JOLLY L.L.B. is one of those movies that sock you right where it hurts! It does not only sock you, you also double up in realization of what you already knew all this time, or rather had a vague idea of as far as how the rich and mighty view the judicial system. The above quote actually encompasses what director Subhash Kapoor is trying to say.
JOLLY LLB is brilliance personified for two reasons. The promos fooled you into it being a comedy and two, Kapoor, who is also the writer, deals with a very serious issue, with a mild twist of comedy and sacarsm. Mind you, it's easy to get carried away and take the position of preacher rather than teacher. But to Kapoor's credit, he sticks to his domain, making clever use of comedy to offset the killer punch to the solar plexus he has in store towards the end.
In the end, you just applaud the work of a genius. A story well told and an issue well presented.
When you walk in to view this movie, do pay special attention to a garlanded photo frame near a canteen stall inside a court premises and a quick conversation between the judge (Saurabh Shukla) and high-society lawyer Rajpal (Boman Irani), just before a trial.
The garlanded photo frame is screenplay at its brilliant best. In just a few seconds, a super story is told which weighs down heavily until the end. And the conversation between Rajpal and the judge comes at a time when there is an interesting twist in the hit-and-run case. You actually feel the helplessness of Jagdish Tyagi aka Jolly (Arshad Warsi) who is waiting to take on the might of Rajpal.
Kapoor has shown his class right from his first film, SAY SALAAM INDIA, which released in the summer of 2007. It was a small film with a big heart. But it was PHAS GAYE RE OBAMA in 2010, which really shot him into the limelight. With JOLLY LLB, he has firmly established his credentials as a writer/director of repute.
After MUNNABHAI and ISHQIYA, Arshad Warsi packs a mean punch in this film as Jolly, the underdog lawyer, who takes on the might of Rajpal. Appeal becomes 'apple' in his PIL and prosecution becomes 'prostitution'. But this Meerut-bred lawyer hits the highway when he sees loopholes in a hit-and-run case involving the scion of an influential business family who is let free for lack of evidence.
In the PIL, Rajpal too sees his chance to get even with his client. But as the case progresses, Rajpal realizes that he is up against a tough nut to crack. The dialogues between the two lawyers in the heat-of-the moment are 'very real'. The scene where the judge flies off his chair is worth going miles to see, for its sheer brilliance in its execution.
Boman Irani stands tall as he delivers one of his best roles ever. A haughty lawyer who has scant respect for the law. Rather, a lawyer, who knows how to play within the loopholes within the law to come out trumps in the worst of cases. Mean, conniving and steely cold. He leaves you gasping for breath with his audacity to prove someone innocent, who actually is as guilty as hell.
But it is Saurabh Shukla as the judge who Kapoor uses as his weapon of mass destruction. Saying anything more of his character here would spoil the movie for you. But hats off to Shukla for essaying such a complex role with dexterity. You don't know which way he will roll until he rolls. And his line towards the end is a chilling reminder of how evidence is what is required to nail an accused. ''I know the case from day one,'' he tells the packed courtroom. ''But I wait for that one piece of evidence which will help me make a favorable judgment. That evidence never comes.''
Where Kapoor falters (very badly) is in the two songs he incorporates forcefully into the script. Everything is flowing smoothly, so why this unnecessary interruption? If it was meant to add glamour, it fails. It is needless succumbing to commercialization of films.
JOLLY LLB for Oscars may seem far-fetched within the industry big-wigs who prefer big names with far poorer content (EKLAVYA, BARFI!). But if this movie is favored, believe me; our judicial system will be fast-tracked and feared like in the west.
Go for it, you will leave the courtroom satisfied!