ENJOYABLE DATE IN COURT!
Jagdishwar Mishra or Jolly, is a lawyer who lives by the code: no lawyer worth his salt will ever return money taken from a client. But when a pregnant widow commits suicide after shaming him, his life takes a turn on the right path. He then encounters crooked lawyers, cops and an unpredictable judge in a Lucknow lower court. Akshay Kumar subdues his muscle power and makes for a good dramatic turn as the bad lawyer turned good. The comedy lies in the local language and the conversation between Annu Kapoor (the crooked prosecutor) and Saurabh Shukla (the judge). Worth a watch!
The only problem with this film is that every scene seems to be twenty seconds too slow. You begin to anticipate the replies, and think ahead for the case. That said, the movie has been written with love: for the language and for the material of the ‘case’ at hand. That’s why everyone titters at when Akshay Kumar loops the sacred thread over his ear and sprinkles whiskey for the Gods before pouring a glass for his wife (played well by Huma Qureshi). Everyone laughs each time the eccentric judge waters a plant on his court table, or makes a cinematic reference. Akshay Kumar speaks Hindi with a convincing local accent and that’s a great thing. In fact, you enjoy the dialog so much you wish you had recorded it. But his rival Annu Kapoor is better prepared. He asks his tall assistant: Isko Likh Lena, Accha (Dialog) Hai (write this down, it’s good!).
The courtroom exchanges are cleverly written. The insults the lawyers trade, the traditional rivalry between Kanpur and Lucknow comes through rather well.
The story begins when Jolly (Akshay Kumar) and his partner in petty crimes Birbal (Rajiv Gupta) swindle a young pregnant widow, Hina Siddiqui (Sayani Gupta who plays the role rather well) of two lakh rupees, promising her that Rizvi saheb (the senior lawyer) will take her case. Akshay Kumar’s Jolly is caught out and when Hina finds out and in her misery kills herself. A shamed Akshay goes through the case to realise Hina’s husband was killed in a fake encounter. He files a PIL to reopen the case. The wonderfully talented Kumud Mishra is Suryaveer Singh, the cop in charge of the encounter, alas has not much to do but glower. Annu Kapoor plays Pramod Mathur, the lawyer defending the cops and their action. He’s rich and his razor sharp moustache has many machiavellian lawyering loopholes ready and prepared. He puts the villain back in the black coat.
Saurabh Shukla as an eccentric judge does rather well, playing the fool in the beginning but turning out to be sharper than he looks. The little eccentricities are okay, but the song and dance is not. There was no need for any song except the song during the Holi festival. They just add needless breaks. Huma Qureshi fits her role but the movie belongs to the two lawyers and the judge.
There are twists and turns in the plot, but thankfully nothing unbelievable. In fact, you sit back and enjoy the popcorn courtroom (after ‘Court’ the movie, you want less melodrama than ‘Damini’, but it’s okay!). This date in court is very watchable!
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)