Jolly L.L.B - Review

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick review:

Jolly LLB is sincere in intent and has perfect lead performances. But unfortunately, it isn't able to create a crisp environment. Perfect actors can't make lame defence & prosecutors into a good courtroom drama

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The mindset is such that you hear of the Boman Irani-Arshad Warsi combination and you expect a "laugh out loud" comedy. It doesn't help that the trailer points you in that direction too. It pleasantly surprises you, by starting off as satire, quirks and all. Then it takes a serious route, and even so, you are willing to play along because Jolly LLB seems like its trying to make an important point. Unfortunately at the end though, it is pretty disappointing.

The disappointment is not as much because of the decision taken by the court, but due to lame defence (Boman Irani) and prosecution (Arshad Warsi). They seem rather clueless and caught unawares all the time. Sure, some benefit of doubt can be given under the name of character consistency. After all, the defence is callous, over-confident, arrogant and thus complacent. The prosecution is amateur and confused about his moral stand. It is also possible that we have been spoilt by smart-Alec lawyers in our filmy courtrooms and real life lawyers are not really always on their toes. But, after this leeway too, the stage doesn't look convincing enough.

If real-life is what we are aiming for, some things work out way too easily. Like a bribe drops down from 5 lakhs to 1 lakh without much back and forth. Or evidence is pointed towards, out of the blue. So on and so forth. And I sincerely hope lawyers and judges don't have shouting matches in real-world courtrooms.

This overall inconsistency and ultimately flat drama pulls Jolly LLB down and takes a lot away from the satire it started out as. The pull towards gravity though meets constant resistance from the cast. How wonderfully subtle and underplayed both Boman Irani and Arshad Warsi can be when allowed to. No, over-the-top histrionics, characters played out as haughty and simple-minded respectively. Saurabh Shukla too gets a role weighty enough to play around with. While a caricature, his act as the twisted-but-straight-but-twisted judge is something you won't forget easily. His maneuvers over the defence are by themselves worth a watch - thorough 'babu' style.

All of this with no help from the dialogue. A mockery of dialogue within the film by calling lines 'filmy', doesn't make it any less filmy. It makes the lines neither filmy enough to applaud nor real enough to be believable.

Further distraction is caused by songs that don't belong. And why is this 'promotion' song during end credits becoming a norm?

Jolly LLB feels like it was undecided between satire and drama. It looked like the heart was in the drama, but a few satirical moments came by and went through in the film. That didn't make the satire bad, it just made the film uneven and took the focus away from the story - which in itself was wrapped in drama that was neither dramatic nor real enough.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A few fist fights.
  • Language: A few abuses.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None.
  • Concept: A struggling lawyer takes on a successful, senior lawyer.
  • General Look and Feel: Ordinary drama, though it starts off with some wonderful, crisp frames.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2.5
  • Story: 3
  • Lead Actors: 4
  • Character Artists: 3.5
  • Dialogues: 2
  • Screenplay: 1.5
  • Music Director: 2
  • Lyrics: 2.5

Jolly L.L.B - Movie Details

Jolly L.L.B - Trailer

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Comments (4)

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Anuj:

@Meetu : 2 questions,what are your ratings for the 2 Munnabhai films?

Does J-llb have more in common to Munnabhai MBBS than just its name?

meetu:

Hey Anuj, I don't see anything in common with the Munnabhai series, except for the cast. I loved both the Munnabhai films, Lage Raho more than MBBS. In fact, Lage Raho Munnabhai was the first movie reviewed on wogma :D

Anuj:

I asked 'coz i heard that the director of J.LLB is gonna be directing the 3rd Munnabhai film....dunno what happens to that now after the court verdict on Sanjay Dutt though!

meetu:

@Anuj yes, I know. I think the Munnabhai series is a lot about the writing. I'm 50-50 about the next episode going to another director.

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