Jolly LLB – What The Brilliance Shuklaji

jollyThere is a sequence in the movie where Guruji (Sanjay Mishra), a hawaldar, is auctioning the post of SHO Sadar Bazaar to several police inspectors. His condition, in addition to the bid, the person needs to have a clean image. And the inspector who wins has only got an eve-teasing case from Delhi University pending against him. Suitably lauded, he wins the post for 65Lakhs only. Aap sabhi bade afsaron ko hawaldar ka namaskaar”, that’s how he begins the auction.

The simplicity of the proceedings is the heart of Jolly LLB. Jolly LLB is a rather simple movie with a simple idea and a simple script. And simply put, it’s a simple and enjoyable movie.

The movie has its fair share of flaws. Amrita Rao would stand out as the primary. She is not needed. Due to her, there are three songs in the movie and they waste time. And they slow down the movie intolerably. The first half of the movie hence, is slow. You get thepoint of the struggling lawyer, the success of a PIL, a case too strong to hit the headlines, a judiciary so weak that the criminals walk scot free, and a very successful lawyer who’s methods are questionable but his success is not. The part that takes about an hour, could have been done in about 20-25 minutes. Especially because the movie does not mope about anything. It does not over-dramatize anything.

Second half of the movie is much better paced. And with a lot of oddities being there, Subhash Kapoor leaves it to one of the most talented character actors of the industry to seal the case. Saurabh Shukla as the Judge Tripathi. An absolutely brilliant performance that outshines the other two excellent performances from Arshad Warshi (Jolly/ Jagdish Tyagi) and Boman Irani (Rajpal). Towards the end, as he takes subtle control of his courtroom and his bellowing “baith jaiye tejpal sahab. Ye mera courtroom hai” contrast to the burping and conniving judge when he’s introduced, are a joy to behold. It was also softly pleasant to see Ramesh Deo on screen, the man I most remember as Anand and Babu Moshai’s friend.

The other two flaws – Arshad Warsi is good, but is good doing what he has done too many times. His acting/style is not very different from his last few roles. I wonder when he will do another Sehar kind of role. More understated and intense than his lathering blabbering self. The second – here you have a young lawyer who is struggling and unmarried and is dating a school teacher. And Arshad Warsi does not look young. Not in one frame of the movie.

But he compensates for it. Still. It’s a nice movie. Not awesome. But nice.

Kai Po Che – A Casting Story


More often than not, overhyping a movie tends to kill it for the viewers who watch a movie late. And in these times of high information consumption, much as you try, those facebook status updates, or blogger reviews, or media soundbytes do reveal more than you would care to know about a particular movie. KaiPoChe was at risk. It was overhyped.

And it did spoil a few things. But not a lot.

Kai Po Che, for me, is a good example of how right casting makes huge difference to a movie. One of my gripes with 3idiots would always be that barring Shrman Joshi, the other two did not really seem well cast. Kareen Kapoor even more so. However, almost an accident since the big stars did not want this movie, the entire cast of Kai Po Che is near perfect in their aura. It was difficult to not like the movie. Now the question is – did I walk in wanting to not like the movie? Yes. I hated the book– The Three Mistakes Of My Life by Chetan Bhagat. Of the many really average books he has written, I think 3 mistakes is the worst. So, I did not want to see such a bad book turn into a good movie. In some corner of my mind, I was hoping that this movie would be as big a disaster as Hello (which is based on “One Night AtThe Call Center”, the second worst book by CB).

Sushant Singh Rajput as Ishan, the obsessed cricket fan, is excellent. His angst, and the futility of his existence (for what else is it, if you’re a failed fanatic who can demolish even the things you really loves in a moment of frenzy), and his silent apologies – he works well to deliver the central character. There is a certain amount of energy, almost Shahrukh-ish (the early career). Rajkumar Yadav as the bumbling young man, who, for a non-gujju, is the quintessential gujju – the obsession with money matters, the persistence, the brilliant understanding of pennies, and a can-go-to-any-length-kinda-friend. Unsure in the company of Vidya (Amrita Puri), and the enterprising one – Govind is the perfect shadow in the movie. He keeps it real. Vidya is a perfect balance of caring and cunning naughtiness, and has a refreshing screen presence. She was pretty good in aisha too.
But the standout performance for me was Amit Sadh as Omi. In a way, his is the only character that evolves over the movie. The others carry their personality through the movie. Omi, however, graduates from being someone who almost follows anything that Ishan says, to an unsure and reluctant politician, to an enraged fanatic, to a scarred for life young man well beyond his years. His body language, expressions, dialogue delivery, and intensity evolve from frame to frame. Excellent performance!

Credit must be given to Abhishek Kapoor, and whoever else is the dialogue writer of the movie. The screen play does not deviate much from the movie, though the level of detailing is quite good. Despite the enormity of the events, their handling (which is praiseworthy given the quiet and peripheral handling of Gujarat riots and Godhara) never deviates from the core story of friendship.
Music by Amit Trivedi is excellent as usual. At the end of it, Manjha is the song that stays with you for very long. Swanand Kirkire’s lyrics add their magic to the notes.

Barring occasional pace issues, the movie is an extremely enjoyable watch. And watching Harbhajan take wickets was like an encounter with an alternate universe.

Can surely be watched and enjoyed. A 4-star kinda movie.

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