When I walked out of the screening of Good Luck Jerry, I had to take a minute to wrap my head around what I had just watched. It’s been a while since I watched a film that I truly enjoyed. There’s been a number of movies that have been released this year — a mix of experimental films that have somewhat managed to achieve what they set out for and some downright bad movies that made me question my life decisions. But when I walked out of Good Luck Jerry, I felt like I walked out of a pre-pandemic Aanand L Rai or Priyadarshan film, and what a good feeling it was!
Starring Janhvi Kapoor in the lead, Good Luck Jerry is the official remake of the Tamil film Kolamaavu Kokila which featured Nayanthara in the lead. Now, before I proceed, I haven’t watched the original one yet so I will not be able to compare the two projects. Having said that, I think it was good that I didn’t watch the original before reviewing it.
Good Luck Jerry revolves around a young, innocent girl named Jerry who lives with her widowed mother and a younger sister. To make ends meet, her mother (Mita Vashisht) sells momos while Jerry is a masseuse who is trying to help the family run but doesn’t have her mother’s approval on her professional life. Life takes a tragic turn for Jerry when her mother is diagnosed with lung cancer.
With no money in hand, she crosses paths with a drug supplier who takes her on to supply drugs in Punjab in return for good money. Given that it was paying off her mother’s medical bills, Jerry takes on the job and does it with ease. But after she is almost caught by a cop, Jerry decides to give up on the profession. Her boss Timmy (Jaswant Singh Dalal), who is head over heels for her, refuses to let her go. In her attempt to escape the drug world, her family gets involved. To save her family, Timmy’s boss (played by Sushant Singh) orders her to supply 100 kilos of drugs to a customer. Does she manage to pull off the biggest delivery and save her family? Well, you’ll have to watch the film to find out.
But what we can tell you is you should give the film a shot. Janhvi has grown as an actor and it is evident in Good Luck Jerry. She manages to hold on to the Bihari accent throughout the movie, though a hint of Janhvi’s real self began appearing towards the climax. Having been thrown out of her comfort zone, Janhvi adapts to the new character and style of storytelling with ease.
Although Janhvi stands in the middle of Good Luck Jerry, the film is well-shouldered by the supporting cast. Deepak Dobriyal, as always, is a scene stealer! Essaying the role of a one-sided lover, Deepak leaves you in splits every time he’s on screen. Sahil Mehta comes in as a surprise. He plays the role of the hot-headed Jigar that is ever ready to pull the trigger and light up the screen with his presence. Saurabh Sachdeva, Sushant Singh, and Mita Vashisht get enough screen time to perform, although I would have wanted to see more of Mita and her bond with Janhvi.
Another factor that plays to Good Luck Jerry’s advantage is the pace and editing. Given the numerous subplots that open up along the way and it features several characters, the pace manages to hold the film together. At one point, the film starts to show shades of Aanand L Rai films, such as Tanu Weds Manu, and Priyadarshan’s style of execution of a story.
However, the struggle in writing starts to pop up in the climax portion. Director Sidharth Sengupta seems to struggle to re-establish newer subplots that would lead toward the film’s ending. In an attempt to establish fresh layers and tie loose ends as fast as possible, the film starts to get tangled. This results in a hotchpotch climax. It takes a little time to process how each twist is connected to the other. A little ironing there felt necessary.
A special mention of inclusion and getting the dialects right. Bollywood has long had an issue with getting certain dialects right. But this movie manages to correct it to an extent. Given that the film is predominantly based out of Punjab and Delhi, Sengupta included a bunch of cultures in the movie and got most of their accents rights. You finally hear Bollywood speaking the right kind of Punjabi, enough to help laymen understand.
Final thoughts: Good Luck Jerry is chaotic and fun, bringing back memories of simple comedies such as Hungama and Tanu Weds Manu. I did wish this was a theatrical release.
Good Luck Jerry now streams on Disney+ Hotstar.