By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | February 10, 2017
Rating: 2 / 5
The essence: What I really related to in the film was a quote towards the end which read thus: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”—Martin Luther King Jr.
Exactly my point: Kapoor did a grave injustice to himself as a story-teller, Brand Jolly LLB and also to Arshad Warsi. He replaced an actor with a brand and ripped off the soul of the film.
A sequel is always looked forward to with anticipation especially when the first instalment has not only won rave reviews and word-of-mouth publicity, but also a National Award. So Jolly LLB 2 by director Subhash Kapoor becomes all the more, a looked-forward to film. But in between he has had Guddu Rangeela, a not so successful film, and it’s always a difficult proposition to prove yourself, all over again.
Jolly LLB 2, according to me, failed in its conception stage; by knocking off Arshad Warsi and replacing him with Akshay Kumar. Agreed, Akshay is a brand, but a movie is made with soul, and Kapoor should know that better than anyone else. He made Say Salaam India in 2007, a movie with soul!
When Jagdish Tyagi’s (Jolly) character has been established in Jolly LLB, and his character had gained a status towards the end of the film, one can only build from there. Kapoor now has the unenviable task of building a new Jolly on the screen in this outing by introducing Akshay Kumar in a not-so impressive scene where he enables a classroom full of students, with the examiner present, answer an English paper.
Character re-established, Kapoor now has to push forward a case that would match the brilliance of the hit-and-run case. There is a case here, a ‘Police Encounter’, but there is plenty of melodrama infused to get the plot rolling and even a tame sequence where Jolly runs on seeing two hoodlums. Brand Akshay is known to beat the bullies into jelly. Here, the brand takes a beating and so does the plot.
The widow who was seeking help from Jolly is unwittingly cheated by him. Full of remorse, Jolly decides to fight her case. Sachin Mathur (Anu Kapoor) defends the police team that is being taken on by Jolly. Sunderlal Tripathi (Saurabh Shuklha) returns as the judge with his characteristics intact, taking on the bully lawyer, Mathur, while at the same time working his way around Jolly and his inexperience.
The melodrama reaches fever pitch in the courtroom when there is a dharna, a Kashmir Police team coming into court to arrest Jolly and a witness he has accompanied from Kashmir, and Mathur’s father who is wheeled into the courtroom at 1 am. But the actual drama is when the old man in the wheel chair grabs Mathur’s hands requesting him not to go any further in defending the case! Jolly never won: Mathur’s father won it for him. God knows what Mathur would have done to win the case.
In the hit-and-run case, Jolly built his attack to a nicety before landing the killer punch on Rajpal. That brilliance was missing here.
Other elements that goes against the film is Manav Kaul. A fine actor, here he is made to look as sinister as he did in Wazir. Playing Iqbal Qasim, he is arrested in place of a terrorist Iqbal Siddiqui. While the terrorist is set free, he is gunned down in a police encounter to facilitate a police promotion. A little attention to the detailing of his make-up would have made him look like an aam aadmi which was what was needed.
There is also this intense scene where Jolly meets up with the Police Commissioner in his own home seeking his help to nail the corrupt cop while at the same time threatening to expose his ‘encounters’. The scene is built to a fever-pitch and the next instant, Saurab Shukla is shown dancing at his daughter’s wedding. Bad insertion of a song/dance sequence pandering to the commercial pitch!
There is also an unnecessary reference to Mahesh Bhatt where Tripathy says, “Alia Bhatt is the best contribution of Mahesh Bhatt to Bollywood, after Saraansh.” Whatever!
Sayani Gupta playing Hina has the best scenes in the film and the girl delivers in style. Looking completely different from Fan and Margarita With A Straw, Sayani leaves an indelible mark on the film in her short role. Same actor, a new performance! Huma Qureshi, surprisingly, struggles to emote. Maybe she was not convinced of Pushpa, the character she was playing. Ditto the boy who plays her son.
But what I really related to in the film was a quote towards the end which read thus:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” —Martin Luther King Jr.
Exactly my point: Kapoor did a grave injustice to himself as a story-teller, Brand Jolly LLB and also to Arshad Warsi.
He replaced an actor with a brand and ripped off the soul of the film!
Producer: Fox Star Studios
Director: Subhash Kapoor
Star Cast: Akshay Kumar, Saurabh Shukla, Annu Kapoor, Sayani Gupta