Jolly LLB 2 review: Jolly good Akshay Kumar

Huma Qureshi as Pushpa Pandey (L) and Akshay Kumar as Jagdish Mishra (Photo: Facebook)

Film: Jolly LLB 2

Director: Subhash Kapoor

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Huma Qureshi, Saurabh Shukla and Annu Kapoor

Genre: Comedy, Drama
 
Making a successful sequel is a monumental task, especially if the first part had been even mildly successful. This is a fact, be it Bollywood or Hollywood or even Tollywood for that matter. And while Jolly LLB didn’t set fire to the box office in 2013, almost everyone appreciated the simple but power-packed plot which was ably supported by some belying performances. 

And when the budget is increased to accommodate a big star (No offence to Arshad Warsi) aka Akshay Kumar, the pressure on director Subhash Kapoor (Jolly LLB 1, Phas Gaye Re Obama) to deliver a meaty spectacle was immense.

And for about two-thirds of the film, Jolly LLB 2 sails through with minor blips, giving one a false sense of accomplishment at money well spent on the latest blockbuster from tinsel town.

Akshay Kumar, at one point of his career lost in senseless comic capers of films, produces a deliberately underplayed performance that even Khiladi will be proud of as he looks back on his career. Jagdish Mishra urf (aka) Jolly (Kumar) is a B.A.L.L.B from Kanpur and like countless lawyers in our vast nation, is biding his time for ‘the’ case to fall into his lap. He prays with religious fervour, slips his wife Pushpa Pandey (Huma Qureshi) foreign whiskey when the neighbourhood is fast asleep and is an all-round jolly good fellow.

Trouble is, nobody, not even his boss takes him seriously for being a lawyer. When his boss refuses a supposedly gone-case, Jolly takes up the fight for the downtrodden, albeit not in the circumstances you would expect.

Of course standing in his way are the baddies, Inspector Suryaveer Singh (Inaamulhaq) and an unscrupulous but star barrister Sachin Mathur (Annu Kapoor). With judge Tripathy (Saurabh Shukla) presiding over the case, one can expect fireworks and Jolly LLB 2 doesn't disappoint in that area.
 
Has Suryaveer committed the despicable crime he is being accused of by the aggrieved party? Of course he has. Will he eventually be brought to justice? Bingo! 

So why are we watching a movie we already know the conclusion to? 

Well, for starters Akshay Kumar.  He proves while the Khans may be setting box office records, in terms of sheer acting, he can give them a run for their money on any given day. His Jolly is utterly believable and with thankfully not much of senseless action (this is a courtroom drama after all) is shown, with the focus being on the proceedings inside the hall of justice.

And the second jewel in the movie is Shukla who reprises his role as Judge Tripathy from the first film. He is funny almost every time he is on screen, with self-deprecating jokes that will tickle your funny bones on more than one occasion.

Deep into the second half, the jolly (pun unintended) ride comes to an abrupt end, as chaos erupts in the courtroom and things quickly unravel from there. Annu Kapoor’s obnoxious super-successful lawyer act hits new lows and threatens to derail the good work done by the team so far even as his character tries to salvage his client reputation by any means necessary. His tete-a-tete with Judge Tripathy begin to wear on you as the film progresses, 

Jolly’s unbelievable jaunt to strife-stricken Kashmir really proves that Bollywood needs to perfect the art of an understated drama and not every climax is supposed to be jaw-dropping.

One can appreciate a carefully-pieced film nowadays and while the intent to hasten the pace is understood, the execution makes one shake their head at the literal waste of resources and the jarring new direction the plot is forced to undergo.

Go for Khiladi’s underplayed act and a plot that almost, almost brings to light the atrocities committed in towns and cities all over by some lustful individuals in the police forces with reckless abandon.