Courtroom drama is a rare genre in Hindi film industry, possibly
because there is little that is exemplary or inspiring coming
out of legal stories. Also, a courtroom drama is a verbal battle
of wits and needs good script and skill with dialogue, both of
which are rather tough to find. In such an event, the inspiration
has to come from a foreign film, especially to base your protagonists
on. Arshad Warsi's character, in that case, identifies with that
of Joe Pesci in the 1992 Hollywood hit, My Cousin Vinny. Only,
here it is blended with the screen persona of Warsi. And so also
that of the judge, played here by Saurabh Shukla. Of course, the
plot is given an Indian hue having been based on the story of
Delhi's infamous Sanjeev Nanda case about drunken driving, running
over and killing six people in 1999.
Fox Star Studios
Director: Subhash Kapoor.
Cast: Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla,
Amrita Rao, Mohan Kapoor, Mohan Agashe, Harsh Chhaya,
Manoj Pahwa, Ramesh Deo.
is a lawyer in Meerut, a town about 70kms from Delhi. Like many
of his breed, he chases and solicits clients for simple court
proceeding like affidavits since nobody would trust him, a fresh
out-of-college lawyer, to handle a serious case. In any case,
high profile cases are not happening in his town. His ambition
to make it big as a legal luminary seems impossible to him in
Meerut. Convinced that his only chance to make it big is to
go to Delhi, he makes the move leaving his girlfriend, Amrita
Rao, behind. Once in Delhi, things are no different. He is still
running after anybody and everybody in the court premises seeking
a client for simple court paperwork.
Irani, who ranks among the top few lawyers, is in the district
court to defend one of his most controversial clients, Rahul
Dewan, the scion of the big business house. The scion has driven
his car into six people in a drunken stupor killing them all.
Since Irani, one of the renowned practitioners is handling the
case, Warsi, among others, is also in the audience to learn
a thing or two and he is awed by the way Irani gets his client
released in a few minutes.
is impressed but idle as he is, decides to dig into the case
thinking that this is his chance and that, in India, a PIL is
the best way to get noticed and draw media attention overnight,
especially, in a case is as controversial as this. The whole
world and the media knows the scion killed people but Irani
proved it otherwise. A novice, Warsi, who has never argued a
court case, learns from his adversary, Irani, and goes along
to use what he learnt from him against him as the things proceed.
But Irani proves too smart for him, because Warsi's prime eye-witness
turns out to be Irani's plant. Irani uses Warsi to get his dues
from the Dewans.
that, the scriptwriter takes an easy route; there is a constable
who auctions and allots prime posts in Delhi police to the highest
bidder (the one with a 65-lakh bid for Delhi Sadar gets the
plum post). He agrees to handover the accident videos to Warsi.
This is script writing of convenience.
is the underdog and has taken on a big fish in Irani and the
media want to ride with him. However, the viewer goes along
with Saurabh Shukla, the judge, for he is also with the underdog
because as he says, 'The law may be blind but the judge is not.'
His other observation: 'The day the case begins, I know what
is right but I need to wait till somebody presents proof.'
problem with the handling of Jolly LLB is that, with Warsi and
Irani in the lead, it has been promoted as an outright comedy;
that is the impression all its media promotion gives. However,
the film is never sure about its aim. It keeps swinging between
a comedy, a serious social issue and a dig at the Indian judicial
system. It could simply have been a good vs. evil or a right
vs. wrong story.
script is bereft of excitement or twists and turns that could
hold a viewer's interest. The film has but one such, when Harsh
Chhaya turns out to be Irani's plant. Director Subhash Kapoor
does just a passable job as his characters lack consistency;
Irani is a lawyer rated along with Sibal and Jethmalani but
loses control at the smallest of adversity while Warsi's ambition
is to make a name but falls for the first carrot hung at him,
a cut of Rs 20 lakh. In this film pitting Warsi and Irani, it
is the referee, the judge, who steals a march; Saurabh Shukla
is excellent. Amrita Rao, Warsi's love interest has nothing
much to do. Dialogue doesn't provide scope for the verbal duel
one would wish for in a courtroom drama. Music is of little
Dad Ki Maruti: A flat script
Director: Ashima Chibber.
Cast: Saqib Saleem, Rhea Chakrobarty, Ram Kapoor, Prabal
Punjabi, Ravi Kissen, Benazir Shaikh, Karan Mehra, Ritu Khanna
Punjabi wedding becomes impressive depending on the gifts bestowed
on the son-in-law and to a filmmaker it gives a chance to fill the
screen with colour, dances and songs.
Kapoor's daughter, Benazir Shaikh, is due to marry her boyfriend
of many years, Karan Mehra. Kapoor is very happy at the choice as
he has always liked Mehra more than he likes his son, Saqib Saleem.
For his only daughter, he has decided to gift a high-end Maruti
car as a bidaai gift. Saleem does not think much of his brother-in-law
to be and thinks it is unfair to give away a new car to him on pretence
of giving it to his sister when he himself has no car of his own.
Saleem has a sidekick in Prabal Punjabi.
likes a particular college hottie, Rhea Chakarobarty, and often
tries to approach her but she is hooked to another guy. But then
Chakrobarty ticks off her boyfriend and Saleem sees a chance for
him to invite her out that night. Wanting to impress his date, Saleem
decides to 'borrow' the new Maruti delivered the same day. His plan
is very simple: take the car out on the sly, impress the girl, replace
it quietly and no one need be any wiser. All goes according to plan
and it is time to drop off Chakrobarty back to her hostel. Having
done that, Saleem decides he has not had enough of the evening yet.
He goes back to the bar to enjoy some more. He is too excited at
the outcome of the evening to see that he is handing over the car
keys to a person dressed in black, thinking that is the valet.
is a girl by his side and car keys in his hand. The man in black
decides to take a spin. When he stops to try some ideas with the
girl, the cops spring up. The man in black vanishes, leaving the
car. The car makes one more journey on its own when a few kids see
the car in unlocked, they push it and it lands in some no man's
land kind of lane.
and his sidekick Punjabi are done at the bar and want the car keys
from the real valet. His troubles start here. There is no car and
Kapoor is sure to find the garage empty in the morning. All sorts
of tricks are resorted to so that there is a car in the garage,
with the same model and same colour for Kapoor to see until the
real one is found. From here till the car is traced should have
been a fun ride but it is not. The writers do not manage to give
the viewer much enjoyment or thrill until about 15 minutes before
Dad Ki Maruti comes from Y Films, a division of Yash Raj Films,
under which the company gives opportunities to new ideas and talents.
However, in the case of Mere Dad Ki Maruti, the idea has come from
the Hollywood hit, Dude, Where's My Car? Just finding a good starting
point is not enough even if it has come from a foreign film. And
with newer faces in the lead, the script needed to be solid.
content that has little to work on and a budget that is limited;
director Ashima Chibber (also one of the three writers) does not
deliver. Dialogue is routine and quite a lot of it in Punjabi. Music
is all Punjabi and to those who don't dig it, it is just a lot of
sound. Fine, it is about a Punjabi wedding and based in Chandigarh
but did it have to be an almost Punjabi film? Ram Kapoor, in fact,
struggles to pass off as a thorough Punjabi. Saleem can loosen up
a little. Rhea Chakrobarty and Prabal Paunjabi are okay. Karan Mehra
is good in a brief role. Ravi Kissen in a cameo is effective.
Dad Ki Maruti may be one of the most economical films made and released
only through digital platform but is a disappointment for the exhibitors
since only a good word of mouth could have brought some patrons
to the halls which is unlikely.