When I first saw the promo of Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamake Sitaare, it seemed that director Alankrita Shrivastava had made yet another film on sexual liberation, after Lipstick Under My Burkha. After all, producer Ekta Kapoor is known for pushing the envelope and this one seemed to be in just that kind of zone.
Well, as it turns out, the film does have a major sex element in there, something which makes an appearance in words or visuals once every 10 minutes in this 120 minute long drama. However, you don’t even have to scratch the surface to find that the film actually turns out to be more than just that. There is a lot more that is explored which keeps the proceedings going.
For starters, this one also makes a statement on the life of migrants in the ‘chamakte-dhamakte’ world of Delhi NCR, in this case Greater Noida. Thankfully though, this one doesn’t take the Citylights [Rajkummar Rao, Patralekha] rute and instead delves into the lives of a rather well to do middle class couple [Konkona Sen Sharma, Aamir Bashir] who have made their way from Bihar to Noida. They are blending in well with the Chatterjees and the Khannas and are happy to order spring-rolls and other Chinese delicacies when there are people home.
So what if their bedroom (with garish reds and pinks) has more of a brothel feel to it, despite anything but sex happening in there, for the outside world there is still a lot of ‘chamak dhamak’. On the other hand Konkona’s cousin sister is just stepping in into the city where she graduates from taking a sip out of a leftover Maaza bottle and then filling her plate with pasta, garlic bread and muffins, all in one go. She too explores the ‘chamak dhamak’ in the ‘akele ho, dosti karoge’ kind of call center which is exactly what we saw in Dream Girl last year.
Mind you, this is not a film of sister bonding; there is in fact hardly but bonding happening here as both have their own battles to fight. Konkona is wondering whether it was her hymen reconstruction that has resulted in her lack of interest in sex. Or is it because she lost the plot once her mother [Neelima Azim] ran away with her lover? Or if these are the factors which have turned her little boy feminine? Or is it okay to take a ride from Noida to Connaught Place with a college going food delivery boy, but not quite go the while hog with him?
On the other hand Bhumi’s roller coaster ride is the kind that could well have turned her into Julie had she taken one more drink at a shady outing in a pub leading to an all out orgy in a hotel room. From hesitating in calling strangers as ‘baby’ to losing her virginity to an online pal [Vikrant Massey] after two visits to Agra, Bhumi lives a life amongst unmarried pregnant girls who later give away their kids to adoption, and makes friends with a considerate gold digger [Kubbra Sait] while conceptualizing a business model where women could rather hunt for men.
In this whole ‘chamak dhamak’, you do get to explore quite a few layers in the lives of Dolly and Kitty. While these episodes do make for an engaging viewing, it would have been all the more exciting had the pace been faster. This is a kind of film which could as well have been told in 100 minutes and hence is 20 minutes too long. Not that any of the events or the incidents in the lives of Dolly and Kitty needed to be eliminated; they are all relevant. They just could have been told in a crisper manner, which would have allowed the tension to stay.
In the process the track that turns out to be totally unwarranted is the one featuring Karan Kundra and his brother. Either this needed to be there in complete flesh and soul or had to be totally eliminated. Ditto for the scenes centered on Konkona’s workplace. Also, whatever happened to the call girl who plays Bhumi’s colleague at work? She just disappears. Moreover, there is no sense of loss whatsoever in the whole family despite being duped of lakhs by the builder.
Nonetheless, what does stay with you well are the performances, especially by Konkona. She looks her best in this film and pretty much shoulders the responsibility of the entire film. She just gets into the part, and how. Meanwhile Bhumi, who gets the top billing, is reliable as ever, though one wonders how she turns out to be so gullible and vulnerable. Aamir Bashir, who was cold and menacing in the second season of Inside Edge handles his sexually frustrated part really well. Amol Pareshar is sweet in an extended role where audiences root for him.
An ‘adults only’ watch, you too can root for Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamake Sitaare as long as you aren’t the kind who is at loss of word on feminism being depicted in the form of a big cardboard ‘yoni’ (well, literally) been unveiled at a ‘family’ oriented cultural fest no less!