Good Luck Jerry
Starring Janhvi Kapoor, Mita Vashisht, Deepak Dobriyal
Directed by Sidharth Sengupta
It isn’t easy to extract laughter out of drug dealers, cash-strapped migrants and cancer patients. Good Luck, Jerry manages the herculean feat with a fair amount of success. This is not a life-changing film. But it does show us how to take charge of our lives when the going gets really rough. Never mind the means.The narrative spills the beans with confidence.
Janhvi Kapoor plays the titular role of a Bihari girl in Punjabi who makes a living working at a massage parlour. She is neither a victim nor a schemer. The film never over-sentimentalizes Jerry’s circumstances choosing to see her as a manuipulator rather than a victim.
Some of the best-written sequences feature with her mother, played with brilliant punctuation marks by Mita Vashisht (she is more fun and funnier than Saranya Ponvannan in the original Tamil film Kolamaavu Kokila) and a drug dealer Timmy (Jaswant Singh) who is smitten by the ostensible simplicity of the Bihari girl.
While the ‘Bihari’ accent of the characters is questionable, their propensity to tackle hardships headlong is not. Director Siddharth Sen uses closed-in cramped spaces and the dingy environment to generate a feeling of inescapable poverty. But the laughter never abandons the characters even when they are lodged in stinking toilets.
Deepak Dobriyal is specially riotous as Rinku, Jerry’s unwanted suitor. The conversation with Jerry where Rinku tells her how he snubbed the advances of a woman who wanted to marry him, is vintage Dobriyal.
While the vast cast conducts itself with suitable conviction, the narration tends to lose its positive vibrations in the chaos of a melee of gangsters jostling for Jerry’s attention. The laughs are mostly restricted to the earlier parts of the film. Although the storytelling is never in two minds about which way the crooked crumbles.
Everyone seems to have a criminal mind in this eccentric film, even the supposedly decent civilians. The gusto with which Jerry plunges into her job as a drug dealer and the way Janhvi revels in playing the crooked Jerry, proves criminal tendencies are a part of the average mind. All we need to do is tap into it.