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Jolly LLB 2 review: 'Tis the season to be Jolly

Even in his heroism, Kumar’s Jolly remains a realistic everyman indulging his wife and kid with a nice meal he cooked himself.

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Monday 13 February 2017

Movie Title

Jolly LLB 2 review: 'Tis the season to be Jolly

Director

Subhash Kapoor

Star Cast

Akshay Kumar, Huma Qureshi

Each actor makes a choice through their films— it’s a choice reflecting their career path; a choice defining what they stand for. And Akshay Kumar’s choices are my favourite this season. Post Rowdy Rathore in 2012, Kumar’s choices have been more reflective, almost as if he now wants to give his talent its due. He wants more than a jubilant opening and smashing weekend; he wants to stretch his limits as an actor.

In the last few years, Kumar has put his heft behind several unconventional stories, some of them small. Think OMG—Oh My God!, Holiday, Special 26, Airlift and Rustom. Next, he is all set to appear in Enthiran 2.0, Toilet, Ek Prem Katha, Crack, and Naam Shabana (spin-off to Kumar’s Baby released in 2015) among others. It’s just exhilaratingly exciting to talk about Kumar’s recent movie choices, despite the odd Housefull 3 (2016) or Entertainment (2014).

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Let’s talk about the current one— Jolly LLB 2. It was in 2013 that Jolly LLB released to win accolades and awards. The sophomore version has scaled up to A-list star level, but the core stuff remains the same.

There’s the underdog fighting the establishment (corrupt lawyers, unscrupulous cops and other villains all in cahoots) with his ladylove always by his side. The underdog in this case is Kanpur’s lawyer Jagdishwar (Jolly) Mishra, looking for a break to set up practice in Lucknow.

The difference in the two places, about 90 kms apart, is delightfully explored in a dialogue comparing Kanpur’s brusque ways with Lucknow’s genteel manners, wherein even insults are given respectfully.

The David vs. Goliath battle plays out in the court for most part of the film, where the no-good hero comes into his own. That happens amid a mad mess of a distracted-by-his daughter’s wedding judge (Saurabh Shukla), witnesses that pop out of nowhere, and the determined top lawyer (Annu Kapoor) defending the accused. The film is hilarious for the most part, thanks to an ace act by Shukla who displays quirks such as watering the desk plant as he is seated in the courtroom and correcting wedding- card spelling errors as the hearing is about to begin.

Akshay Kumar is electrifyingly good even in portions with the usual emotional spiel. There’s an everyday man goodness he radiates— you believe him when he shows remorse, root for him when the chips are down, and are at the edge of your seat when he’s that close to uncovering the truth and begs the beleaguered judge for an extra five minutes. A couple of times, the film skims over important details. For example: Kumar’s inner turmoil during a setback is not at all explored. What gives him this sudden and unexplained spurt of bravery?

Thankfully, even in his heroism, Kumar’s Jolly remains a realistic everyman indulging his wife and kid with a nice meal he cooked himself. He’ll also surprise his wife with a bottle of choice alcohol, expertly fixing her a peg.

The deviation towards experimentation is a welcome sign. What’s so exciting about Kumar’s cinematic journey is that he is an A-lister, a superstar, and Bollywood royalty if you will, but that hasn’t stopped him from evolving as an artist. Enough reason to be jolly!

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