NEW DELHI: The first Jolly LlB starring Arshad Warsi won a National Award.

The sequel to the first one, Jolly LlB 2, starring Akshay Kumar is already making waves for reasons other than its legal acumen.

This Subhash Kapoor directed film shows the action man Akshay Kumar as a novice lawyer fighting a court battle against a leading lawyer Annu Kapoor and ultimately winning it.

But that is not very important. Most film critics, especially the females are raving over the fact that the aggressive lawyer in court turns into a loving husband at home for his dominating wife Huma Qureshi. He prepares a drink for her at night and then starts making chapatis and food to feed both her and his son.

This has been pointed out by one after another critic in their reviews to prove that the movie is utterly watchable.

Writes one, “His wife Pushpa (Huma Qureshi), is ever supporting but she has her own quirks like her love for whiskey and her obsession with Gucci dresses. You also see her sometimes saving the day and sometimes devouring a meal cooked by her husband.”

Writes another well known newspaper,” Akshay Kumar film is such a cracking watch because it goes bravely where few films go these days: send across a message which doesn't feel forced about gender equality…We see him doing stuff that superstars do not — a great scene which has Jolly slaving at the gas stove and his wife seated at the dining table, will kick start a conversation around gender role reversal, I predict, because, you know, star and all — and show a weak streak before conquering it.”

So hot is the debate on this that when Shobhaa De@DeShobhaa tweeted, ”What an extraordinary ‘Jolly’ movie. Totally adored Saurabh Shukla and Akshay Kumar. In that order. What was Huma doing in this film?”

Several readers on twitter reacted by saying that she was talking like a typical mother-in-law who could not see her son work in the kitchen after toiling so hard in the court room, dealing with criminals, crooks, dominating lawyers and a judge practicing his dance movements in court.

This is unfair criticism because Shobhaa De like many in the audience was wondering why Huma Qureshi had been given such a minor role in the film.

The question was asked to Huma Qureshi as well although she insisted, and I quote, "Subhash has done complete justice to my character, Pushpa. She's a lioness, not a pushover or someone standing on the sidelines. In fact, she's the man in Jolly's life. It'd be stupid to let a film like this go.

If a heroine does not get a meaty role in an Akshay Kumay film that should not surprise anyone. Where were heroines in Amitabh Bachchan films when he started the angry young man sequences?

If women started getting noticed in cinema it was only in what was known as ‘New Cinema’ when actresses like Shabana Azmi , Smita Patil and others were introduced by Shyam Benegal and his contemporaries.

Finally, it took a Kangna Ranaut to demand parity with male actors as far as pay cheques were concerned. For that she still remains unpopular with the mainstream cinema producers but she has managed to prove that she can carry a film on her frail shoulders and give hits even when the hero is someone like Madhvan.

Back to Akshay Kumar. He has already created some sort of off-screen image of an ideal man by the way he has maintained not kept his away from controversy but also by the way he stood by his mother-in-law Dimple Kapadia at the time Rajesh Khanna died.

Jolly LlB 2 only reinforces that image on screen, thanks to the script by Subhash Kapoor which shows the domestic scene with so much of affection and natural love that audiences are convinced that it is the ideal way to live.

One film will not change the Indian mindset, say a lot of skeptics, which is off course true. I also heard some elderly fathers laughing uproariously when they saw this sequence because they cannot see their own sons in the kitchen.

But it certainly marks one step forward, in fact many steps forward because the scene is not loud or preachy like Ki and Ka.