Director: Alankrita Shrivastava
Available on: Netflix
On being asked if she is happy with her job of purring slightly sexually-charged talk to clients, Kitty aka Kaajal (Bhumi Pednekar) tells her cousin Dolly (Konkona Sen Sharma) that she doesn't mind being called names and says, 'Job hai, karte hain. Majboor thhe romance bechne ke liye? Nahin, choice kiye hain. Koi aur choice hota toh nahin karte.' For the first time, we see a glint of admiration and respect for Kitty in Dolly's eyes, who otherwise always tries to compete with her cousin.
Alankrita Shrivastava's latest release Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare revolves around two women who dare to make their choices; one by life experiences, the other by breaking the rose-tinted glasses of her seemingly perfect marital life.
What's Yay: Performances, Story, Direction
What's Nay: The film bites the bait of melodrama especially in the pre-climax sequences.
Kaajal (Bhumi Pednekar) who hails from Bihar, moves to Noida to live with her cousin Dolly (Konkona Sen Sharma) and her family. When Dolly's husband Amit (Aamir Bashir) tries to make sexual advances towards Kaajal, the latter tries to confide in Dolly, who laughs it off and blames it on her hormones instead. An uncomfortable Kaajal soon, moves out of their house and takes up a job at Red Rose Romance, an app that provides ‘companionship' to men.
Kaajal adopts the persona of Kitty for her job of being a virtual companion to lonely men over the phone. Soon, Kaajal meets Shazia (Kubra Sait), a girl who loves to live her life on the edge and her DJ boyfriend (Karan Kundrra), and gets hooked to her new 'freedom'. She also falls in love with one of her Red Rose Romance client Pradeep (Vikrant Massey) who seems to be a perfect boyfriend material.
On the other hand, Dolly, who is worried about her non-existent sex life with her husband and her son's attraction to dolls, finds herself drawn towards a younger Osman (Amol Parashar), a student who delivers take-away orders.
Things take a bold turn when Kaajal discovers a secret about Dolly, and the two women discover that they have lot more in common than they thought.
After the path-breaking 2017 film Lipstick Under My Burkha, Alankrita Shrivastava once again delivers a film which breaks the shackles of patriarchal narratives. Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare is a fun, breezy watch. The director lends a humourous, satirical touch to an otherwise heavyweight theme. Alankrita takes up topics which are gently brushed off the carpet and weaves an engaging story around it. From casual sex, infidelity to kids struggling with their sexual identity, she deals everything with a sensitive gaze.
On the flip side, some melodrama and a set of coincidences in the second half dilutes the overall impact of the film. Also, Dolly's complex equation with her mother could have been explored a little more.
Konkona Sen Sharma deserves many stars for her top-notch act. Her portrayal of Dolly takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, and leaves you mighty impressed. Bhumi Pednekar delivers a sensational performance as Kitty. She deserves a pat on her back for this one! Further, Dolly and Kitty's camaraderie leaves you smiling, cheering and even reaching for a tissue in a scene or two. Kubbra Sait is a firecracker like she always is on screen. Neelima Azeem leaves you moved in a small, yet effective role.
Coming to the men, Vikrant Massey, Amol Parashar, Aamir Bashir and Karan Kundrra make the most of their roles. One of Alankrita Shrivastava's plus points is that the characters in her films are relatable, and Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare is no different.
John Jacob Payyapalli's candyfloss cinematography goes well with the theme of the film. Minus any frills, the production value of the film stays true to the narrative. Aarti Bajaj's editing is crisp.
When it comes to music, Alankrita Shrivastava's Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare doesn't have anything new to offer. Most of the songs are a part of the narrative, and thankfully, don't disrupt the story-telling process.
Alankrita Shrivastava's storytelling in Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare is as free-spirited as the two lead protagonists of her film. Her unapologetic take on female sexuality and women empowerment makes this film a 'chamakta sitara' on screen.
In one of the scenes when Dolly asks Osman if they have taken the wrong route, the latter tells her, "Raaste galat nahin, alag hain." Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare dares you to take up a different route when it comes to matters of heart and life!
We give 3 stars out of 5 for Bhumi Pednekar-Konkona Sen Sharma's Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare.