. Good humour is original writing full of surprises, and really, what could be more novel and surprising in this day than a refusal to make simplistic jokes targetted at the meek and the bullied? How about taking potshots at the powerful? Jackpot is too much of a bully and a coward to do that.

For the remainder of this interview (and there’s a lot more left, I assure you), please visit https://www.cinemaexpress.com/reviews/tamil/2019/aug/02/jackpot-movie-review-jyotika-and-revathy-seem-to-have-fun-we-dont-13390.html

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