Good Luck Jerry: Janhvi Kapoor’s crime caper is decently entertaining, Reviews Of Movie
The best thing about Good Luck Jerry is its supporting cast. Though Janhvi Kapoor manages to carry the film on her delicate shoulders, it is the people who surround her that add the needed spark and joy to the story.
Based on Nayanthara’s Tamil film Kolamaavu Kokila (2018), Good Luck Jerry is a crime caper that situates itself in a milieu similar to that of Fukrey (2013) and Lootcase (2020). But it is neither as joyously entertaining as Lootcase nor as madcap as Fukrey. It uncomfortably lies somewhere in the middle.
Directed by Siddharth Sen and written by Pankaj Matta, it is the story of a migrant Bihari family that has moved from Darbhanga to a small town in Punjab. The father is dead, the mother—who sells veg momos—has lung cancer, and the younger sister is a dependent teen. So it is up to the elder daughter Jerry (originally Jaya Kumari) to scramble money for her mother’s treatment. A chance encounter with local drug dealers makes her realise the moolah she can rake in through this business and so once a masseuse, she finds herself peddling drugs across the state.
Good Luck Jerry uses the same ploy as Sujoy Ghosh’s 2012 thriller Kahaani. Headlined impeccably by a terrific Vidya Balan, it cleverly used the guise of a hapless pregnant woman looking for her missing husband to find the elusive culprit of a horrific mass murder. This one uses Jerry’s gender and tender innocence as a shield. Played by Janhvi Kapoor, Jerry looks nothing like the usual unkempt suspects. She is timid, dresses chastely, and whimpers more than she speaks. As the police crane their necks, trying to smell cocaine and their carriers, she slides slyly right under their noses, unchecked, uninterrupted, delivering one contraband after the other, becoming the top performer of her gang.
All goes well until it doesn’t. So Jerry decides to quit, oblivious to the reality that it’s not an option. Thence begins the chase between four groups—Jerry and her motley lot of family and friends, the local drug lord and his men, the drug distributor and his gang, and the police. This is when the film starts to get chaotic and loses its centre. What could have been a delightfully entertaining Tom and Jerry-esque chase, ends up being a confusing, flat, and predictable rigmarole.
However, Good Luck Jerry is keenly aware of its genre and tries hard to stick to it. It is a black comedy but not in the way Delhi Belly (2011) was. Its protagonist is a Bihari migrant working in Punjab, much like the 2016 film Udta Punjab’s Bauria and it revolves around drugs too, but Good Luck Jerry is neither as hard-hitting nor as poignant. It doesn’t try to be any of these things either. It is silly in parts; some of it is fun, but most of it is forgettable.
The best thing about Good Luck Jerry is its supporting cast. Though Kapoor manages to carry the film on her delicate shoulders, it is the people who surround her that add the needed spark and joy to the story. Deepak Dobriyal as Jerry’s roadside Romeo Rinku Khanna is flat-out fantastic. His antics are so rooted, so real, and so entertaining, that he kind of makes up for the film’s lack of depth. Jaswant Singh Dalal is also terrific as Timmy, the head of the local gang, who lets Jerry into his team and nurses a soft spot for her. Another quirky gang member who deserves mention is Jigar, the hotheaded revolver-toting young Sardar, played by a wonderful Sahil Mehta.
Mita Vashisht is good too, as Jerry’s goofy ailing mother. So is Samta Sudiksha as her chirpy younger sister Cherry. I wish the film had given more time to explore the interpersonal dynamics of this three-woman family clambering to make ends meet in a world full of men. But it doesn’t. It is too busy trying to build Jerry into the hero it so desperately wants her to be and too preoccupied with making the film plot heavy to let its quieter moments flourish.
Kapoor is earnest but it takes a lot more than that to make a film that stays with the viewer, at least for longer than it takes to make Maggi. Good Luck Jerry is passably entertaining, nothing more.
It is available for streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.