Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare Movie Review: A layered, complex film with stellar performances
REVIEW: ‘Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare’ calls out the hypocrisy around seemingly happy marriages right at the beginning, when Kajal (Bhumi Pednekar) tells her cousin, Dolly (Konkona Sen Sharma) that her husband Amit (Aamir Bashir) has been hitting on her. When Dolly insists Kajal may have misunderstood his friendly, protective behaviour, she spells it out for her cousin, “Amit ji humse sex karna chahte hain.” But there are more things on Dolly’s mind than to get worked up about this piece of information, like making plans to move into a plush new complex, where the couple’s new flat is under construction. When money falls short for their installments, Dolly hustles – by either stealing from her office or selling her jewelry. Her day at work usually starts off by making three cups of tea – one for her boss, one for her colleague and one for herself.
Kajal, on the other hand, finds a job at a call center for love and sex chats. She moves out to live in a hostel, without revealing to Dolly the actual nature of her job. Kajal who now works under the pseudonym Kitty starts to savor the freedom that comes with her choices. However along the way, she meets with some pleasant and unpleasant experiences. And when a series of events lead to Dolly finding out where Kajal works – she takes the moral high-ground, as does Kajal who knows her cousin’s marriage is empty on the inside.
Director Alankrita Shrivastava’s film makes a strong point on gender roles, societal norms and moral judgments. As Dolly and Kajal’s lives take them through different circumstances, they are first out to judge each other’s life’s choices, but eventually, they realise they are not very different. Deep down, as women they are looking for the same things, craving the same freedom. Although on the flipside the film’s narrative packs in too many angles and sub-texts and at times, leaves some threads underdeveloped. Also, some of the narrative shifts feel too abrupt. But overall, ‘Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare’ drives home the message that it sets out to give. The film opens up conversations around women’s sexual needs and desires and is a commentary on moral policing, sexuality, gender biases and stereotyping.
The performances are overall topnotch. Konkona Sen Sharma as Mrs.Yadav or Dolly is superlative as her character moves through an entire arc in this film, exploring her relationship with her husband, her son Pappu and her mother. Bhumi Pednekar also dishes out a stellar act. Amol Parasher stands out as the sweet delivery boy, Osmaan. Vikrant Massey as Kajal’s lover, Pradeep, is superb, as is Aamir Bashir as Dolly’s disgruntled husband, Amit.
Ultimately, ‘Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare’ brings out the different shades to womanhood through it’s layered narrative and pushes one to be who they want to be. And damn it, if society has other dreams for you.