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Three Women, and Three Idiots 

Janhvi Kapoor shines in ‘Good Luck Jerry,’ a film that has all the chops of a caper movie

Suparna Sharma Jul 31, 2022

A still from 'Good Luck Jerry' starring Janhvi Kapoor. Photo: Lyca Productions

Good Luck Jerry 

Cast: Janhvi Kapoor, Deepak Dobriyal, Mita Vashisht, Neeraj Sood, Sushant Singh, Sahil Mehta, Saurabh Sachdeva, Jaswant Singh Dalal, Mohan Kamboj 

Direction: Sidharth Sengupta  

Rating: ★★½

Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar 

Good Luck Jerry is the story of a family of three Bihari women living in Patiala, their three suitors and a gang of gun-wielding, Punjabi drug dealers. This brief description itself holds a lot of comic potential, and Good Luck Jerry lives up to most of it.  

Sharbati (Mita Vashisht), a widow, is the mother of Jerry (Janhvi Kapoor) and her chhoti behen Cherry. To get by, she makes vegetarian momos, but also coughs continuously and disapproves of Jerry’s job as a masseuse at a unisex massage parlor.  

All three women have three idiot men in passionate pursuit. These men often barge into their house to offer unsolicited help or to declare their undying love.  

One sunny afternoon, this daily routine of mummyji screaming at Jerry and Rinku (Deepak Dobriyal) turning up at their house with his hair dyed in the full colour palette of tippi-tippi-tap, is broken by Timmy (Jaswant Singh Dalal), a drug supplier. He forces Jerry to retrieve a packet of drugs from a public toilet. There’s nothing special about this scene, yet it’s unforgettable because of the three fascinating characters we meet, and because we accompany Jerry to a nightmarish gents toilet. When Jerry throws up, we feel like throwing up as well.    

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Good Luck Jerry, a legit copy of the 2018 Tamil film Kolamaavu Kokila, uses the old trope of mummy-has-cancer to create a desperate situation that calls for desperate measures. This sets off a chain of events involving Jerry, three drug dealers, one Inspector Lal and 100 kgs of cocaine. 

Good Luck Jerry has all the chops of a caper movie. Its comic timing is sharp, its characters are interesting and quirky, and it is very funny in parts. It is also quite honorable. 

Good Luck Jerry doesn’t use Patiala just as a setting. It imbibes the city’s texture and essence. I have never seen so many turbaned Sikhs in any Bollywood film as I have seen in Good Luck Jerry. It may well be a record of sorts. 

Yet, the film is fun while it lasts, but its aftertaste is a bit bland, even disturbing. That’s because of two reasons.  

Sometimes, Good Luck Jerry behaves like we do when we don’t know the complete lyrics to a song. We make do with gibberish, and Good Luck Jerry, when stuck in a scene it doesn’t know how to handle or end, uses hyper action and flying bullets to paper over muddled writing and moving on.  

And two, though the film’s end is delightfully wicked and smart, it doesn’t sit easy morally.  

Good Luck Jerry draws a lot of its power from the rag-tag gaggle of three women who take on a drug cartel, and from an ensemble cast of excellent actors. All are good but a few really stand out and hold the film together. There’s Mita Vashisht playing a modern-day Leela Chitnis who coughs but also screams. Then there’s Deepak Dobriyal’s motor-mouth and mor-pankhi Rinku, Sahil Mehta who plays truth-telling goonda Jigra and Saurabh Sachdeva playing the paranoid drug distributor Malik. But the stars of the show are Jaswant Singh Dalal, who plays drug supplier Timmy with a neck-collar, and Janhvi Kapoor. 

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Bambi-eyed Janhvi Kapoor is a pleasure to behold. She has a lovely, warm and powerful screen presence and it’s difficult to take your eyes off her because she can also act.  

Though Ms Kapoor is just four feature films and one short old, she can hold her own in the midst of strong, veteran actors. 

Despite her limpid beauty and handle-with-care vibe that the camera loves, there’s an intriguing underlying layer, a mysterious interiority to her personality. In Good Luck Jerry she leverages that to play a bumbling, nervous young woman who is, in fact, smarter than all the men and women around her and has a core that’s cold and made of steel.  

In some happy, feminist ways, Good Luck Jerry reminded me of Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s fabulous 2010 gangster film, Aaranya Kaandam. That too is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.