Jolly LLB 2 as a sequel or a franchise film is a peculiar proposition. A wayward lawyer hero who soon realizes his folly, fights a mighty, corrupt attorney and ultimately with the help of the truthful judge, Indian judiciary and Jolly triumph. In what is projected as the second edition of the franchise, two characters reappear in Jolly LLB 2, not the titular protagonist. The leads in both films ‘incidentally’ share the same name and, hello, nicknames too. Set in Lucknow, Jolly LLB 2 has great mounting and a bigger star – Akshay Kumar. Before we go any further, the man looks sexy AF in a lawyer’s attire.
For starters, Jolly LLB was one helluva smart flick. Loved by critics and masses alike, it was also a fact that the film was stuck in post-production for long – probably due to the lack of big names. Now that the maker’s (and the prospective franchise’s) merits are out in open, there are bigger takers are the second edition. Well, if they intended to emulate the same magic, Jolly LLB 2 should have been equally edgy. It is the first part’s satirical tonality that wowed one and all. Jolly LLB 2, however, is happily in the Akshay Kumar zone. The only funny face he makes is on the poster riding a Bajaj scooter. There is also activism, well-intentioned but minus any USP. We also get some atypical Bollywood emotions. Funnily though, Jolly LLB 2 unfolds way too soon. Before you realize, our protagonist Jolly adopts a mission for himself and this transition isn’t organic by any means. We know our hero is fighting for a cause and is also a case of personal redemption. All of it makes sense, but there’s something seriously amiss. The proceedings are engaging, but the writing way too forced for most parts.
On the plus side, Jolly LLB doesn’t manipulate us much with Kumar’s superstar demeanour. He isn’t the standard do-gooder hero. He’s married but is no Mr. Moneybags. He is also not the know-all hero that we see otherwise (Dangal anyone?). His career isn’t going great guns either. Plus, it is a given that Saurabh Shukla’s Justice Sunderlal Tripathi will steal all possible limelight. There are lengthy scenes where our hero gets no one-liners, not even proper frames leaving the supporting cast to do the needful. Talking about Justice Tripathi, the writer (Subhash Kapoor) seems to have worked really hard to make him ‘funnier’. Result is an intermittently amusing and mostly overdone (did I say forced?) version of what we saw in Jolly LLB. It’s only Shukla’s inherent charm that makes this strangely written part work. He is truly a sight in the closing reels, one must add. Kumar and the supporting cast play along quite well, though Sanjay Mishra’s Guruji only adds to the runtime. Kumud Mishra looks passive and disinterested, giving us a villain who is anything but scheming. The worst deal is meted out to Huma Qureshi who, unlike Amrita Rao in the prequel, doesn’t even get be our hero’s conscience keeper.
While writing isn’t fool-proof (or creative) by any means, Subhash Kapoor’s execution keeps you hooked somehow. Just that the editing department had some thought in keeping the pace uniform. A couple of mindless songs do no good either. On the whole, Jolly LLB 2 is one film that tries really hard to bank on the first edition’s goodwill but ends up losing the humour and quirk in the very process. Watchable, yes. Memorable, it isn’t.
Watch the trailer here!
Author at Filmy Sasi