Akshay Kumar is the only mega star actor who dares to carry entire range of Bollywood. From ludicrous Housefulls to sombre Airlifts to pacy Babys to rowdy Rathores. No Khan would dare risk such a portfolio nor get into low budget light social comedies like Jolly LLB 2. Director Subash Kapoor too gets my kudos for specialising in satires (Phans gaye re Obama), far away from ‘was just checking out his arse’ movies.
Jolly LLB is a rare Bollywood franchise which stood on its own; no glam doll cast, no crowd pulling star, no designer dresses, no Corsica locales. Based on the real life Sanjeev Nanda hit & run case, Arshad Warsi carried this courtroom drama sincerely enough for multiple viewings. It collected two national awards too – including Saurabh Shukla’s unforgettable judge act. Subhash Kapoor upped his game for part deux roping in the bankable Akki to go with the versatile Shukla.
Shukla’s and Annu Kapoor’s (a more than able replacement for Boman Irani) hilarious war of words are alone worth your ticket price. You leave the hall recalling Shukla’s antics and the poor apathy of our judiciary – with lawyer package rates, bills handed for tea at lawyer office, hanging lights that need to be held manually, open gunshots in court and aided by a police who can bail off a terrorist for paltry sums.
And replace him by killing an innocent. Jolly LLB2 isn’t based on any real life case but certain police encounters do come to mind. It’s true that, three crore plus pending cases aside, the common man on a random argument still says ‘I will see you in court’. It’s also true that our last institutions of survival – healthcare and judiciary – are amongst the most corrupt, loosely governed and loophole filled.
The movie too has loopholes – unwanted melodrama and random coincidences propping up. Specially the J&K fugitive or the terrorist turned saint elements just aided in simplicity, not in richness. I wish Kapoor had used Akki’s brawns and added some thriller cum investigative elements – like searching for original terrorist or checking on the cop’s financial records – to make this a 4+/5 movie. It’s not an out and out Akshay movie, infact his talents should have been used better.
Akshay’s restraint act and messages aside, its the brilliant support cast and settings that give the smiles. This is 2017 Uttar Pradesh – where a middle class lady dreams of Gucci dresses, lahenga and burqa wearing ladies play Indian Ladies League (IPL style cricket tournament) and law exams are conducted under mass copying!
Jolly LLB2 is a genre which is toughest to make – clean, family fun, entertaining product with strong messages for society. The last time Bollywood tried such, close to a year ago, was Happy Bhaag Jayegi. That alone should give you reason to visit the theatre.
Rating: 3.5/5 (Definite watch)
Box Office Prediction: At time of writing Jolly LLB2 has grossed 140 crore and counRaees, despite being a much superior product.ting. Singapore second weekend evening show at a suburb had 40% occupancy. Kapoor had the ingredients, the broad shoulders of Akki and a fabulous first half, to make this a must watch movie but misses out. Still, it’s good meaningful entertainment and must be rewarded. Jolly LLB2 will gross around the 200 crore mark, which will be lesser than