Banner: Fox Star Studios
Producers: Fox Star Studios
Director: Subhash Kapoor
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Annu Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla, Huma Qureshi, Kumud Mishra, Rajeev Gupta, Manav Kaul, Sayani Gupta, Inaamulhaq, Vishwa Mohan Badola, Sanjay Mishra (s.a)
Writer: Subhash Kapoor
Music: Manj Musik, Meet Bros, Chirantan Bhatt, Vishal Khurana
The mark of a successful sequel is when the film not only justifies its prequel but, as a successor, has enhanced presentation. There’s an air of excitement as you prepare to watch this film, and as the credits roll, you have a fair idea of what to expect. Jolly LLB 2 is a treat from beginning to end.
It’s a Herculean task to hold the audience’s attention but Subhash Kapoor manages to do that with his refined writing and Akshay Kumar’s presence on the big screen. An excellent ensemble cast always adds value to a film as does a director who created a name for himself with the film’s first instalment. But the benchmark of a successful movie is its script and if Jolly LLB scored in that department, the sequel is beyond excellent.
Jolly LLB 2 delights with its flamboyant narrative and there’s not a dull moment, except the pre-climax and climax, which drag in places. The gritty dialogue and stellar performances are the main USP of the film, which has all the right ingredients – quirkiness and drama – in the right measure.
The film starts with Jagdishwar Mishra aka Jolly (Akshay Kumar), whose father was a Munshi to a top-notch lawyer in Lucknow. Hence Jolly starts his career with the same prominent lawyer as his sidekick in Lucknow. Driven by ambition, he hoodwinks a pregnant widow, Hina Siddique (Sayani Gupta), on the lookout for justice. But when Hina commits suicide, Jolly makes it his life’s mission to get justice for her. He lands the murder case of her husband, who was killed in a fake encounter. This leaves Jolly with guilt on his conscience and an unresolved case on his hands. What follows forms the crux of the story.
The concept is unpretentious and the basic premise is similar to that of Jolly LLB. The sequel, however, has a serious narrative without becoming preachy. This one is about how money easily replaces morals in today’s times; how justice is often delayed; how the truth is not always what it seems; and how easily the judicial system is taken for granted by law-breakers.
The dialogue has been fabulously written. Editing by Chandrashekhar Prajapati is to the point and firm. With a run time of 138 minutes, the film has a firm first half although, post-interval, the story becomes a tad more dramatic but Kapoor handles the proceedings with panache. Cinematography by Kamaljeet Negi compliments the narrative and is good. The songs are blended flawlessly into the screenplay.
Post-interval, the film seems to lose its grip and begins to drag. But the way Kapoor has handled those scenes makes them worth watching. The main highlight, of course, is the courtroom drama. The scenes which show Jolly and Pushpa’s relationship blend seamlessly with the story.
Some of the memorable scenes in the film are the one where Mathur squats on the floor of the courtroom, protesting Judge Tripathi’s decision and in turn Tripathi sits across from him and this goes on till midnight; when Hina comes to meet Jolly after the Holi celebrations and her outburst; the interaction between Jolly and his father; and the cricket match in Benares. Jolly LLB 2 charms not only because of its content but also its superb writing and the flawless transition from storyboard to big screen.
Performance-wise, kudos to Akshay Kumar for once again backing a content-driven film. Kumar is one of the very few actors who have the ability to let his presence in a film be eclipsed by rich content. He is simply brilliant in his part. Annu Kapoor plays his character with flamboyance. Saurabh Shukla is a treat to watch and is outstanding. Huma Qureshi justifies her part and is good. Rajeev Gupta is spectacular in his role. Kumud Mishra is fantastic. Sayani Gupta plays her part beautifully. Inaamulhaq is flawless. Manav Kaul is notable in his role. Sanjay Mishra, in a special appearance, is superb. The rest of the cast justifies their respective characters and support well.