Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Subhash Kapoor’s “Jolly LLB”, about a small-town lawyer who dreams of fame and wealth but develops a conscience along the way, is the film version of the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
From the cover (or in this case, the trailer), “Jolly LLB” seemed like a smart, snappy film about the David who takes on Goliath and comes away a hero. The musty, crowded corridors of the lower courts and the machinations that take place there are characteristic of the Indian judicial system and all its pitfalls are an ideal backdrop to this battle.
Arshad Warsi is our protagonist, Jagdish Tyagi aka Jolly, the David in this story — a lawyer from Meerut who dreams of making it to the top but has seemingly no talent to actually get him there. Instead of improving his skills, he decides all will be well if he moves to New Delhi, the land where all lawyers prosper.
He sees his opportunity in a hit-and-run case that has garnered media attention and is being argued by India’s most crooked and hence, most successful lawyer Tejinder Rajpal (Boman Irani). When the accused is declared not guilty, Jolly, inspired by a colleague, files a PIL to reopen the case and alleges all evidence has not been presented.
Somewhere in Bollywood, there has to be a movie-making machine.
All you do is insert a reel, change a few specifications (perhaps the hero’s name and occupation or the reason for a romantic obstacle with his leading lady) and wait for a “masala” movie to pop up, fresh and ready to hit unsuspecting audiences.
How else do you explain a movie like “Short Kut: The Con is On“?
This one is supposed to be a sometimes funny, sometimes emotional comedy about a struggling filmmaker and his double-crosser friend. It turns out to be neither.