Jolly LLB was based on a real-life hit-and-run case, where a privileged scion of a business family escaped punishment after running over some people sleeping on the footpath in an inebriated state.
If life and art were completely fair, Arshad Warsi would be one of the biggest stars of our film industry. As a small-time lawyer whose conscience undergoes a bitter awakening, Arshad once again delivers a masterful performance while creating a compelling graph for the comprehensive character of his small-town lawyer. As far as Boman Irani is concerned, the talent of this actor knows no bounds. Here, as the manipulative lawyer, Bowman exudes an abject evil and contempt for human worth though a narrowing of the eye or a twisting of the lip.
But the favorite performance comes from Saurabh Shukla. As the case progresses, Saurabh Shukla as the indolent, sloppy slur of a judge coming in his own right offers the film’s biggest lesson: never underestimate the moral strength of a seemingly hopeless Indian.
Jolly LLB was a film full of innumerable merits. Legal proceedings will never be the same again. This is one of the quirkiest, eccentric, most artful and thought-provoking courtroom comedy-drama in years, with stellar performances by the ever-reliable Boman, Saurabh and the much-underrated Warsi. An inspirational drama told with a flair for humor and irony, this is the kind of film that never falls short of heart and guts.
If only director Subhash Kapoor had stuck to Warsi for the sequel. But then, Kapoor ran into trouble of his own. The franchise died a quiet death.