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Maamla Legal Hai Review: A Gem!

March 06, 2024 09:52 IST
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Another season of these legal antics would be welcome, applauds Deepa Gahlot. 

The legal system in India is mostly a farce, so it is just waiting to be turned into a comedy or satire.

The Jolly LLB films did a good job, so did the recent release, OMG 2.

It is difficult, however, to pick real-life issues -- some comical to begin with -- and in all seriousness, make them uproariously funny.

Rahul Pandey with writers Saurabh Khanna and Kunal Aneja have managed this balancing act. They are helped by actors, who are aware that the situation they are enacting is absurd but do not resort to over-the-top comic acting.


Leading the bunch is Ravi Kishan as VD Tyagi, a lawyer attached to the Patparganj court (there is such a place in Delhi), who makes a bombastic statement like 'I scratch my back with the long arm of the law,' as he decimates his opponent.

Tyagi is ambitious and wants to be attorney general one day. But before that, he has to win the election for president of the Delhi Bar Association from a sneering rival, Phorey (Yashpal Sharma).

He has assistants he calls Law and Order.

The equilibrium of the laid-back court premises is disturbed with Harvard-educated, Mercedes-driving Ananya Shroff (Naila Grewal), who wants to provide free legal aid to the poor but has trouble landing and retaining a client.

Others in the cast include Sujata (Nidhi Bisht), who would rather make a cut referring clients to other lawyers rather than appear in a courtroom instead, genial court manager Vishwas (Anant Joshi), who immediately develops a soft corner for the hapless Ananya, and the tea boy, Shambhu (Kumar Saurabh), who gamely puts on a langur costume to deal with the monkey menace on court premises, triggering a human rights debate (a true incident, also used in the film Eeb Allay Ooo).

If the situations are hilarious -- a shortage of witness stands that have to be moved from room to room -- clients can be idiotic too, like the man who wants a divorce because his wife was not shy on their wedding night.

Nobody really expects justice. A lawyer meant to help poor clients runs a beauty salon on the side as cases pile up.

Still, the law is the last resort for most.

Even as tareekh pe tareekh is the norm, and most lawyers are a dodgy, unscrupulous lot, somehow there is sanity in that mayhem.

The dialogue is effortlessly droll, the actors are a cohesive group who defer to Ravi Kishan's star power but also lend comic energy to their own scenes.

It is surprising that Netflix had this gem on its list of shows and did not promote it enough.

Maamla Legal Hai is an enjoyable watch that also has an undercurrent of social commentary. Another season of these legal antics would be welcome.

Maamla Legal Hai streams on Netflix.

Maamla Legal Hai Review Rediff Rating:

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