Law and behold. The judge out here is as sweet as
choc-o-fudge, his expresssionless wonder of an attendant never does budge. And
there are scattershot moments when – vis-à-vis the court’s cleanliness and
general orderliness, our nyayadhish goes wink-wink-nudge-nudge.
Needless to add, the jocose judge of State vs Jolly LLB 2,
written-directed by Subash Kapoor, is the show-stealer of the second edition of
the thodasa jolly ho jaaye franchise. Niiice. The BIG question though is
whether the encore piece is as compelling and cracklingly crisp as the first
outing of Jollywood. Nope, sob and sigh, it isn’t. However, if you’re the sort
who abhors odious comparisons, here’s a 148-minuter which is surely a notch or
two above the commonplace. After all, it has something purposeful to state,
besides moving at a fairly brisk clip. Hurray, hip hip.Image Source: youtube/FoxStarHindi
A wrap-up speechlet informs you that the ratio between
pending court cases and the man-power to judge them is woefully abysmal. Got
that, thank you. Trolley over, then, to a mohalla of courts and tin-shed
chambers. Since it’s Lucknow, there’s much paan chewing, banter about kababs,
and uh oh khullam khulla cheating at school examinations. In this milieu, apna
Jolly (Akshay Kumar), born to a clerk, can neither bite nor bark, never mind
his certified lawyer’s degree. Eeeee.
Of indeterminate age, Jolly-ho commits a grave error and
is pricked by that thorn called conscience. Now, he must redeem himself by
winning the case of a lifetime, involving terrorist activities (which means a
quickie trip to Kashmir under snow), handling a whisky-swigging wife (Huma
Qureshi, disappointingly vapid) who longs to wear Gucci outfits. Other
activities entail bathing a tubby son,
enduring a nightmare straight out of a horror flick and assuring a
rather confused dad about how there’s always a light-bulb at the end of a
tunnel. All work, no play (unless you count a Holi splash), by now, are getting
your goatee. Ho-ho-hum.
Gratifyingly the second-half gets to the nitty-gritty of
the subject, grabbing you by the collar. Jolly assumes the responsibilty of a
rebel with a cause, especially during the extended finale where there must be
‘khoon ka khoon and paani ka paani’ once and for all.
Jolly’s opposing lawyer, a smoothie shake (Annu Kapoor)
pulls out every vile trick in the book to defend a creepier than a snake police
officer (Kumud Mishra). Next: believe it or faint a dharna ensues in the grungy
courtroom. And chances of fair justice are as remote as a business class
air-trip to the moon.
To avoid spoilers suffice it to say, the penultimate
scenes and even the end vignette are a zinger. All quite entertainingly and
plausibly done. Caution: don’t expect the hard realism of the Marathi film
Courtroom or Saeed Mirza’s Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho here. Thoroughly at home in the
la la land of a fantasy world, director Subhash Kapoor uses the Bollywood
matrix to make his points on the Kafkaesque legal system effectively
enough.Image Source: youtube/T-Series
On the minus side, the music score is nothing to
hum-de-hum about. Anil Mohile’s background score often shouts for volume
control. And the cinematography is so over-lit on occasion that your reach for
your dark glasses (not Gucci).
Excessive references are needlessly made to Bollywood to
raise a titter. Seriously, do you expect even the zaniest lawyer to ask someone
in the dock, “So when do you think Salman Khan will get married?” And hello
Alia Bhatt is referred to a lovable brand of Madhubala, Madhuri Dixit and more.
Overwhelmingly, insights are offered not only into
legalese (a menu card offers rates for
getting the grossly guilty off the hook) but also into quite a few aspects of
trifling with the scourge of terrorism. Doubtlessly, there’s a storyline with a
firm spine here.
Over to the acting quotient. Akshay Kumar is absolutely
inspired and believable. Fingers crossed that the actor won’t return to those
rowdy rascala type of brain-marauders. Annu Kapoor as the quicksilver
tongued-lawyer is perfect-o. And there’s a wonderfully-nuanced cameo by Sayani
Gupta, as a young Muslim woman driven to despair. Hopefully, Ms Gupta is here
Above all Saurabh Shukla as the judge, habituated to
bouts of moodiness and yet sharp as a blade, is outstanding. The extra
half-star for Jolly LLB 2 is just for enjoying the pleasure of his company
once more with feeling.