Continuing on the path on which the first movie of the Jolly LLB franchise ended, the Akshay Kumar starrer Jolly LLB 2 looks as cheeky and as funny as the previous one, if not more. The plot progression, character and role of Huma Qureshi as Jolly’s love interest, and Annu Kapoor’s obvious replacement of the derogatory senior lawyer (played by Boman Irani in the previous movie) pegs this movie strikingly similar to original Jolly LLB. But I believe the energy and natural comic timing of Akshay Kumar will hopefully bring a welcome change in the movie’s flow. The comic relief is evident from the witty remarks and retorts exchanged between the characters of Akshay Kumar, Annu Kapoor, and Saurabh Shukla (the judge). An additional but fringe element of the plot is the love story between the character of Akshay Kumar and Huma Qureshi, which makes the movie a full package for the audience. I think with a culmination of all these story elements; it’s highly probable that Jolly LLB 2 will be able to get a decent Box-office response. Whether the decent response will become great depends on the essence of the story. How beautifully is the dilemma of social injustice portrayed will decide whether it’ll be a superhit and crowd favorite like Airlift, or just a passing breeze like the first Jolly LLB was.
“Kya ap bata sakte hain ki Salman Khan ki shadi kab hogi?”
The trailer starts off with a look at Jolly Mishra’s (Akshay Kumar) failure as a lawyer. It focuses on the fact that he probably isn’t the brightest bulb in the room when it comes to getting and handling cases. The first half mainly introduces the character of Jolly as someone who dreams of all the luxury and comfort of the world but isn’t able to achieve them. Even though he has the passion and intelligence to reach that position, his laziness and cavalier attitude gets in the way. Until the situation changes, that is. Halfway through the trailer and after a good half an hour in the movie possibly, the stance changes abruptly giving way to a dark theme possibly involving a murder where authorities are involved. A cry in front of Jolly of a girl desperate for justice and the slap by Jolly’s father are indicative of the trigger that’ll bring Jolly back on track. It’ll certainly move the plot towards a more serious direction, where Jolly will do everything he can to bring justice to the ones who need it.
The interesting trend that comes out with this movie is the rise of courtroom dramas in Bollywood like Rustom and Pink, as well as in Punjabi cinema like Kaptaan. The negative viewpoint of the society towards police and law has apparently manifested itself into the stories that the movie industry is adapting to make their work attractive to the modern audience. Adding to that is the plea of the common man. The portrayal of the gross injustice towards common man has become quite a common and successful theme for movies nowadays. If we combine these factors with the current focus of the Indian society on the tension generated by demonetization, I think there is a good chance that this movie will be appreciated a lot. People are pent up and frustrated by the events that have been happening in India lately. What better way to release the anger and feel psychological satisfaction than to watch a movie that speaks for the small guy and paints a target on the back of the authorities?
Akshay Kumar is currently on a winning streak. He had a great 2016 with three movies –Airlift, Rustom and Housefull 3- managing to make more than 150 Crore on the box-office. For past two or three years, Akshay Kumar has been quite selective in his movie choices; many of them focusing on an army angle. It has certainly worked out for him so far with films like Holiday, Baby, and Airlift hitting the right note for the audience. Whether it’ll continue to do so is a question that needs to be asked at one point or the other. But right now, it would not be wrong to say that the momentum and audience anticipation is on Akshay’s side and by consequence the movie. But the question remains. Will Jolly LLB 2 just be another courtroom drama or will it leave a mark on Indian cinema with its content like Amitabh Bachchan’s Pink managed to do? Or will it fade slowly into the background as another one of Akshay Kumar’s ongoing successes?