‘Jolly LLB 2’ Movie Review


Subhash Kapoor returns with his new Jolly. This time in Lucknow.

Someone once said, God is in the details. It is those details that Subhash Kapoor the director, writer captures so well on screen. After the quirky Phas Gaye Re Obama, Jolly LLB and the disastrous Guddu Rangeela, he returns to the legal space he presented so well with Arshad Warsi & Boman Irani.

So Jagdishwar Mishra a.k.a. Jolly, is a wannabe lawyer, actually the 15th assistant to one of the leading lawyers of Lucknow, who does odd cases on the side, as well as helps the local kids to cheat in their English exams.

In an attempt to get bribe his way to his own chamber, he tricks a pregnant Hina Siddiqui (Sayani Gupta) which leads to a chain of unfortunate events. Jolly’s conscience takes a beating, besides the public humiliation he suffers, leading to him taking on the case on against the system.

Keeping the story premise similar to the original, yet not repeating the formula is what sets this film apart.

In spite of having some lack lustre music, the film never drags nor does it make you feel heavy with all its onscreen legal angles. This is delivered due to some clever writing and brilliant direction resulting in first rate performances by almost the entire cast.

The only person, whom I felt short-changed about was Huma Qureshi. Such a talent but unfortunately wasted somehow. She does a good job, but has limited scope as the wife and mother of one.

Filled with a talented cast like Ram Gopal Bajaj as the respected Siddiqui saab, Brijendra Kalra, Vinod Nagpal, Inaamulhaq (earlier seen as the Iraqi General in Airlift), Manav Kaul and the ever talented, neon goggles donning Guruji, Sanjay Mishra. These all lend able and tremendous support to the film’s narrative and leave you asking for me. Even Sudhanva Deshpande as the CBI sleuth and VK Paul as the top cop lend adequate support.

Then comes Rajiv Gupta as Birbal who in the first half is brilliant as Jolly’s assistant and agent, but somehow in the second half is speechless, literally. Kumud Mishra is such a menace as the encounter cop Suryaveer Singh, a big leap from the normal goody roles he usually plays. Sayani Gupta as Hina is excellent; from her laboured breathing to helpless burst of anger.

Then come our trio of Annu Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla and Akshay Kumar. Saurabh reprises his role of Judge Tyagi from the original, making him the continuity in the series. Very smart once again.

Annu as the defence lawyer with a rate card and package for everything under the sun is superlative. From his condescending look towards the munshi’s son who is competing with him; the repeated reference to ‘aap Kanpur se hai’ and the brilliant ‘everything is fair in love and war speech’. I mean every dialogue, trick that he uses on screen is brilliant.

Saurabh Shukla, trying to get his daughter to agree to a Harish Malhotra instead of a Manish Malhotra lehenga for her wedding, keeping Alia Bhatt’s photograph on the dusty walls of his office, and yet trying to get some order in his courtroom, where he himself feels unsafe, is bang on. Saying that he nailed it, would be an understatement. His references to Nirupa Roy and Sunny Deol come with equal ease as his objection to being referred to as Tughlaq or helplessness as Teddy Bear. He does literally get the last word or rather monologue in the film, where he presents a reality well known to us, but it always sounds good when it is retold by someone like Shukla’s Tyagi.

Akshay Kumar yet again delivers more than what he promised. Although since it is him, we know in the end he will manage and succeed; something we were not too sure of in Arshad’s case making it all the more believable; and Akshay does. Yes certain things have been shown in cinematic liberty angle such as the entire Kashmir episode (shot in Manali). But still the actor in him doesn’t let the star steal the show. His entire look, from the torn socks to the pan chewing, he does it naturally. His performance yet again saves the film in certain parts from being too preachy.

Subhash Kapoor does deserve a pat for a smart comeback after Rangeela. Yes he does take a few formulaic steps in keeping the sequel ‘safe’ but overall, just due to his smart writing and some brilliant one liners, coupled with the brilliant performances, he manages to save the day.

RATING:  3.5/5

By: Yusuf Poonawala