Movie Review : Jolly LLB 2 (2017)

Rating : 3.4/5
Genre : Drama
Year : 2016
Running time : 2 hours 20 minutes
Director : Subhash Kapoor
Cast : Akshay Kumar, Huma Qureshi, Saurabh Shukla, Annu Kapoor, Sayani Gupta, Kumud Mishra
Kid rating: PG

This is what I dislike about sequels. You take a perfectly good movie, and then think that if you only increase the superficial things that made it tick, to the umpteenth degree in the sequel, it will be an even bigger hit. What generally happens is that the increase in the commercial slant, affects the quality and structure of the film detrimentally. Of course this does not matter for a desi film, because the audience will lap it up anyway 🙁 .

This is precisely what happens with Jolly LLB2, the sequel to the much-loved Jolly LLB. Director Kapoor replaces his original hero Arshad Warsi with the more marketable Akshay Kumar. He takes Judge Tripathi’s (Saurabh Shukla’s character’s) natural loquaciousness and has it hammed up to unbearable levels. He rams tearful, often familial, melodrama into the film, until it oozes from every pore. There is more of the gaana-bajana, even when it doesn’t fit in. The only improvement here is the heroine – Huma Qureshi replaces Amrita Rao.

The storyline follows predictable, not un-entertaining paths. Jagdishwar Mishra aka Jolly (Kumar), an educated lawyer, serves as a street-smart junior administrative underling in famous Advocate Rizvi’s office, and dreams of having his own office one day. In a financial crunch one day, he accepts a client’s (Gupta) case in Mr Rizvi’s name, only to have his dishonesty come to light later. Ashamed, he decides to fight the client’s case on his own terms, which pits him against a corrupt cop (Mishra) and his even wilier lawyer (Annu Kapoor). Up against insurmountable odds, will Jolly stand his ground?

While Akshay Kumar might have a great contribution in making this film a commercial success, he lacks the true honesty that Warsi, a much under-appreciated actor, brought to the role. Huma Qureshi is pretty good as the alcohol-swigging wife Pushpa. Stalwarts Annu Kapoor and Saurabh Shukla bolster the film up considerably, while Sayani Gupta (who’s cropping up everywhere these days) makes a short appearance as the hapless, pregnant client, Hina, seeking justice.

Even with all that, as compared to Jolly LLB, Jolly LLB2 suffers majorly in quality. The subtlety, the reading between the lines is gone. The screenplay isn’t as tight, with large portions of the film devolving into boring dialog-baazi. Jolly LLB2 is put together in a slap-dash manner, and the film lacks the soul the original had. And if you do not have soul, what do you have?

If it had not been for the tremendous cast, I’d have difficulty rating this film even as average. I hope Kapoor reverses this trend, and goes back to his storytelling roots. If you are looking for a commercial film with some sense/story, this might be it. If you are looking for a good movie, do not be misled by Subhash Kapoor’s past work; look elsewhere.

Kidwise: I suspect that kids are at risk of boredom rather than emotional scarring with this film. Some scenes/situations in the film may be distressing – there is some violence/aggressive behavior – but other than that, it is an un-perturbing watch.

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