What would you get if a damn old story of college students, a rich one without the mother and a poor one with a childhood sweetheart, mixed with uneven proportions of family values, sentiments (of all sort), friendship, a handful of practical jokes and two good looking women and a baby faced (sweet?!) boy? Yes ... You would have a new title, preferably an inappropriate one. This is ineptly called Jolly.
Abbaas (the poor one with a childhood sweetheart) joins a prestigious college for which his single mother has to mortgage her only house. Keerthi Reddy is his sweetheart. He was so poor that he can only afford designer jeans/T-shirts and shoes. Whereas the college is so prestigious that that is no different from the others except the buildings look immaculate, the doors are finely carved and the hostel room looks modeled on a star hotel. On his first day he is ragged by the mischievous Kousalya (the rich one without the mother) pretending as if she is a lecturer (new ideas please!). After a few more practical jokes previously seen in some other movies they become friends. She has a guardian, mentor, guide or in short an all-in-all-azhagu-rani in Kushboo, a lecturer in the college, and hence has nobody to actually control her. Nothing much happens for a while until Livingston gets in the frame. He is an American return (doing what?) son of Mansur Ali Khan, the business partner of Kousalya's father. Mansur wants Livingston to marry Kousalya for her fortune but Livingston loves Kushboo. What sort of age difference are they talking about between Kousalya and Kushboo? With the help of Kousalya and Abbas, the love materializes into marriage. The much annoyed Mansur cons Kousalya's father to engage her to another partner, who, in the early scenes, happens to have cheated Abbas on getting a job in Dubai. Such a small world, isn't it? That means only Abbas can identify the con man and save Kousalya's life. Being a hero he's got to do something useful to the story, doesn't he? To drag the film to 2-1/2 hours he refuses to see Kousalya's fiancee's photo due to some stupid reasons but promptly interrupts the marriage in the last second. Will he give life to Kousalya? or to much forgotten Keerthi? or can't be bothered with both? Find out if you have patience!!
Abbaas re-lives the Kaadhal Desam kind of character. Being poor doesn't stop him to do what a rich student can do. He is more easily identified as the college student than the likes of Vijay or Murali anyway. Having the plum of a character Kousalya blows her chance. She can act mischievously all right but a spoiled, possessive child ?? Guess it will take a few more films. Keerthi has absolutely nothing to do. She just sings a solo in the beginning and disappears only to come in the end to shed a few tears as required by a second heroine. Livingston and Kushboo are the saving grace. For him, physical comedy comes very naturally. He and his assistant Vadivelu provide the best scenes of the film. SPB as the Cambridge returned lecturer asserts the need of good education with a long lecture and a gun (see how our education has deteriorated) but only the final scenes. If you think the film could be interesting... then forget it. The story is sothappal, the screenplay is sothappal, the editing is sothappal, the dialogue is sothappal, the music by newcomer Kavi too is sothappal. Better luck next time. Jolly ..? Maha Kashtam!!
Original Photograph (Jolly):
Thanks to Anandha Vikatan