Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare Hindi Movie Review
Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare opens with a cracking scene where cousins Kajal and Radha have an amusement park ride. It is one of those Disney-like rides where monsters and creatures come popping out of nowhere to scare customers. As they take the ride, Bhumi Pednekar's Kitty tells Konkona Sen Sharma's Dolly that her husband is attempting to have intercourse with her. Dolly/Radha rebuffs Kajal's claim with a laugh and tells her that these feelings are just a part of her age. But Sharma says the dialogue as if Dolly knows at the back of her mind that her cousin is not lying.
Director Alankrita Shrivastava is perceptive and has an eye for detail. Her film serves as a look at the lives of these two women in a Delhi town, who are seeking their sithares (stars) to fulfil their sexual desires. Dolly and Kitty only want to lead a happy life, but they find themselves in a frustrating stage of life when deprived of sex with reliable partners.
Kajal/Kitty has just arrived in the city of Greater Noida from a small district in Bihar. It is a big city without many job opportunities for moderately qualified single women like her. Even a married Dolly does a job that mainly involves serving tea to her male co-workers at her government office. This explains why Kolly does manual labor at a shoe factory before taking up a job at a call center that serves sex-starved and lonely male customers through a romance application.
Shrivastava's Noida is a city of vice, full of boose, crooked real estate people, plus those who seek forced sex. It is the kind of city where youngsters prowl lonely, attractive women at night, and where men contact women for what Kolly describes as 'phone sex'.
Much of the film moves at a moderate pace without many big twists or revelations. And, it is only when Kolly discovers a shocking truth about her brother in law that do we even see a plot being developed. This s not necessarily a good thing or bad thing. As long as Sharma and Pednekar share the screen, there is something to look forward to. Alankrita Shrivastava is such an observant storyteller that even in a middle-of-the-road film like this, there are many moments that make a mark. There is that fine opener, but there also exists a moment where Kolly tells Dolly that her cousin's married life has never allowed her to explore beyond Noida.
There is sparkling chemistry between Konkona Sen Sharma and Bhumi Pednekar, and Shrivastava's Neflix Original film benefits much from it. But sadly, Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare does not quite live up to its initial promise. The screenplay derails when the director stuffs everything from male prejudice to gender stereotypes to moral policing into the script. The climax set around the unveiling of a vagina sculpture is bonkers.
I would not have minded had this been just a story about Dolly and Kitty. Sharma and Pednekar show just how good actors can lend heft to roles that do not have much to offer on paper. The same is true of Vikrant Massey, who makes a mark in a cameo role as Kitty's beau Pradeep.