Shalu’s Review of Jolly LLB

The most disappointing kind of film is one you really want to like – for its earnestness, its noble intentions, its sincere actors – but are not able to. Director Subhash Kapoor’s earlier film Phas Gaye Re Obama was a gem of a satire. Jolly LLB doesn’t even come close to the brilliance of that one.

Struggling lawyer Jagdish Tyagi aka Jolly (Arshad Warsi) moves to Delhi from Meerut for better opportunities but soon realises that things are as bleak as they were back home. Impressed by the high-profile advocate Rajpal (Boman Irani) and desperate to make things happen in his life, he files a PIL that is guaranteed to get him the media spotlight. It starts out as a publicity stunt but slowly turns into a life-changing decision for him. Encouraged by his girlfriend Sandhya (Amrita Rao), Jolly develops a conscience and decides to fight for justice.

A satire has to be genuinely funny to make an impact and that is where Jolly LLB fails. It does have a few moments of brilliance but they are overshadowed by the predictable and mostly boring narrative. Jolly’s change of heart lacks gravitas, the way he keeps getting leads and help is too convenient, and the ease with which good triumphs over evil is just laughable. Another gripe is the bad music. After Special 26, this is another film which would have been better off without the songs and romantic track.

What works for the film is its attention to detail in the courtroom scenes. The atmosphere of lower courts is captured very well and gives authenticity to the going-ons. Adding weight to the proceedings is Saurabh Shukla as the sardonic Judge. The only times the film truly comes alive is when he is on screen. His is the best written character in the film and Shukla sinks his teeth into the role with visible delight.

The rest of the cast is not so impressive. The usually dependable Arshad and Boman come across as strangely one-note here. Amrita is seen on the screen after a long time but neither her role nor her performance adds value to the film. The very talented Manoj Pahwa, Sanjay Mishra and Brijendra Kala are just wasted.

Jolly LLB has its heart in the right place. However, nobody enjoys a moral science lesson unless it is backed by either genuine wit or engrossing drama. Subhash Kapoor is undoubtedly a talented film maker and here’s hoping that his next (the third Munnabhai film) sees him back in form.

My rating is 2/5

PS. This review was first posted on bollyspice.com

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14 Comments
  1. sputnik 6 years ago

    hmm Promos looked good and I thought it would be good.

    Did not like Phas Gaye Re Obama much. It started off well and was funny for a while but after that it just dragged.

    • Author
      Shalu 6 years ago

      Sputnik, the promos have shown all the good parts, the rest of the film isn’t that good.

      I loved PGRO a lot, but am very disappointed with this one.

  2. shinji 6 years ago

    I have been following this movie trailers closely as i have liked them, but shalu can u answer one question of mine though it is obvious from ur review ), in which court does Jolly file the PIL ??

    As i have been getting the vibes that PIL is being filed in lower court, which is absolutely not possible!! as PIL, is actually a writ petition under article 226 or article 32 of the Indian Constitution. The same can be either filed before the Apex Court or the High Court.

    • Author
      Shalu 6 years ago

      Shinji, The PIL was filed in a lower court because during the verdict the opposition lawyer says that he will appeal to High Court about the judgement.

      • ank_16n 6 years ago

        Shalu just one doubt……have u really seen the movie as the name of the court District Court has been shon some 3-4 times …..
        it’s really a request please watch the movie carefully..!!

    • sputnik 6 years ago

      Even in the director’s earlier movie PGRO they showed the wife talking from US and complaining about kids school fees when in reality almost everyone sends their kids (90%) to Public Schools in US which have no fees.

      http://www.capenet.org/facts.html

      • Suprabh 6 years ago

        A lot of Indians I know send their kids to expensive Private schools.

        • sputnik 6 years ago

          Well since 10% of all kids go to private school some Indians might be sending their kids to private schools too.

          I am pretty sure that Subhash Kapoor/writer had no idea that 90% of kids in US go to Public Schools. They just assumed the whole school fees thing just like that of India and had that dialogue.

      • hithere 6 years ago

        Agree with Suprabh. There are many factors..like you can be in good neighbourhood (with expensive property) with good public schools. You can be in relatively cheaper araa and send your kid to private schools. Some people even when they live in good area, send their kids to private schools. Typically cost is more than $1500+/month.

  3. Syed imran 6 years ago

    Dude go nd get a lyf… It seems u review a film keeping in mind the stars popularity nd director’s hits yo his credit… A movie is meant fr entertainmdnt nd nt to gve an accurate nd detailed documentary… The film packed wit sum gud humour also carries a social message abt the prevalent corruption in the society nd hw the poor waits fr long delayd justice nd the rich nd affluent escaps out wit the help of money nd fame… If u did nt find this funny then u seriously needs ur iw checked…Though the movie must b hvng its own share of flaws, it can b ignord due to some superb perfrmancs frm its lead cast… A special mention to shukla… He is simply outstandng in the movie nd an actor who did get his due even aftr so many years… He really deserv an award fr the best supportng actor award this year for his remarkable performance…. Arshad ad usual is in fine form nd irani splendid… Bt the main hero is the director who has a lot of potential to perform well in the future… Im sure he vl do good justice to mb3 by directing it… Such directors need to be encouragd bt nt discouragd wit pathetic nd biased reviews like urs… PGRO was good in the beginning bt got bore later on nd took nd offbeat path… Im surprisd that u hve lykd dat movie bt nt this… Anywaz the mivie has started on a good note wit frst day collections around 3 crs( boi)… Nd dat is a good slap on the faces of ppl who wants to thrash the movie wit their biased nd horrible reviews…

  4. Serenzy 6 years ago

    Sputnik, hithere, Suprabh,

    90% of the Students studying in USA Schools don’t Spend a Single Dollar then???
    For their Education till 10th Grade/Standard???
    Woowww….

    Bcz in India in today’s times, the Cost of Schooling + Tutions/Classes run into Multiple Lakhs by the Time one passes out from School.!!!

    Is there a ‘Donation System’ OR ‘Caste System’ prelevant in the US too for getting a Seat in a College[Not Big, Ivy type Colleges but the Other Standard Ones] or is it Purely/Strictly on Merit everywhere thruout the Country? 🙂

    • sputnik 6 years ago

      Yes Public Schools are not allowed to charge tuition and there is a law for Compulsory Education until a particular age. “The ages for compulsory education vary by state. It begins from ages five to eight and ends from ages fourteen to eighteen.[4]”

      Students who live in the geographic area/zone of a Public School are given preference. When choosing schools preference is also given based on whether the kid has a sibling already in that school. Some Public Schools are good/bad in some neighborhoods and people usually move to the neighborhood which has the good school.

  5. shinji 6 years ago

    Well than shalu, its factually wrong.

    PIL cannot be filed before Lower Court. It is basically a writ under Extra ordinary powers of the High Court and Supreme Court, and hence if the films shows it like that, i wonder what kind of research they did!

  6. Anjanpur685Miles 6 years ago

    Saw Jolly LLB, not much expectations so enjoyed it on a lazy weekend.

    And what a fantastic performance by Saurabh Shukla! May watch it again just for him…to study his performance.

    Kallumama rocks!

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