‘Instant Karma’ is a fantasy flick directed by Mitesh Kumar Patel from a story he wrote and stars Stew Jetson, Samantha Belle, Nancy Mercurio and Karl Haas. This film premiered in the United States on January 24, 2021.
Just like its title, this movie tries to pass across the message that nature or destiny has a way of rewarding people whenever they do good to others, just like Christians believe when one gives, they will receive something in return.
We meet Jeff played by Stew Jetson as a guy down on his luck. Everything he tries to do doesn’t seem to work and when we get introduced to him, he has just lost his job which he got barely a month ago and is on his first trip as a rideshare driver. Sadly he also loses this job as well as his car breaks down on his first day of work and it needs a thousand dollars to be fixed which he doesn’t have. He’s very disappointed with himself and his lack of progress which is fueled by his mom’s lack of appreciation for his so called new job. However, his girlfriend Samantha a role by Samantha Belle is by his side and encourages him to stay positive.
Fortunately, Samantha’s friend from work Kumar goes on a trip to India and leaves his car under her care. She gives Jeff the car keys so he could use them in the meantime as his gets fixed. While driving his passengers around, he comes across the homeless man who helped him push his car when it broke down the previous day and gives him some money.
Thereafter Jeff starts finding things in his car such as groceries and money which miraculously appear every time he gives someone something but now they are now tenfold. This gives a lot of hope to Jeff who is determined to find his lucky charm and ride on the wave as long as it lasts. So Jeff and Samantha take advantage of the good luck and keep giving in order to receive the various things they desire in life from jewelry to groceries to clothing until they decide to go big by trying their luck with money. They give cash away and they receive ten times the amount they gave which encourages them to give more. Unfortunately, Jeff doesn’t find their usual homeless man the following day and everything goes back to square one and his girlfriend is pretty upset and pushes him to go back out there and look for him.
Jeff meets his mother the following day for coffee who talks to him about something called instant Karma where one is instantly rewarded every time they give something to someone else who needs it. So the mother son duo goes around town giving away stuff but nothing comes back. Now Jeff realizes it isn’t the homeless man nor is it Instant Karma which is bringing him good luck.
Meanwhile, Jeff’s car is now fixed and he starts using it for business. Nothing multiplies or appears mysteriously until the twosome realizes it is indeed the friend’s car that is bringing them luck. Jeff meets a friend of his called Emilio from his schools days whose mother is in town receiving treatment for cancer. He calls later to ask him to bail him out with some cash, a hefty amount which he would refund. On his way to drop the cash to Emilio, he picks up a customer whom he detours with to Emilio’s house to drop the cash. When he gets home in the evening, he has a million dollars in a bag in his trunk. The couple is super excited and happy to be millionaires and since the friend whose car has been bringing them good luck is about to return, they decide to clean it.
Jeff soon receives a call from Clint, the passenger who was in his car when he dropped the cash to Emilio telling Jeff to return the million dollars he stole. He kidnaps Emilio and threatens to kill him if his Benjamin’s aren’t returned to him. Jeff and Samantha try to ponder on what went wrong with their luck and they realize all along there was a statue of an Indian god called the god of Karma in the car who according to Indian beliefs, pays good with good and bad with bad. They return the presumably stolen cash and ave themselves and Emilio.
This movie is sort of satirical as it is trying to pass across a message to the audience. Of course, there is the lesson that when one gives, they are rewarded. It also shows how fast human beings can get greedy and turn a very genuine action into a business. Look at Jeff and Samantha for example as they continue giving so that they can receive more, it now beats the noble deed. Unfortunately, that is exactly how society is.
The acting is really great and natural one can really relate to what Jeff is going through both at his high and low times. While he wants to do good because it is the right thing to do, his better half gets greedy and pushes him into making it some sort of investment. His wit is admirable especially when Clint tries to trick him into choosing whether he should be set free. Though Samantha is painted as greedy, she does love Jeff to some extend and encouraged him at his lowest. The relationship between him and his mom is adorable though they started off on a rough patch; she learns to support his son’s job and encourages him to do better instead of pushing him down as she did earlier.
The choice of music is great, with rock tunes scattered throughout the movie. For instance, the song playing in the opening song is ‘Instant Karma’ by John Lennon perfectly suited for the movie. The lighting is a point on, with day and night scenes clearly differential. Costumes are strategic, casual for Jeff, his girlfriend, the college students, and business attire for the mayor, the sales executive, and preacher’s collar for the priest, goth look for the passenger with the gun just to name a few. The shots are beautifully done, clear, visually appealing and properly executed. They are edited together very well and the story flows seamlessly without any complications.
‘Instant Karma’ is a great way of passing a message of doing good and carrying it forward and encourages the audience to give from the heart and not to do it because one expects to receive something in return. The vice versa is also true if one does bad things unto others, the same will happen to them at some point. Whether good or bad, either come back tenfold. ‘Instant Karma’ is really an interestingly relatable film that is definitely worth checking out.