Konkona Sen Sharma, Bhumi Pednekar, Amol Parashar, Aamir Bashir, Kubbra Sait, Vikrant Massey
Ekta Kapoor/Shobha Kapoor
I want to make one thing very clear. If you want to enjoy this film, you have to let go of judging the characters and the choices they make. Increasingly, I have found that many people tune into films and do not like the film because they do not like what the character did or the choices the character made. But if you stop with the moral policing (as we realize the characters need to stop doing in Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare), we can actually sit back and watch this film with ease.
Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare follows the lives of two cousins - Dolly, played by Konkona Sen Sharma, and Kitty (Kajal), played by Bhumi Pednekar. The two cousins judge each other a thousand times along the way as Dolly struggles with a seemingly happy marriage void of much to be happy about and Kitty takes up a job in which she is on the phone for love and sex talks. When both discover the secrets of each other, things start to unravel.
Let me tell you right off the bat that one thing that does not work for me in this film is the sheer layering of the subplots. I find some of the "sub-stories" half baked that never fully cook. I wish there was less of that - and if there was a vision to have those subplots, then Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare should well have been a series instead.
But there are many things that work for this film. At the top of the list are the performances: Konkona Sen Sharma would not have been the first person I thought of as essaying the role of Dolly but by the time I finished watching this one, I realized I could not picture another actor playing Dolly. A revelation was Bhumi Pednekar - while I have liked all of her previous work, I have felt that I have never been objective about her performance because she has always been offered generally good films and if I like the film and the story, I tend to like her acting as well. Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare seemed like it either had a choppy screenplay or the editing desk just was not able to make the subplots seamless - and yet, I still enjoyed Bhumi Pednekar's performance. Both Konkona and Bhumi play their parts to a tee, and quite frankly, are likely the reason why I continued to watch the film as it progressed. Amol Parashar does well in the role he is given. I wish Aamir Bashir had more of a chance to dig deep into his character - I wished for more of a back story with him. Vikrant Massey does well, as does Kubbra Sait.
The setting and production design work well to enhance the narrative as set out by Alankrita Shrivastava. Konkona and Bhumi are a delight to watch - and both work wonders on the screen, especially when they share screen space. Their responses to each other seem genuine, authentic, despite the "flaws" of their characters. At the end of the day, Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare suffers not at the hand of the actors, but suffers because at one point, there is just too much going on. However, what the film does do is work in themes of not judging other women, the liberty of making choices, and the necessity of the notion of "live and let live" being instrumental to living a much more carefree existence.
Give Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare a watch for superb performances from Konkona Sen Sharma and Bhumi Pednekar, who are frontrunners in ensuring we keep ourselves in check and stop the moral policing.