The joyride

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 24.01.09

I want to talk about Kaushik Ganguly’s Jackpot from a friend’s point of view and not from a critic’s point of view. Jackpot is my friend’s film and is releasing at the same time as my second film Antaheen. This is also a troubled time with terrorism, stress, anxiety, economic recession. I feel we’ve lost our ability to relax, love and trust people or appreciate art for that matter.

Trust me, it’s been ages since I have gone to the theatres to watch a film. But I went to see Jackpot because my friend has made it.

I don’t remember how long the film was, maybe two hours 20 minutes, maybe more than that. I am not sure because time did not matter while watching the film. Time was the last thing on my mind. Jackpot made me laugh after a long time, Jackpot took me far, far away from these troubled times we are living in. I didn’t feel like taking calls on my mobile. I was free from all kinds of stress and had forgotten about all things ugly and gory.

Jackpot is about a journey and I became a part of that journey. It was as if Kaushik told me ‘come my friend and join me on this journey’.

So as the characters Piu (Koel), Dodo (Rahul), Arko (Hiran) and Mithu (Sohini Pal) travelled from Calcutta to Bolpur, Raiganj, Gorumara, Gorubathan and Rishabh, I became a co-traveller with them and was enjoying the tour. The journey was awesome. I laughed when the characters laughed, cried and felt sad with them. I am proud of Kaushik for his way with emotions.

I have known Kaushik personally not more than two years, but I knew him before that through his innumerable telefilms. He is simple and humble. Not complex at all and trust me that is what comes through in the film. It touches not just a chord but all the chords of the heart. Jackpot is like the music that we get to hear from a piano. The music picks up from a certain note and ends on the same note. It’s amazing how Kaushik has conducted the orchestra. He has moved his team to all the right notes.

I don’t know if Jackpot is a commercial or a non-commercial film. Can we just say that it is a beautiful film? Films we’ve grown up watching like Uttam-Suchitra’s Share Chuattar or Basanta Bilap and Baksho Rahasya. Kaushik has sort of helped me reconnect with that lost era. I thank him for that. Jackpot is like nirmal anando (unadulterated joy), something I haven’t experienced in a long time.

It is very difficult for me to discuss the technical aspects of the film and it isn’t really important. Sometimes storytelling, performance and the moments in a film are enough to arrest audience attention. When we come so close to the characters everything else becomes irrelevant.

Jackpot is a beautifully photographed film, so nicely paced and with such melodious music by Jeet Ganguly. Let me credit Kaushik and his team for dealing with each department efficiently but never allowing one to overshadow the other. Kaushik orchestrates the film brilliantly. I hope Jackpot blurs the urban-rural divide.

Now, the performers: superb portrayal of their characters by Rahul and Sohini. Their performance will remain engraved in my memory for a long time. Koel has made me cry and Hiran was so believable. I will prescribe Biswajit Chakraborty to all the patients who suffer from stress and tension!

Can I expect more films like this from you Kaushik? Jackpot ends with the word ‘asamapta’. I want to know what happens to Piu, Arko, Dodo and Mithu.

While returning home from the theatre my heart was filled with happiness, yet there was a void, an emptiness because like the concluding word, life indeed remains incomplete.

Jibon satti asamapta.

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