Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare is Alankrita Shrivastava’s third directorial venture. The film possesses the same thematic vein as her earlier unsparing and honest creation “Lipstick under My Burka.” This film tries to critically analyze and understand the much scorned subject of female desire, among other things. As the director’s earlier creations this film too is fierce and blunt in its approach. Alankrita Shrivastava has a habit of not beating around the bush but compulsively stating what’s in her mind through her stories.
Without giving out much, it can be said that Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare is a meandering voyage of two females, their tryst with our hypocritical society and their constant scrimmage with the predetermined shallow mindset. Konkana Sen Sharma always brings a sort of wisdom and gumption to every character she plays. It is a treat to watch her fill the gaps in the screenplay with her little nuances, that too in such a subtle manner that you might miss it if you flinch. These minor details lay the foundation of any character and bring it on the threshold of reality. She plays the character of Dolly, a women, who is stuck somewhere in a mid life crisis and has stopped giving attention to her desires and dreams. She lives on the surface as she is afraid that she might find some hollow and dark craters if she stopped and looked beyond. She lives in Greater Noida, with her husband Amit, played by Aamir Bashir, and her two children. She suffers from being in a state of vexation due to her sexual inactivity. Her husband thinks that there is something is wrong with her, due to which she suffers from this inability of satiating her carnal desires. He reads an article to elucidate how this “malfunctioning” of hers, could be transmitted to the kids. The amusing fact is that she agrees to all these fallacious notions and somewhere subconsciously starts believing that the problem lies within her. She blames herself, when her son displays a feminine side of his personality. He likes to dress up like a girl and doesn’t understand that how wearing a piece of cloth could cause such discomfort to the people around him. He is too naïve to understand the hypocritical and irrational functioning of our world. She credits this “ailment” of her son to her genetic unsoundness, as told in the article read by her husband. Bhumi Pednekar plays the character of Kaajal. She is Dolly’s cousin From Darbhanga, and has come to Greater Noida, in search or freedom and fulfilling her dreams. She starts working in a call centre of a romance app with a pseudonym “Kitty” but soon she realizes that behind all the glitter and the lights there exists a deep dark world comprising of fragmented dreams and shattered souls. Keeping her freedom as the priority she decides to not retreat and accepts the setbacks as a part of life, boldly facing them at each and every turn.
Through Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, Alankrita Shrivastava is able to express her views on matters that are still considered as a taboo in our society. It can be a jittery experience for those who still assassinate the character of a female when she makes a carnal association. It does not matter even if the act is consensual, because a sin is a sin even if done by the agreement of both the parties. It tries to break inside that abhorrent and stigmatized culture where the women lingerie is covered while drying, to hide it from the view of others.
There is too much happening in the film and we tend to lose the sight of the main premise. The film talks about moral policing, about female desires, about pseudo masculinity, about gender equality and many other taboos of the society. Many subplots inside the 2 hour long socio-drama feel like a digression. Sometimes the characters are shown in a predetermined stereotypical light that snatches the authenticity from the film. The screenplay becomes a bit scattered as the film progresses. The presence of some characters is just to prove a point. We never really get to know certain characters and hence never feel impacted by their actions. But this takes nothing away from the bona-fide intention of the film maker and the mesmerizing performances. A special mention has to be made to the bodacious and catchy performance of Vikrant Massey as Kitty’s lover.
While Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, strays from its path and is uncertain about its destination, it tries to seep inside the concrete foundations of patriarchy and attempts to detonate it with progressive ideologies.
Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare (transl. Dolly Kitty and those shining stars) is a Hindi film directed by Alankrita Shrivastava released in 2020. The film is streaming online on Netflix.
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