Jolly LLB-victory in the end for a jolly good guy! Movie Review
ORE AST REW
Hit and run cases in metro cities have hit the headlines with the unerring frequency with the names of celebrities also grabbing headlines. "Jolly LLB" perhaps attempts to raise a satirical finger against such incidents through a courtroom comedy drama, hitting out at the varying standards of justice for the common man and the moneyed class. Significantly, the main protagonist in the film has been projected as a representative of the ordinary man donning the black legal attire.
Plot: The story of the film revolves around a drunken driving case, involving a moneyed man-Rahul Dewan enacted by Rajeev Siddhartha, who has hired one of the most successful criminal lawyers, Tejinder Rajpal being portrayed by the versatile Boman Irani, to fight his case. Rajpal, in his self-confident casual style, walks off after making the judge agree that the prosecution had no evidence against Dewan and that the case should be summarily dismissed. Away from Delhi, a less successful small town lawyer had been fighting losing cases and was hoping to change his luck by moving over to the capital. Soon this central protagonist Jagdish Tyagi aka Jolly, delightfully portrayed by Arshad Warsi, makes his appearance, by filing a PIL against Dewan’s acquittal in the drunken driving case. The greenhorn that Jolly is, he makes some technical errors in the filing of the case and is given time to re-present the case correctly. Luck favours Jolly, and in the next hearing he manages to get a witness, Albert Pinto, (the role performed by Harsh Chhaya); and gets a fresh date for hearing after the judge examines the witness. This partial success itself makes Jolly an instant celebrity with the media and the icon of the common man’s fight against injustice. Appreciating his efforts, he is offered office space by an impressed hotel owner, besides receiving other favours from the public. Events, however, do not turn out favourably in the next hearing, with the “witness” turning out as one planted by Rajpal, just to extract more money from Dewan.
In the peculiar turn of events, Jolly also gets a share of the money (for having unwittingly given this opportunity to Rajpal for extracting more money from Dewan). Bitten by his conscience and chastised by his fiancée, Jolly returns the money but has to struggle a lot before final victory comes his way. The twin highlights of the film are the masterly acting skills of the two main characters played by Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani. However, it would be cruel to miss out mentioning the name of Saurabh Shukla in the role of the practical minded down to earth Justice Tripathi. Director Subhash Kapoor had shown promise for comedy in his very first film “Phans Gaye Re Obama”. In this his subsequent venture, he has shown that he has indeed honed his skills further.
Another noteworthy feature is the realistic nature of the dialogue, scripted by director Kapoor himself, especially in the court room scenes, where it is refreshingly different from usual Bollywood movies, where the courtroom rebuttals are couched in flowery and artificial language. Anshuman Mahaley fills in well with a workmanlike cinematography appropriate with the general mood of the film. Music, never a redeeming feature of films dealing with courtroom drama, normally interrupts the main tempo of such films. Music director Krsna of “Tanu Weds Manu” fame (for which he had bagged the Filmfare award also), has composed some soulful tunes, but for any fault of his, they do not stand out in the context of the film itself.
Verdict: While it is a thoroughly enjoyable film, well-made comedy films on serious subjects being rare, is also highly recommended for viewing.