Commiserations, you’ve hit Jackpot

Daniyal Zahid classifies 'Jackpot' as another of the misfires

Commiserations, you’ve hit Jackpot
It started with Na Maloom Afraad, which has now established itself as a prominent Lollywood franchise with last year’s sequel. But Bollywood-style heist comedy has become a blaze that far too many filmmakers are trailing, with a decreasing success rate.

Jackpot is the latest misfire in that particular direction. It is yet another movie that feels that committing a money-related crime and creating some form of confusion necessarily translates into humour. It is yet another half-baked (make it a quarter, instead) attempt at writing, where the only (unintentional) comedy lies in the infinite errors that the makers commit, and not from the one’s the screenplay is intended to depict.

In addition to the heist comedy genre, another one of Lollywood’s obsessions that Jackpot plays out is that of converting theatre into movies. So yes, it is also yet another failed manoeuvre of pushing stage – and its direction, acting, writing, etc – on to the biggest screens, and expecting similar results.

However, even before those technicalities could be factored in, the biggest downside of hitting this particular jackpot is the sheer lack of laughs. When the cringe-to-laugh ratio is notably high, you know sitting through the entire production would be a tough set. Of course, when the efforts to extract laughter reek of sheer desperation, that particular task becomes that much harder.

And what is worse than a film that is desperate to make you laugh and fails abysmally? A film that is desperate to make you laugh and fails abysmally with an all-star cast.

What makes it even worse is the fact that it is yet another film that has Jawed Sheikh as the villain. We’ve lost count of the number of times that has happened in recent times. But it is also the same number of times that it hasn’t worked.

Lollywood is on a run of creating disasters in the garb of films. Jackpot is the latest catastrophe in this run

Of course, he isn’t the only one who misfires here. There’s an entire list of partners in the crime that making this film was. These include Noor Hassan, Adnan Shah Tipu, Sana Fakhar and Sanam Chaudhary, a pretty good line-up for a film that was anything but.

Completely in love with Chandni (Sanam Chaudhary), Lucky (Noor) is struggling to make ends meet, and his desired wedding to happen. That is among the reasons why Lucky really wants money. The marriage does take place, but the treasure hunt continues.

This hunt is spearheaded by Jojo (Jawed Sheikh), as the storyline intends to make the characters converge on the riches, which the filmmakers believe is the ideal setup to generate the circus that will provide the desired entertainment to extract a few whistles and some approbation from the cinema audiences.

Again, the only circus here is the film itself. And most bits of attempts at humour are of the toilet kind – describing both the type of punch lines that film aims for and the actual quality that comes out at the end of it all.

Shoaib Khan’s direction leaves a lot to be desired, but Babar Kashmiri’s writing is the weakest link in a movie that has absolutely no strengths. In his search for the settings that would epitomise chaos, Kashmiri actually instills that in his punches, which instead of hitting the humorous chords, end up smacking the film itself on the face – over and over again.

The music can be a much needed breather in such productions, but that too is pretty ordinary. There is an item number thrown in as well, because of course there weren’t enough cringe-worthy moments in the film already.

While Cake and Motorcycle Girl were exceptions, Lollywood is on a run of creating disasters in the garb of films. Jackpot is the latest catastrophe in this run.

If you’ve come across the film already, our commiserations. If not, you’re best advised to stay out of harm’s way.