There are two aspects to Jolly LLB 2: the top and the small. On the one hand will be the overarching story associated with an innocent branded a criminal, from the common man the need to suffer as a result of a powerful and corrupt system. Then there may be the committed big star (Akshay Kumar within the titular role), sincerely shedding the trappings of stardom, on occasion deliberately restrained yet delivering filmi justice and the important message from the system—administrative together with religious—in the populist and predictable, stereotypical and sentimental yet entirely forceful and successful way.
On another hand will be the small world he inhabits—the pan stained walls along with the seedy environs of Zila Evam Satr Nyayalaya (District and Sessions court). A world peopled with interesting oddball characters played by some terrific actors. From veterans like Ram Gopal Bajaj to Vinod Nagpal, Manav Kaul to Sanjay Mishra, Brijendra Kala to Sudhanva Deshpande. You may blink and miss them. That could cause you to be mad, you will be left demanding more of them. But these small roles do add offering a larger social picture, each from the pieces is eventually knit well to make for a compelling weft and weave. And then towering above all of them, next to each other to Kumar are Saurabh Shukla and Annu Kapoor who put another zing for the clever lines, wordplay and offer and take accessible them because the judge along with the defence lawyer respectively.
In the field of Jolly LLB the landscape and local flavour, language and culture—of Lucknow, Kanpur and Jhansi—the lines and enunciation get the maximum amount of attention since the cheap sneakers and terricot/terrylene pants and shirts that Jolly sports. It’s a new where surnames tend to be defining versus the first names, where cheating in exams is usually a legitimate business, where class divides go above religious ones, when a 15th assistant is treated like house help because of the senior lawyer. It’s also where professions are inherited but broken into and far from by more ambitious youngsters. And the place where a munshi’s son wants having a lawyer's chamber of his personal even if he has to pay a bribe Rs 12 lakh for this.
The fun is at throwaway details. The judge editing his daughter’s wedding card inside court is really a priceless moment. The strategic if trifle stretched jokiness in calling Jolly’s (just as Rajesh Khanna’s real world son-in-law) wife Pushpa elicits giggles. Then inside a little gem of any scene Kumar makes rotis for his family. In one shot it captures yet subverts an ethos so effortlessly that I easily forgave the atta and oil brand placements in that room. The brands appear to have come into the image after the scene was conceived as opposed to being written with the convenience of product placements. And there was something amusing (regardless of whether unintended through the filmmaker) in seeing the hero dive to the Ganges having a Dollar Big Boss banian on. Religion of course, can be all about money honey.
Women might not have much of any role inside the film yet it's interesting where did they are still shown negotiating their particular space in the larger male mindset. It's about knocking at conservatism from the inside. Be it drinking secretly inside walls of home or dressing daringly within the husband's company, faraway from the neighbourhood from the anonymity of Hazratganj. In the Jolly household it’s the M.A. Sanskrit, Gucci-obsessed Pushpa who usually wear the pants and also takes on the goons whenever you have crisis. There’s a Ghoonghat 11 Vs Burqa 11 cricket match in conservative Varanasi, at the same time an entirely male audience watches on. It’s as though the jokes and sarcasm is targeted at them when they cheer on on the role-defining jerseys in the women – “Sonu Ki Bua” and “Lucky Ki Nanad”?
There's an excellent line involving the conventional along with the radical that Kapoor treads very cannily, from time to time even questionably. His is not only a male world but a janeu-wearing (holy thread) Brahmindom that this hero is a member of but before your individual politicised mind begins counting good vs bad, Hindu vs Muslim you will find him dividing them equally involving the two. Between a terrorist as well as a fake encounter cop. Here a Ram Kishore Saraswat can be as culpable being an Iqbal Qadri, a Zahoor Siddiqui suffers all the as a Jugal Kishore Mathur. Kapoor gets pugnacious and irreverent using the religious realities while remaining squarely within them. So Faiz poems, Ghulam Ali ghazals with an Arabic translation of Bhagwad Geeta whip emotions, along with a shastra match.
The director ultimately ends up playing safe together with the legal system itself, taking potshots advertising online yet upholding it inside climax by in your face speechification, this too after a rather long disclaimer on the start. Which is just what the problem is. Kapoor gives ample display of the inherent cheekiness and black humour (the lawyer's rate card, package deals, fake Aadhar card reference, for example) but he tempers it down with drama and emotions. A free reign to Kapoor’s to earth humour along with a pointed clarity could have served him as well as the film better. Would it have drawn the target audience in though, can be another question.
Yes there might be much to crib about inside the film—like be simple jump on the hero to Kashmir—but whilst you keep thinking in the niggling problems you cannot deny so it manages to agree well. What Jolly LLB 2 essentially shows is the place where the marriage of opposites—the mainstream dramatic tropes and also a realistic tapestry—can function as formula to consider, for Bollywood. That is naturally, until it gets performed to death.