Jolly LLB 2- Movie Review
Posted by Vivek on February 12, 2017 | No Comments
FILM – Jolly LLB-2
PRODUCER – Fox Star Studios
DIRECTOR – Subhash Kapoor
WRITER – Subhash Kapoor
CAST –Akshay Kumar, Huma Qureshi, Saurabh Shukla, Annu Kapoor, Innamulhaq Haq, Kumud Mishra, Sayani Gupta
MUSIC – Meet Bros, Vishal Khurana, Manj Musik, Chirantan Bhatt
Jolly LLB – 2, the film is just like its titular hero, well-intentioned but bumbling. Stumbling along the tricky curves of a courtroom drama that is also a social satire, the film seems to have taken its title literally too, it’s quite jolly although in a Priyadarshan way. Maybe it is Akshay Kumar’s (re)turn in a comedy laced drama or maybe it is the literalness of the universe of the film (and its jokes) but it does remind you of his past work with the man.
Like most other franchise films, Jolly LLB – 2 also rides on the goodwill of the first film under the garb of saying something new. The problem is not in what it says, which given the times is extremely relevant, but how it says it. Choppy, irrational, literal and unfortunately flat is all its drama and comment meandering from emotional to logical, ideological to factual without a valid reason or graph. It gets the tone of both right individually, the emotional bits are genuine and logical bits pass muster, but the mix becomes a long drawn out confused dharna of good ideas in an under-cooked stew.
The film rides on Akshay’s star power and solid image but thankfully stays away from making a superhero out of him. It has an impressive line up of good actors like Sanjay Mishra, Manav Kaul, Annu Kapoor and Saurabh Shukla, the first two in two bit roles and the latter thankfully with full fledged agency in the film. This takes the burden off Akshay and although it is nice to see him hulkily participating instead of hulkily towering over the proceedings, the illogicality of writing and choppiness of the treatment leaves one cold despite spare moments of mirthful interest.
In its enthusiasm to be different and direct the film does so many things that it becomes too direct to be really different. It has entire set pieces and specific characters to comment on bureaucracy, gender politics, corruption, governance, power, personal and professional ethics and so on and on that it gets entangled in its own big basket of relevant issues. It turns stereotypes on its head with little meaning or impact (Saurabh Shukla as the affable but ethical judge, Huma Quereshi as the supportive airhead wife, Sanjay Mishra as the progressive retired constable). It is a worthy effort that casts a wide eye at our socio-political existence but looks like an effort. It has witty enough one-liners and dramatic enough comebacks but too few and far between to keep the interest going. The interest after all, is in the case Jolly is fighting, a case hinged on social justice but fought solely on the strength of emotional dramatics.
After a point, the metacomment on the very film form of courtroom dramas settles in and we know it is not Sunny verse anymore. If the common man has to emerge victorious it can’t be with fury nor intellect, not ethics or rules but by simply calling out the games as is. It is this delicate territory that the film fumbles at, just like how we in the real world are fumbling, trying to redraw ethical boundaries of social justice through populism.