'Jolly LLB 2': 'Jolly LLB 2' is good but part-1 was better (Review By Subhash K. Jha ; Rating: ***1/2 )
Don't get me wrong. I am a big Jolly fan. Whether played by Arshad Warsi or Akshay Kumar the small-town lawyer's socio-political awakening is heart-warming, to say the least. While "Jolly LLB 2" is suffused with a swarming all-pervasive social conscience that ribs our guilt-ridden middle class values and elbows our cynicism and slothfulness out of our range of activity, it suffers from a sense of overweening ambition.
Everything here is much larger than "Jolly LLB", the 2013 sleeper hit about a lazy lawyer played with judicious jocosity by Arshad Warsi who takes on cause-celebre that turns him into a responsible citizen. Arshad's Jolly made us cheer for his growth into conscientiousness.
Again this Writer-Director Subhash Kapoor has his heart and conscience in the right place. And Akshay Kumar's sincerity shines through many of the film's clumsy episodes (like the one where he is shot at and saved by his wife). The first-half builds up Akshay Kumar's Jagdishwar Mishra URF Jolly's lackadaisical attitude to his profession with a sure-handedness that keeps the bustling uncertainties of Lucknow moving smoothly.
A traffic jam sets in mid-way when the proceedings move into a dingy overcrowded courtroom where a big political case of an encounter must be argued out to the bitter end leaving everyone including judge, lawyers, witnesses and of course us the audience thoroughly exhausted and a tad disappointed.
The melodramatic court proceedings include the judge and lawyer doing a dharna in the middle of the session. This is not contempt. It is something else. Something far more wearying.
Also -- and this point must be noted carefully, Your Honour -- Akshay Kumar lets down the courtroom drama in the second-half. While he is brilliant in putting forward a case for his character's ambitious downfall in the initial passages of the well-written if slightly over-cluttered screenplay, he is inadequate in his moral righteousness and out-performed by practically the entire cast in the courtroom.
Indeed the most gripping sliver of screenplay in this admirable though uneven morality tale of justice delayed though not denied, involves a pregnant widow Hina played by Saiyani Gupta whose husband is killed by cops in a fake encounter. Gupta brings a sense of unmitigated anxiety and grief to her part. She feels for her character. She is the voice of our collective conscience.
This brings us to the motley crew of majestic performances. Barring Huma Qureshi who is disastrously awful as Akshay Kumar's drinking designer-wearing wife, every actor gives his or her best shot to the film. Saurabh Shukla who was an absolute scene-stealer in the first Jolly film, remarkably reboots his part as the huffing and puffing judge whose indifferent attitude in the court hides a steely determination. Shukla's Judge has a life outside the courtroom. He loves Bollywood cinema, adores Alia Bhatt and insists he will dance to Alia's Gulabo at his daughter's wedding.
Can we ever dislike this man?
Annu Kapoor as the posh lawyer fighting against Akshay Kumar is delightfully strong in projecting arrogant power, as is the ever-reliable Kumud Mishra as a corrupt killer-cop. Rajiv Gupta as Akshay Kumar's assistant compels you to keep looking at him every time he is in the corner of a frame looking nervous, fidgety or plain confused.
As for Huma Qureshi, did she walk on to the wrong set? Which movie is she supposed to be in?
While I marvelled at the grand gallery of performing maestros who imbue an honourable heft to the lopsided courtroom drama I missed the antidote to ennui that is bound to set into any courtroom proceedings that wants to prod our sense of propriety awake with homilies and cynicism harnessed into a broad-based concluding moral sermon from Judge Saurav Shukla on how over-worked our courts are.
Amen to that. As for the film's big message on Kashmir and militancy I felt Jolly had taken on more than he could handle. Blessedly I didn't feel the same about the film's director. Subhash Kapoor pulls off an acerbic and arresting film on the loopholes in our legal system with an inner strength of conviction that carries us through some plodding passages of legalese.
Akshay Kumar must be applauded for selecting films that go beyond entertainment without losing their entertainment value. There are sequences here, such as the one where Hina confronts the errant Jolly in front of his wife and father, and the sequence where Jolly's hostile mentor comes to his rescue, which are evidence of tremendous writing skill.
If only "Jolly LLB 2" didn't fumble at crucial plot points. Awkwardness sits on the proceedings.
'Jolly LLB 2': Akshay shines in an entertaining satire (Review By Troy Ribeiro, Rating: ***)
Apart from being a courtroom drama and Saurabh Shukla playing Judge Tripathi, there is nothing common between "Jolly LLB 2" and its predecessor the Arshad Warsi-starrer "Jolly LLB". And the only reference, if any, is a faint line when Saurabh Shukla, says: "Your name seems familiar, heard it in Delhi".
Astutely mounted on a larger scale and set in Lucknow, "Jolly LLB 2" is a redemption story. The film trails Jagdishwar Mishra aka Jolly, an assistant to a renowned lawyer, who desires to set up his own practice, cheats a young lady Hina, seeking justice for her husband Iqbal, in a case of mistaken identity.
Dejected with the turn of events, Hina takes a drastic step that jolts Jolly. Ridden with guilt and to undo what he did, he files a Public Interest Litigation. How he gains redemption and prominence, forms the crux of the tale.
The script meanders with some off-beat scenes and songs. The first half toils on establishing the characters and the Holi song in particular is incongruous to the plot.
This feel-good satire seems to have lost its lustre. Not that this is a bad film, but it does tread on a predictable terrain with a plethora of poignant moments, some powerful ones. Some of the scenes seem forced with comedy, some of the parts are laugh-out-loud funny, but beneath the humour is the subtle criticism of the corrupt system which can be easily manipulated. The courtroom drama is indeed interesting albeit weary and it lacks the soul of its previous edition.
But, Akshay Kumar as Jagdishwar Mishra is the raison d'etre of this film. Though he is too old to play a novice and a bit unconvincing while indulging in buffoonery, he nevertheless carries the film squarely on his shoulders exuding star charisma.
Huma Qureshi as his whisky-drinking and Gucci-wearing wife Pushpa Pandey is competent. But her character is an appendage to the plot which offers nothing but a wholesome appeal to Jolly's character.
In supporting roles -- brilliantly essayed -- are Saurabh Shukla as Justice Sunderlal Tripathi, Annu Kapoor as the defendant lawyer Pramod Mathur, Sayani Gupta as Hina Siddiqui -- the pregnant lady seeking justice, Kumud Mishra as the sly and ambitious Inspector Suryaveer Singh and Avijit Dutt as Police Commissioner S.S. Paul.
Unfortunately, Manav Kaul in a miniscule role as Hina's husband Iqbal Qassim is wasted.
With excellent production values and good cinematography, the film is a typical Hindi blockbuster with an easy going demeanour. Nevertheless, the film is an entertainer.
Actor Kumud Mishra, who played the protagonist in the short film "Listener", says choosing the right script for short films isn't easy as the story depends on the merit of the script.Asked if he liked working in a short film, Kumud told IANS here: "I think choosing the right script for a short film is tough because here, everything depends on how good the script is…that creates the impact. The length of the film is short, it is experimental. If the script is not well written and compact, it won't create an impact."He has been dabbling in different mediums. He featured in films like "Rockstar", "Jolly LLB 2", "Raanjhanaa", "Badlapur" and "Airlift", and also did plays like "Bali Aur Shambhu", "Flirt In Your Dreams" and "Kaumudi".Read MoreAge has not affected anything: Akshay Kumar
He is 50 but Akshay Kumar continues to defy age with his looks, physique, stunts and spirit. While he says his passion gets him going, industry experts say the fact he keeps reinventing himself with right stories has helped his success story.Read More
Inspired by true events that has happened in India, the sequel to the national award winning film Jolly LLB will see Jolly (Akshay Kumar) take up a huge case where he will fight against the corrupt and the powerful. The fight for what is right will not be an easy one for Jolly as he will realise he will be the last man standing up for justice against injustice.