3 June 2013 | jmathur_swayamprabha
This is (Indian) court. Nothing happens fast here.
Indian movies and novels, being influenced by the American pulp fiction, have always shown the courts as a place of enormous drama (and entertainment) whereas the reality is polar different at least in the Indian courts. For decades and decades, the Indian filmwaalas have shown the artificial, non-existing courts to the Indian audience on the silver screen. However in the year 2013, the Indian courtroom dramas seem to have come of age through Jolly LLB.
Through the activities of a petty lawyer - Jagdish Tyagi, nicknamed as Jolly, the filmmaker has shown the courage of showing the real courtrooms of India. All the courtroom scenes are so realistic with the judge, the lawyers, the plaintiffs, the defendants, the cops, the witnesses, the court-staff; all appearing real and not filmy that it won't be an exaggeration to consider this movie as a landmark movie in the history of Bollywood. It's definitely a path-breaker and therefore, we can expect many more realistic courtroom dramas on the Indian screen in the times to come.
Our hero Jolly (Arshad Waarsi) migrates to Delhi from Meerut on order to rise in his career of a professional lawyer. He finds public interest litigation (P.I.L.) as a means to be in news and get quick name and fame (which is expected to turn into money in future). Seeing a high profile lawyer Raajpaal (Boman Irani) winning the case of his client who is actually guilty of crushing some innocents sleeping on footpath under his car, Jolly decides to play a gamble which if he wins, is likely to take him much ahead in his career. He files a P.I.L. to reopen that case and then the game of checks and checkmates starts between the rival lawyers inside as well as outside the court. The hero wins in the end after passing through lures to withdraw, hardships and danger on his life. His Meerut-stationed sweetheart - Sandhya (Amrita Rao) plays the role of an eye-opener and a motivator for him when he is slipping from the correct path.
Never before any Bollywood movie has shown such a real judge who is a normal human-being with all the weaknesses expected in the normal folks. The character of the judge (Saurabh Shukla) is the best developed one who is shown as more or less honest(perhaps to keep the movie optimistic and making the hero only as the winner in the end). He wants to do justice but not very much keen to improve the system. Corruption is rampant just beneath his nose but he is not bothered about it (perhaps because he feels there's little that he can do about it). He knows that a major part of his duty is only to give dates of next hearings of the cases and that he performs by consulting with the lawyers only. He seeks the help of the high-profile lawyer to get a good flat while sitting on the chair of the justice itself. He mostly remains subservient to the high profile lawyer but realizes the significance of his chair and the power inherent in that in the climax.
The inexperienced lawyer in this movie wins the case because fortunately for him, the judge is not totally corrupt and his conscience is still alive. Had it not been, then ? Then our hero would have met the fate of most of justice-seekers in India. The climax has been designed with an optimistic twist which is seldom seen at least in the lower courts. But the complete proceedings and environment in the court have been depicted with utmost realism.
How lawyers resort to rhetoric and hollow talks when they are exhausted of logic, arguments and facts, has been underscored very well in the climax through the character of the corrupt but highly successful lawyer - Raajpaal. The fact is, not only the lawyers, but the judges also go for rhetoric and nonsense comments when dealing with the cases, as if they have a license to say anything and everything. They want to become preachers for all but have they ever shown any concern for the corruption in the judicial system itself ?
Arshad Waarsi has done exceedingly well in the title role with Boman Irani not far behind as the high profile but crooked lawyer. Amrita Rao has filled heroine's quota. The complete supporting cast has done perfectly. Especially veteran actor Ramesh Dev has delivered a touching performance. The actor in the role of a weak yet conscientious policeman (deputed as Jolly's bodyguard) is also very impressive. However the show-stopper is Saurabh Shukla (the session judge of Delhi).
I term Johnny LLB as a highly realistic and hence, a praiseworthy movie. Kudos to its writer-director - Subhash Kapoor. While signing off, I reproduce the dialog of Raajpal for Jolly - 'Yeh Court Hai Mr. Tyagi. Yahaan Jaldi Kuchh Nahin Hota' (This is court Mr. Tyagi. Nothing happens fast here.' Very true. Nothing happens fast here, at least not justice.