Dolly Ki Doli
Director: Abhishek Dogra
Actors: Rajkummar Rao, Varun Sharma, Pulkit Samrat, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub, Sonam Kapoor
If you are told that the bride in this film calls herself 'Looteri Dulhan', would you still want to waste three hours of your weekend watching it? Perhaps you won't.
Debutant director Abhishek Dogra's Dolly Ki Doli, where Sonam Kapoor plays a bride who dupes men into marriage only to rob them of their cash and valuables, hits theatres this Friday. Is the film worth the time and money?
If there is anything that makes Dolly Ki Doli worth a watch, it is the performances. Rajkummar Rao, the first 'target' we see in the film, plays the perfect Haryanavi lad -- he is proud of his roots and forever ready to do anything for the girl he loves. Interestingly, it is not just the accent and dialogue delivery that makes his character believable: Even his body language and attitude matches.
The other actor who does an excellent job is Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub (he played Dhanush's friend in Raanjhana). He is one of the members of the gang in which Dolly (Sonam) operates. Ayyub's character, Raju, is in love with Dolly but he knows it will go nowhere because Dolly only believes in 'faking' the marriage. In the put-up family that the gang forms to dupe families into weddings, Raju is Dolly's brother! Manoj Joshi as the father, too, is impressive.
And then there is Pulkit Samrat: He is very believable as the police officer. Add to it that his name is Robin Singh (clearly a take off from Salman Khan's Dabangg character Chulbul aka Robinhood Pandey). Saif Ali Khan, too, plays a cameo in Dolly Ki Doli -- as a Rajasthani prince. Needless to say, he doesn't really have to as much 'play' the character. His character is believable, yes.
Archana Puran Singh plays an over-the-top Punjabi mom who is in control of the whole family and all decisions. It is only Dolly who manages to break her authority when the son, played by Varun Sharma, decides to revolt for his 'love'. The performances are all impressive and Sonam, too, doesn't falter.
But the problem with Dolly Ki Doli is that it does not give a plausible ending to the story. Dogra, who co-wrote Dolly Ki Doli with Uma Shankar Singh, did have an interesting plot -- the journey of a girl who takes on the bad world of men and the hypocrite institution of marriage. But why does she do it? That is exactly where Dogra's script fails. The reason, that unfolds after interval, is simply too pretentious. In fact, throughout the film, it is pretty difficult to identify with the character of Sonam.
Even the purpose of each member in the gang, the film's protagonist Dolly (Sonam) and her villain Robin (Pulkit) is not explained. There are several loose ends left in the end. If there is one thing Sonam's charcater does that is worth applause, it is when she ditches Pulkit Samrat.
There are, however, a number of sequences that are sure to trigger laughter-riots: One where Archana Puran Singh checks out her prospective daughter-in-law, Varun Sharma's love for Dolly, and his encounters between Rajkummar Rao.
So should you watch Dolly Ki Doli? Go for it, for the entertaining performances. Despite the shoddy script and loose strings, this is worth a watch.
(Interact with Sweta @Twitter/SwetaKaushal)