Jolly LLB – Movie – Review

Jolly LLB Poster

A feel-good film throwing some punches to the law system


A small-time lawyer files a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) in court against his own idol’s case. The film revolves around the early life of lawyer Jagdish Tyagi a.k.a. Jolly (played by Warsi) and focuses on his attempt to earn six innocent wage earners their rights and his journey against the monopolistic behaviour of the rich and judicial corruption.

Year: 2013
Country: India (Bollywood)
Genre: Drama, Crime, Comedy
Director: Subhash Kapoor
Writer: Subhash Kapoor
Cast: Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla, Amrita Rao

Buy Jolly LLB from Amazon India |

Jagdish Tyagi aka Jolly is a struggling low-profile lawyer. He has ambitions of becoming a high-profile lawyer whose photos and interviews are published in every newspaper and magazine. In order to catch his dreams, he moves to Delhi and tries to gain popularity. So, he files a PIL against his role model’s client’s son who ran over a few people sleeping on the road and killed them.

Following is the brief information about PIL for those who are not aware of it:

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is directly filed by an individual or group of people in the Supreme Court. It was felt that their interests are undermined by the government. PIL is a rule of law declared by the courts of record. However, the person (or entity) filing the petition must prove to the satisfaction of the court that the petition is being filed for the public interest and not as a frivolous litigation for pecuniary gain. The court directly accepts the public good. It is a new legal horizon in which court of law can initiate and enforce action to serve and secure significant public interest. The PIL has opened new horizons for the poor and the destitute. In a significant judgement, given on 10 April 2008, the Supreme Court said that the action of the judiciary on the PIL did not amount to an encroachment on the jurisdiction of executive and legislature.


It justified the PIL’s saying: “If the courts did not entertain the matter relating to irregularities in the admissions to schools and colleges, which affects the career of thousands of students, at a time when the state government was not taking action against the guilty, who would come to rescue of the common man?”

For more information on PIL click here.

As a low-profile lawyer fighting against the high-profile lawyer of a rich client, he faces many hardships. It is a courtroom battle between David and Goliath with a lot of twists and turns and under-handed ploys.

The equation of the incident involves a rich powerful man’s child with a high-profile lawyer killing poor people. The answer of the equation is pretty obvious, a lot of corruption and injustice served to the poor people. That is something that happens quite often in the real life. Although there are not many out-n-out courtroom dramas in the history of the Bollywood, this type of courtroom drama is not that of a novelty item for the Bollywood cinema as something related to courtroom pops up quite often if you look at the old films. However, Jolly LLB is quite special in that regard. Jolly LLB’s storyline is inspired by the 1999 hit-and-run case of Sanjeev Nanda (In 1999, Sanjeev Nanda, then a Wharton Business School student, and son of Indian industrialist Suresh Nanda ran over six people, including three police officers) and a minor reference to Priyadarshini Mattoo case (Priyadarshini Mattoo was a 25-year-old law student who was found raped and murdered at her house in New Delhi on January 23, 1996).

Usually, Bollywood courtroom scenes tend to be quite over-dramatic and unrealistic. However, Jolly LLB gives quite a realistic touch. There are few comic elements in the courtroom but other than that it is closer to the reality – corrupt policemen, people afraid of speaking the truth, buying of witnesses, buying opposition lawyers, slow case proceedings and the list goes on. At first looking at the poster I expected it to be a comedy film but it is much more than that. The comic scenes set the light tone of the otherwise quite heavy subject matter of the story. It does not allow the story to get boring and maintains the interest levels.

Saurabh Shukla - Jolly LLB
A brilliant performance by Saurabh Shukla

I loved the judge’s character played by the brilliant Saurabh Shukla. The judge is shown as an ordinary person just like you and me instead of the usual static judges in cinema. He is the character with the most depth and also the character that entertains the most. He has quite a few funny moments and a couple of powerful moments. He mostly remains calm and honourable with the high-profile lawyer but at the same time, he does not get hassled by him. When he feels that the court is not being respected he raises his voice and shows his authority and he also respects his power and position. He does not get swayed by the powerful people of defence and gives the deserved justice to the poor people. Had it not been for the conscience of the judge then yet again powerful (yeah, I know, rich don’t mean ‘guilty’) would have abused the system. Around us or in the news how many times have we seen powerful people abusing the law and getting away scotch-free? Quite often, right? We all know that money, power, influence can tamper the evidence and decision of even the court. Remember…Bhai? *cough cough*

The story is quite nicely paced, it does not feel like it is an almost 130 minutes long film. It does not rely on other Bollywood gimmicks except songs. Songs are a wonderful addition if they complement or at least accompany the story. Here the songs totally halt everything and felt completely unnecessary. Songs are okay-ish at best. They unnecessarily halted the story and got on my nerves.

Amrita Rao Arshad Warsi - Jolly LLB
Romance and songs – totally pointless!

Saurabh Shukla is the best among the bunch while Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani are both quite good performing their respective characters. Amrita Rao played…hmm…a character that was introduced just for sake of having a name of a ‘heroine’ on the poster. I used to have a crush on her during my school days so I had ‘butterflies’ moment when I saw her first scene in the movie. But soon after that, I realised that that was it. She was used mostly as a showpiece. And yeah, she still cannot deliver dialogues in a convincing manner. Supporting cast is perfect.

Overall a refreshing film. It is a feel-good film throwing some punches in a sarcastic manner. I am pretty sure everyone will enjoy it. If you have not seen it yet and are unsure about watching it, go watch it. I highly recommend it.


  • Story: 8
  • Acting: 7
  • Music: 3
  • Overall: 7

Have you seen ‘Jolly LLB’? If yes, what do you think about this movie? If not, does it sound interesting to you? Comment below!

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About Mit

A proud introvert with a love for the big and small screen world. Have an obsession with the world of Asian Cinema. Welcome inside my Asian plagued mind.

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