Director: Subhash Kapoor
Writer: Subhash Kapoor
Stars: Akshay Kumar, Annu Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Saurabh Shukla
Runtime: 140 min
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Released: 10 Feb 2017
Summary: Jolly is a clumsy lawyer who is faced with representing the most critical court case of his career.
Review: Jolly LLB 2 is the kind of film Hindi cinema used to make at a time when its primary activity was to tell a rousing tale, using star power to embellish it.
This sequel of Jolly LLB, infinitely superior to the first, brings back the joys of watching a movie with a solid plot, a strong sense of time and place and rhythm, and a confidence in itself that has been missing from Bollywood. Yes, there a few dips, and some slips, but on the whole, this Akshay Kumar-starrer is a win.
It engaged me right from the first frame. And though you know exactly how it will end, there are enough good performances, and enough heft to keep us with it.
Kanpur-wale Jagdishwar Mishra aka Jolly (Akshay Kumar), now a Lucknow-nivasi, is lawyer-in-the-making. Which means that Jolly is just the kind of shifty individual who will indulge in just the kind of dodgy activity to help him cross the hump, from a 15th assistant of a snooty senior advocate to a ‘vakil’ in his own right, with his own chamber.
But you also know that this Jolly will see the path of truth sooner vs later, and set out to slap the bad guys into submission. Not with the kind of kicks and slaps that we’ve got used to from Akshay’s actioners, but the sort of colourful verbal sparring that lawyers engage in, dotted with some hilarious throwaway lines which the star generously shares with his terrific co-stars, especially Saurabh Shukla and Annu Kapoor.
Also, though we like that this film is not inherently scared of drama, and it fully embraces its dramatic bits — something else that’s gone missing from today’s Bollywood — it does fling in contrivances which take away from the core strength of the film. Especially towards the end, which gets stretched, and a trifle preachy about Hindu-Muslim ekta and bhaichara.
But I’m happy to ignore those bits because it does go bravely where few films do: send across a message without it feeling grafted on, about religious amity, and probity amongst a profession which has been buried under lies and corruption. The way it’s done, the message gives it meaning minus sanctimony.
Jolly LLB 2 is a cracking watch, despite its few squelchy parts. Aur yeh lock kiya jaaye, mi’lord.