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Dolly Kitty Ke तीखे फीके सितारे - फ़िल्म review

November 06, 2020 0 Comments

Dolly Kitty Ke Chamkate Sitare


The film's title transported me back into the All India Radio station era and reminded me of a nostalgic radio program with Amin Sayani's mellifluous voice. Netflix became my hero when it announced the premiere of this film and I finished all my house chores including cooking to watch it the first day, first show. I saw the trailer once and even though it fell short of my expectation, I blamed it on creative dissonance and still awaited for the film like Indians wait for India Pakistan match.

For some reason, this film looked like an India-Pakistan match but with a lack of sportsman spirit. No matter how progressive I am, sometimes I fail to understand the pseudo-intellectuals point film-makers these days are trying to make. Are these points or mere catch bait conjectures to invite controversy and audience. However, you need to watch the piece collectively to find the overall flavor. IF Dolly-Kitty, a cinematic dish on the celluloid, it left me with mixed taste. 

Thanks to Netflix, I watched it twice to see if my opinion changes- not much actually.

Much Ado About Nothing

This is what I felt when I watched "Lipstick Under My Burkha" for the first time. I failed to understand the extreme opposition the film's release faced. I still remember turning halfway back home after the screening of the film was unceremoniously canceled. So when it was released theatrically, I went to watch it with my mom, coming back with embarrassment and bad taste and wondering- much ado about nothing. So, I watched that movie again, and the second time I liked it better. If you ignore the unnecessary wild sex scenes, filmed on lesser-known actors to create a sensation for the film, the film did worth it's salt esp narrating the stories of 4 different women, you can relate with personally and socially. In burkha or without it.

That element is missing in Dolly-Kitty. The sexual scenes are subtle here [of course the lead actress unlike lesser-known actress to keep the compromise away]. The women's stories are present and some could be relatable but the importance is given more to sensation than substance.

Let me tell you how. Here's what I liked and what I find flawed in the film. If "flaw" is an unsuitable word, let's say, what I find "objectionable to create a mere sensation.

1) Religious overtone? 

Why do the new age film-makers think they need to sensationalize a story to sell it? And Hindu-Muslim angles come so handily for them. They want to show a burning issue in society? fair enough. But what next? The issue becomes a mere prop. 

Similarly, the Muslim-Gurjar angle was one-sided, unnecessary, and amounts to mere rabble-rousing. The scene had no bearing on the film. What could have been a personality and power clash, was conveniently labeled as a religious clash?  The girl did not get a bed in a hostel run by a Hindu woman, so she finds abode in a Christian hostel. Christian hostel had girls doing surrogacy, sleeping around for iPhone, and whatnot. The delivery guy is submissive cause he is a Muslim and the Muslim girl is sleeping around for an iPhone in name of a future. Really? Why the characters were not characters but religions?

2) Vagina Statue, Blood-stained sex, and (f)art of cheap titillation

The women-centric story looked like was made to mock feminism, in its own pseudo-feminist way. Aesthetic may be damned. I remember once how a teenager posted her blood-stained, menstruating post all over Instagram to show some hidden face of women empowerment. It is like a grown-up person peeing in the bed and posting the yellow-colored pee. It is right for a human to pee, why ashamed? So, what it is gross, the sensation is all we need, a cause sensation is a new form of empowerment. Aesthetic jaaye tel lene! 

When did a large vagina installation in the city become aesthetic? The city is known for its rape and harassment culture. Well, that is how pseudo feminism will prevent rape. Cause boob is an old idea, bring the gross period blood, bring vagina and humiliate women who watch your film. 

3) Sanskriti Bachao VS Partying with unknown men, LMAO

There is 2 minutes, a propaganda catalyst character who is a self-nominated "Culture protector". Fair enough. he does things to pace the storyline actually. After you are tired of Kitty and Rakesh's lackadaisical romance, this man jumps in, conducts a raid, and gets the lovers attending a Valentine days' rock show at a seeming government property, arrested. Why police arrested them remains a question but when the scene unfolds, you actually find yourself praising this guy as he helps the heroine in finding the truth about his married lover boy. 

She should have gone and thanked him instead, she goes off and starts kissing a man without his consent, in a public place. The man apparently she had no qualms seeing having sex with her loose-character friend.  Because she is a woman. Her brother-in-law touching her inappropriately on the first day of her meeting was gross, highly agreeable. However, the rest of the things were- women empowerment! 

4) Parvati Bani Poo

Kitty's character runs away from her "tribal" home, decked in fine Anita Dongre, Mango clothes from day 1, she finds drinking the leftover soda from her insensitive boss' bottle is more befitting than leaving a new-found job in a new city cause her request for salary advance failed. Having alcohol with men double her age who she just met, is liberating. Calling out her sister's fashion sense in a derogatory manner is righteous, yet cracking joked with her hostel friend who is dating a man who almost raped her is, compassionate. Well, I would not blame filmmakers here. In fact, I appreciate the filmmaker for showing what is the face of a new Indian woman like Kitty, who is killing the true voice of women empowerment by endorsing such pseudo-materialistic garbage in name of liberation.  

In fact, I would prefer to watch Karan Johar's Poo any day over such half liberated yet righteous women characters like Kitty. Poo too came from humble beginnings, grew up to fashion diva, had bitchy undertones to her character, yet he was much better than the pseudo feminists of the veere di wedding world, except for Sonam Kapoor.  I liked her as Avni in the film. Apparently, it was Avni who did not march the feminism flag unnecessarily, yet she knew her priorities well and was ok with her vulnerabilities in spite of being a successful lawyer than a dumb bimbette with fancy clothes. PS even though she now harness a desire to be a "foot in mouth" Jaya Bachchan, I still like her accrediting that statement to a momentary lapse of logic.

On the contrary, the other female character played by Kubra Sait in the film, in spite of having clear negative shades did better. Neelima Azim on the other hand was phenomenal. Even Konkona Sen Sharma's character is well-written and well-delivered. She flawlessly drove the concept of "frigidity" and her angst, her being of what she is without many props and contexts. Even the people who may not understand frigid the concept could relate without facing it. Konkona is more like Ratna Pathak Shah in lipstick under my burkha, a character who doesn't bother to trail pseudo feminism but just want to seek some happiness in her life through pure desires and consent. 

5) Hurried Climax

Like the male characters in the film, apparently, the makers rushed to the climax, not keeping the audience state in mind. The climax looked cliche, convenient, and yet non-resonating. The audience waited with bated breath to know what "Dolly-Kitty" would do next? However, the makers were not keen and just hurried to finish. Watch the film to know or if you have seen the film, you will know. 

The story even does not bother to give male characters a suiting end. No matter what their performances were, they were reduced to mere props in the end. 

Numerounity verdict

Is this movie all disgusting? No... there is a lot of creative brilliance you can attach with the film or the storytelling. The opening scene in a haunted house. The visible metaphor, the brilliant execution through Konkona's "you are hormonal" escapism is a piece of art. [If you can ignore Kitty's botched up dialect]

The film raises a finger on the gender sterotyping that makes children visit two different museuam purely basis their gender and not the choice is again worth it. Also, the unspoken struggle of children facing such a dilemma or the mother who does not know how to deal with it once her denial is over.  

And the metaphor when a character says -Greater Noida is new Shanghai is the stark slap on the face of urban development, new-age consumerism, an overly marketed urbanization that sells soul in name of a better life, upward mobilization but offers very little in terms of real value and all that mirth comes with empty promises made in name of modern living.

Dolly kitty overall is a decent watch and could have been better if the over the top sexual overtones. religious conflict and selective hypocrisy were avoided. 

It is like Bollywood once tried to break the stereotypes with some good films over the decades but suddenly it is creating new stereotypes. Frankenstein is further fueled up and debauchery is celebrated. While is there is a lot good in name of narrative, encouraging women to fly solo then succumb to the relationship that fellow humans can never offer or afford. I wonder how is it going to break this stereotype of reducing everything to sex and alcohol and abuse. Like I always say- content becomes the culture, and stereotyped culture does not help any society.

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