Starring: Akshay Kumar, Huma Qureshi, Saurabh Shukla, Annu Kapoor
Directed By Subhash Kapoor
Rating: 2 stars
Jolly LLB 2 is exactly what the title suggests, Jolly LLB twice over. It is double the moralistic cringe and cliché than the first film had to offer; and while we could have sat through the first one for the tiny bits of anticipation that it offered, Jolly LLB 2 is left with little but the exact script from 2013 fitted with a new case, and extra drama.
It is the same big vs. small tussle. Set in Lucknow, the ‘Munshi ka beta’ from Kanpur, Jagdishwar Mishra aka Jolly, busies himself in an attempt at becoming a lawyer (in a rather Chulbul Pandey-esque way), until steered by his conscience he must file a PIL against “the kaatils” and begin his fight for justice against the industry biggies that come with a rate card starting at Rs 15 lakh. The narrative is an unerring copy of the first one, over played this time with bullets instead of beatings for warnings, deaths over money as motivators, and tampered tapes instead of witnesses. It’s exact to even the second when the hero has to make the melodramatic speech, or when the most important witness must appear without prior information.
What is missing in the film is Boman Irani. Although Annu Kapoor delivers a great performance, and there is little critique one can offer on Akshay Kumar’s comic timing and dramatic performance of a struggling lawyer, the show stealer, once again, is Saurabh Shukla as the mercurial Justice Sunder Lal Tripathi – straining to read the filed documents, watering the tulsi on his desk, or worrying about his daughter’s wedding in between court proceedings. Huma Qureshi, who has earlier been applauded for her performances, brings little to the movie, and the child the two have together even lesser, except when part of songs which are nothing to tune up your radio for.
Subhash Kapoor has a stellar cast, but the movie cries out for at least a feeble attempt at a new script. After his delightful and exciting direction in Phas Gaye Re Obama, Jolly LLB was a let down, and the second part sank even further. And while Kapoor has once again managed to capture the court room ambience well, there is not enough to commend the movie for. The only question remains, will Akshay’s star power be able to carry this one through?