Jolly LLB 2 review: Nothing refreshing about this typical filmi courtroom drama

Release Date: 10 Feb 2017 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 18min

Cinestaan Rating

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Keyur Seta

The Akshay Kumar starrer is a been-there-done-that saga that can be watched once.

Subhash Kapoor’s Jolly LLB (2013) was a surprise hit that year after the Arshad Warsi-starrer received positive word-of-mouth publicity. The film was an engaging courtroom drama where realism was as important as the characters. This was achieved since the director was once a journalist who covered court proceedings.

Generally, the scale of sequels tends to be bigger compared to that of the first film. So, the makers of the sequel, Jolly LLB 2, have replaced realism with commercialism or filmi-ness and Warsi with Akshay Kumar. The result is a typical courtroom drama that works only marginally.

The story centres around Jagdishwar Mishra aka Jolly (Akshay Kumar). He is a lawyer practising in Lucknow but he belongs to Kanpur, where his aged father stays. He lives a middle-class life with his wife, Pushpa (Huma Qureshi) and a son. Jolly isn’t happy with how his life is moving. He works in the law firm owned by the most respected lawyer, Qureshi (Ram Gopal Bajaj). But most of the times he ends up doing menial work for him. 

After some struggle, he finally gets a case to fight on his own. His client Heena’s (Sayani Gupta) husband was killed in a police encounter. But she believes it was a cold-blooded murder. Despite not being prepared, Jolly tries giving her justice. However, his path is laden with thorns. The biggest of them all is Advocate Mathur (Annu Kapoor), followed by the corrupt senior inspector Suryaveer Singh (Kumud Mishra). 

After watching the trailers, one expects the film to tread on the fun path for some time and then take a serious turn close to the interval point. But that is not the case. The main story is established early on. This works and the film remains on track almost for the entire duration. The humorous situations and witty lines ensure that you are kept engaged throughout. 

But Jolly LLB 2 doesn’t work entirely. The main culprit here is too many creative liberties being taken in the name of commercial entertainment. This is fine to some extent because it is important to entertain the audience in such a genre of films. However, the proceedings cross the line clearly, especially in the second half. There is too much of convenience and cliche in the pre-climax and climax. There is also an over-the-top moment between a lawyer and judge, which is probably never seen before in the history of Indian cinema. 

The music (Meet Bros, Vishal Khurana, Manj Musik and Chirantan Bhatt) of the film falls in the average category. ‘Bawara Mann’ is a soothing number, while ‘Go Pagal’ is catchy. 

Kumar is going through a glorious period, not just in terms of the success of his films, but also his own performances. In Jolly LLB 2, he has once again succeeded in carrying the film on his able shoulders. Although he isn’t extraordinary, he turns in an entertaining act.

Thankfully, Annu Kapoor’s character is not reduced to a stereotype evil lawyer. The veteran actor's peculiar mannerisms and dialogue delivery are a good contribution to the film. After Airlift, Sultan, Rustom and M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story, Mishra is once again effective; this time as the evil cop. Saurabh Shukla is the best of all. He smartly rocks between being a frustrated judge and the chief humour generator, to turn in a lovable act. He is the only actor to have been retained from the first Jolly LLB film.

Huma Qureshi shows her talent, but she doesn’t have much to do. There is also an issue with her character. She is someone who doesn’t allow her husband to enter the house if he is late. But she has no problems when he cheats a helpless person. Ram Gopal Bajaj is convincing as the senior-most lawyer. Gupta and Inaamulhaq generate a tremendous impact in cameos. Manav Kaul, who also makes a cameo, is decent. 

Overall, Jolly LLB 2 is a been-there-done-that filmi courtroom saga.