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JOLLY LLB - Watch it to witness a rare entertaining court room drama from Hindi cinema. (Review by Bobby Sing)

15 Mar, 2013 | Movie Reviews / 2013 Releases

Jolly LLB

One of those important genres of cinema wherein Bollywood has not ventured extensively is ‘Court Room Dramas’ which in fact does have its own strong fan following among the film lovers. The subject is not often used in our films probably because the ‘Indian Judicial System” still functions in a questionable manner with people even dying before they get justice in their court cases running from years. And pointing towards this ‘delayed justice strategy’ in a bold manner may drag the film into unnecessary controversies as it seems.
On the other hand, whenever there has been a lawyer posing as a savior or messiah on the screen for the innocent victims fighting for justice in the court, the Indian viewers have loved it and appreciated the film a lot like in MERI JUNG (1985), DAMINI (1993), VEER ZAARA (2004) or NO ONE KILLED JESSICA (2011). So lawyer as an underdog hero, fighting in favour of the common man, has more or less worked in our Hindi Cinema and that’s what scores once again in the recent JOLLY LLB directed by Subhash Kapoor, post his worth praising PHAS GAYE RE OBAMA released in 2010.
As suggested by the title the film is all about a confused struggling lawyer Jolly, who is still caught in the dilemma that, should a good lawyer fight a case for his own client or for the right justice which should ideally punish the culprit. Frankly, I was expecting a very light kind of comedy featuring Arshad Warsi in the lead, as shown in its promotional campaign on the channels. But it was really a pleasant surprise to see that it was not at all a comedy but a much important film than that, revealing the ugly faces of two primary social security institutions of our country namely The Courts and The Police Stations.
So evidently here is another example of a strong film promoted wrongly by the makers with a misleading message, which is sure going to affect its overall performance at the box office in the opening days. However if one forgets this avoidable step taken by the commercial promoters of the film then JOLLY LLB is no doubt, one of the better projects made in this particular genre of Court Room Dramas in Hindi cinema till date, which is bound to pick up fast as the word of mouth spreads.
The film starts off casually with the same old cliché elements and an unwanted song but soon gets on track after this initial weak 20 minutes. And the moment it gets on line, JLLB turns into an interesting sarcastic take on the judicial system of our country, giving the viewer a solid shock just before the interval. Further post the break it thankfully gives you some of the best scenes in the recent times on the subject of corruption, greedy lawyers, on-sale policemen, fake witnesses, easy going judges and the common man caught in between these dangerous termites of our society portrayed bluntly.
For instance, you must have heard that there is actually an underground bid held on the posting of SHOs in some important police stations of every city in the country. Now JOLLY LLB literally tells you how it is done in its own hilarious take. Plus it also has scenes where an old trembling policeman is appointed as the security guard for Arshad, a judge who calls the reputed lawyer “Sahab” repeatedly and then the so called respectable lawyer who openly says, “Yeh Court Hai, Yahan Kuchh Jaldi Nahin Hota” in front of the same judge, without any respect or hesitation. Eventually such intelligently directed scenes lead to a thoughtfully written climax in the court room itself which forces the viewer to clap for the proceedings on screen just effortlessly.

In fact, here the important distinctive plus point of the film is that it doesn’t end on that normal routine Courtroom Drama sequence filled with immense tension and suspense. But here since one can easily predict the climax, the director puts in the much needed entertainment factor back in the last 40 minutes which in turn takes the film to a different level altogether. As a result the viewer has a great enjoyable time in its final reels where Arshad is highly emotional, Boman is extremely annoyed and Saurabh Shukla reinstates the spirit of justice back in the court quite impressively. In few words, JOLLY LLB fills you with great enthusiasm as it ends with Arshad winning the case against all odds being the honest representative of the common man.
On the flip side, the film does has its flaws in its completely predictable plotline, deliberately inserted love angles, unwanted below average songs and a misguiding promotional campaign. Yet, JOLLY LLB covers all these weak points with its strong merits and emerges as a clear winner in the finale as I felt. Admittedly, at one end the film has a regular kind of background score and cinematography but on the other it has some exceptionally performed acts entertaining you well enough in return of your amount spent on the theater tickets unarguably. Both Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani are simply brilliant as the two opponents fighting in the court, well supported by a superb act from Saurabh Shukla as the judge. And you can easily watch the film for these three fabulous acts put together only, if not for anything else.
Plus with the three above mentioned towering acts, JOLLY LLB also has few small gems to offer in its supporting cast which include, Mohan Agashe as the big industrialist, Ramesh Deo as the canteen owner, Manoj Pahwa as the Jeeja, Sandeep Bose as the corrupt cop, Harsh Chhaya as the fake witness, Mohan Kapoor as the father of the ignorant boy and Sanjay Mishra in a cameo as the Police bid organizer. However though it was nice to see Amrita Rao back after a long gap, still she doesn’t get anything significant to do in the film as per its theme.
Overall, JOLLY LLB has ‘a Rajkumar Hirani film’ kind of feel which gives you full on entertainment in its content post intermission (which should be taken as a compliment for its director Subhash Kapoor). And since Hindi cinema has not really made many thoughtful entertaining court room dramas in the last few decades, therefore I would like to rate it as a must watch indeed from this particular angle. So do give it a chance and enjoy this powerful enjoyable drama with Arshad, Boman and the impeccable Saurabh Shukla having fun together.
Rating : 3.5 / 5 (With a special mention for the flawless act by Saurabh Shukla)

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15 Mar 2013 / Comment ( 0 )
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