Rating : 4/5
Genre : Drama
Year : 2013
Running time : 2 hours 10 minutes
Director : Subhash Kapoor
Cast : Arshad Warsi, Amrita Rao, Boman Irani, Harsh Chaya, Mohan Agashe, Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Mishra
Kid rating : PG
A long while after “Sehar” comes another movie with a major role for Arshad Warsi. He is a dependable actor, a fact obscured by his “Munnabhai” genre roles. In Jolly LLB , Warsi is small time Meerut-base lawyer Jagdish Tyagi or Jolly. Dreaming of making it big, Warsi moves to Delhi and sets up shop at Tees Hazari. His practice isn’t quite chugging along, so when he sees a colleague file a PIL and gain publicity because of it, he decides to file a PIL too. The PIL he files is about a hit-and-run case, where a rich kid driving his LandCruiser has driven onto the pavement, killing several folk sleeping there.
As is normal for the Indian Justice system, the rich kid’s dad and his expensive, smarmy lawyer Advocate Rajpal (Boman Irani) have greased palms everywhere. They haven’t accounted for Jolly’s PIL though. Neither has Jolly.
This is, some might say, a formula film about the under-dog taking on the system. We have seen this ad nauseam in Hindi cinema – very been there done that. Still Warsi and Rao bring a freshness to it. Of course, the honest path is hard to tread and the deck is stacked against our hero. Jolly gets a little help from Judge Tripathi (Saurabh Shukla). Rotund, bespectacled Tripathi is a veteran of the Indian Courts. He defers to Advocate Rajpal, and seems to be good friends with everybody else. You wonder which side he is on.
This film has its heart in the right place. Its hero is a common man, caught up in the rush to become someone, someone with enough money to afford a good life. And that seems struggle enough. There are shortcuts; one only must bend. But vulnerable as Jolly is , he wins you over with his earnestness and his good heart, and his ability to take beating after beating (some physical and some not) and still not lose his die-hard spirit. His character keeps you in the film, for there are few films and few heroes which portray a vulnerable protagonist so well. This one does. And Warsi makes it possible.
Warsi is ably aided by the director and the fairly strong script and screenplay. The rest of the actors – even ones in small roles – are impeccable. This is a good film – one of the best this year. Highly recommended.
Kidwise : The film is pretty clean and free of vulgarity. The subject matter (violence/court-proceedings/corruption) may not appeal to very young children, but the film itself is PG.