It is when the droll stops and the issue takes over that we run into problems.
Akshay Kumar is the right actor to make a film that takes a droll look at the country’s judicial process, using mainstream storytelling to bring up an important national issue.
He keeps us entertained in the first half, while the director briskly sets up the plot and the case for us. The writing is good, the lines are funny, and the supporting cast solid as can be. The songs are avoidable, as is the wife and child (they serve no purpose through the film), but these are minor blips for a largely enjoyable 60 minutes into the film.
It is when the droll stops and the issue takes over that we run into problems. Jolly is fighting for his redemption, because a mistake he made results in a poor woman losing her life. He wants to set things right, and the only way he can do it is to fight the case she had come to him for. This case blows into a conspiracy where the corrupt cops stage a fake encounter to protect an outlawed terrorist. The setup is convoluted. The script has no meat to drive this forward. The legal debates between Jolly and his nemesis is devoid of substance, and shows the lack of detailing by the writers. There is an overt attempting to bring about silly nationalism in the case, and it is embarrassing for how poorly it has been stitched into the screenplay.
Saurabh Shukla’s character is a lot of fun, and the audience very clearly responds to it from the time he makes a dancing entry into the film. The triangulation between him, Akshay’s Jolly and Annu Kapoor’s Pramod Mathur is the axis around which the second half revolves. They are seasoned performers, and it is unfortunate that the writers are unable to provide them with depth and drama.
The film’s premise and approach had promise, but it never quite fulfils it.
Hindi, Comedy, Drama, Color