The ApunKaChoice movie review of Jolly L.L.B.. What happens when an underdog lawyer (Arshad Warsi) with a reputation of losing easiest of cases takes on the most fearsome and sharpest lawyer of the land (Boman Irani) in order to become famous? It looks a mug’s game at the outset, but the intrepid lawman from Meerut turns the tables on his hotshot, much-idolized and swish rival, setting the proverbial desi David versus gentrified Goliath duel in a courtroom under the watchful eye of a no-nonsense judge (Saurabh Shukla).
The premise of director Subhash Kapoor’s film Jolly L.L.B. is simple, but it provides a fertile pitch for a satire on the judiciary and policing. And Kapoor nails it with confidence, without aiming flippant potshots at the system, nor prattling out preachy platitudes. His film courses an assured path of coarse realism with humour thrown in to a delectable effect.
There is a decidedly crass touch to his eponymous hero, Jolly L.L.B. who doesn’t shy of making chuckle-worthy references to the bum (be it human or a donkey’s) and who dreams of becoming the most famous, revered lawyer one moment, and is sucking on his chuski gola the next.
Truly, it’s the conviction with which the characters have been etched and sewed inside the story that makes Jolly L.L.B. work as much as the performances by Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani and especially Saurabh Shukla.
Arshad Warsi is right under the skin of a small-town lawyer struggling to find a toehold in a profession given to as much legal chicanery as apathy towards dispensation of justice. He’s a dreamy, sharp-tongued, gritty struggler with a might to taken on the big fish. Boman Irani nails the snobbish, foppish lawyer with legal acumen to make the victim of a culprit. “Slammed him. Slammed him, completely,” he boasts to his secretary about outfoxing his rival lawyer.
Deserving equal praise is Saurabh Shukla in his strikingly real portrayal of a judge not apt to be swayed by the lawyers’ spiel. Amrita Rao as Arshad Warsi’s girlfriend has a miniscule role, but she plays his conscience keeper.
Funny, realistic, satirical and not without some tongue-in-cheek jibes at the rot in the system (note the sequence where police postings are auctioned to the highest bidders -- all of them corrupt cops -- inside a police station), Jolly L.L.B. is a film made with a heart and will warm the cockles of your’s.