Jagdishwar Mishra aka Jolly (Akshay Kumar) is a lowly advocate in Lucknow where he works as an assistant for a famous advocate who thinks little of him. Jolly still has the guiles and intelligence to earn a buck here and there but nothing substantial. His idea of getting clients for himself is by having a chamber in the court for which he has been accumulating and paying his last penny. But as luck would have it, he is forced to pay 2 lakhs within 24 hours to save all that he had paid thus far and also get his own chamber. He does something terrible to pay that money which results in the death of an innocent. Jolly is impugned by what he had done and takes up the case of the victim for which she had been fighting. As he dwells deeper and deeper into the case he realizes that there is more at stake than his righteousness. Will Jolly be able to win the case and bring justice to the ones he wronged personally? This is the most important question on which the story of Jolly LLB hinges.
Going by the story that the film has to narrate, it ought to have been serious but unfortunately, Jolly LLB 2 is full of over the top buffoonery that to a great extent liquidates the film’s seriousness and reduces it to a masala flick when its predecessor was a thought-provoking drama with comedy sprinkled as toppings. More on that later. Let’s start by speaking of the positives. Jolly LLB 2 has an interesting plot. The film doesn’t have any dull moments. The speed is kept up throughout the proceedings and even though there are many sequences that the film could have done away with, but thankfully these sequences never hurt the speed or flow of the narrative and are actually funny to look at.
The next high point of the film is its performances. Akshay Kumar is immensely likable as Jolly. He really brings a different shade of the character then what we saw from Arshad Warsi. He is sly, he is foxy and he is vulnerable. He looses more than once in this film and when he does, he is left with very little option. That adds to the tension in the narrative and helps you get involved in the proceedings. Saurabh Shukla as the judge reprises his role from the first film and he is still a laugh riot. His character gets considerably more screen time which was a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. The fact that he is so very cute and likable makes it a good thing but the fact that his character should have been kept discreet and many sequences attributed to him hits the believability of the film was a downer for me. Annu Kapoor as the defense lawyer was great. However, he cannot match the suave act of Boman Irani from the first installment.
Coming to the cons of the film let’s try to jot them out point wise.
- Like it or not, comparisons are obvious for a sequel to the original and in that department, Jolly LLB 2 will surely fall short.
- The film’s story, no matter how interesting, is too far-fetched to be believable. In a film like this, the believability factor is a key element and Jolly LLB 2 losses on that department immensely.
- In trying to be funny it loses sight of its primary goal which is to address a pressing issue.
- Post interval, the film has some of the most ridiculous courtroom sequences to have ever graced Bollywood. They are really funny but they will take you out of the sad and heart-wrenching story of the victim for whom Jolly is fighting. Again, they add to the un-believability of the film.
- The screenplay also leaves enough room to raise questions here and there and the director wants you to accept it for what for what it is. That is not a good thing considering the fact that its predecessor was a believable and affecting courtroom drama.
- There are some issues in the manner the back story of the victim is laid out as well. Way too much of leverage is taken in terms of the story which again hits the believability of the story.
- Jolly is banned from Law practice and given just four days to prove his innocence. Jolly has an impending arrest warrant along with one of his prime witness. Still, he comes out trumps. And how he does it is extremely dramatic. The film totally lost me in these sequences even though they were entertaining.
Having said all that, it still cannot be ignored that Jolly LLB 2 is ravishingly entertaining and that even I was cheering in many of the sequences. It’s a perfectly passable masala flick which has to be watched and enjoyed just as that if you really want to have a great time. For all those who are expecting a retreat in the same steps as Jolly LLB, they are bound to be disappointed. It’s a funnier and a more Bollywoodish-take on the judiciary with a few sequences here and there to enlighten and the rest to entertain.
Rating 3/5 (3 out of 5 Stars)