Posts Tagged ‘ Bappi Lahiri ’

Jolly LLB

jolly-llb-poster
Jolly LLB
Release date: March 15, 2013
Directed by: Subhash Kapoor
Cast: Amrita Rao, Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Saurab Shukla, Manoj Pahwa, Mohan Kapoor

Jagdish Tyagi Jolly (Arshad Warsi) is a lawyer in a small district court of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. His career is floundering  and he’s looking for ways to make it big. Soon he encounters another small time colleague getting mainstream media coverage for filing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

A hit and run case accused is let off and Advocate Rajpal (Boman Irani) is the savior for the typical rich boy. Jolly moves to Delhi for bigger prospects and explores the same PIL alternative for a chance at fame. Rajpal is an accomplished and snobbish bigshot who wears exemplary suits and sips whiskey while discussing cases.

Presented with a moral dilemma, catalyzed by a few plot devices, Jolly has to now make a decision if he’s going to fight for justice or for his earlier goal of attaining a formidable status. Amrita Rao plays the protagonist’s cute and supporting love interest, Sandhya. She’s a teacher in middle-school (that’s what I am guessing) and not hesitant to correct him.

Jolly LLB employs a great satirical theme which keeps you consistently entertained with its lines and quirky characters. Saurabh Shukla does his crony shtick finely with his burps and farts. The sequence where he finally takes a strong stance and asks Rajpal to “shut up” is specially hilarious. The two conventional song-and-dance numbers are short but not too relevant, perhaps placed to legitimize the film as a completely commercial venture.

The strengths of Jolly LLB are the realistic depiction of a court and the shady fake witness nexus with a much sophisticated connection, and the apathy of the law-holders and caretakers. The said apathy transcends into a few fairly ludicrous scenes, like where the judge asks the lying driver to get down on his knees in the court. Also the collective applauds at the end of Rajpal and Jolly’s ‘speeches’ inside the courtroom nullify the said realism.

Arshad Warsi does well in his underdog portrayal and Boman Irani is just the exact amount of smug and pompous for his character. But it’s not the monologues at the end that I object to, it is the placement of a fun-filled flashy promotional music video where all the actors do a red carpet dance juxtaposing the end credits that I feel is patchy and dampening to the mood of the climax. It’s almost as “Hey,  that was only a movie and now stop thinking about what we just delivered ‘cos we’re simply entertainers.”

Again, it is not the makers’ message that I have a beef with, it’s just the suddenly serious and similarly sudden laidback approach that I find not fitting. Jolly LLB is a good film with its own flaws, but it has a heart and you simply can’t resist being all smiles where the film flaunts its charm.

My rating: *** (3 stars out of 5)

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Special 26

special-26-poster
Special 26
Release date: February 8, 2013
Directed by: Neeraj Pandey
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpayee, Jimmy Shergill, Rajesh Sharma, Kishore Kadam,  Kajal Aggarwal, Divya Dutta

A quartet of conmen who conduct heists while pretending to be government officers are the gutsy fantastic four of Neeraj Pandey’s reality inspired suspense-thriller. Though embellished with a few quite passable songs, the film runs for a long time without feeling slow and boring.

As each character is introduced at the start, Ajay (Akshay Kumar), P.K. Sharma (Anupam Kher), Iqbal (Kishore Kadam), Joginder (Rajesh Sharma) present themselves as no-nonsense CBI officials on a mission to raid a minister’s house. They’re accompanied by Inspector Ranvir Singh (Jimmy Shergill) and Shanti (Divya Dutta) with a small troop of constables. Soon the raids increase and the victims refuse to report these instances. Ranvir Singh & Shanti face the brunt and are suspended from duty.

Actual CBI officer Waseem Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) is a straight-faced man who doesn’t like her wife’s cleavage showing. Hey, that’s in the actual plot! He’s contacted by Singh after he starts his private investigation against the gang’s various outings across India. Soon, two teams are set up and the fight to the finish ensues. The fake CBI are now up for a ‘final’ raid with a mega scale and that’s where the Special 26 is established.

The plot isn’t too thrilling itself, but it depicts the finer traits in a subtle but detailed manner. For example, the scene where the group lands to loot a place that is already being raided by authentic officials. This shows the over-confidence and charming capabilities of Ajay, but at the same time shows that they go in unprepared to steal millions. The latter detail, probably undesired, shows pivotal flaws in the narrative.

The writing isn’t too great, with another basic flaw at the end, and without any fresh or impactful lines. But all of these shortcomings are compensated by the many individual characters and performances. Akshay Kumar’s character is the flashy one, and disappointingly we don’t get to see much from his acting side, though the rest have been given meatier roles. Kher, Shergill along with Sharma and Kadam are subtle and particularly suiting.

Whereas Kajal Aggarwal who plays Ajay’s love interest doesn’t have much to do. The same goes for Divya Dutta’s character, she’s almost reduced to a caricature. Bobby Singh’s cinematography is pleasing, yet mundane at certain moments. There are filler music videos which don’t serve much purpose except for providing a breather to the much relaxed narrative; thereby becoming pointless and not required.

All in all, the film isn’t too high on adrenaline nor filled with any jump-out-of-the-seat points but yet manages to remain pact and entertaining. Special 26 isn’t a classic, though it’s fairly good at what it aims to do and is entertaining.

My rating: *** (3 out of 5) 

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