Cast: Sonam Kapoor, Rajkumar Rao, Varun Sharma, Pulkit Samrat, Saif Ali Khan Pataudi
Director: Abhishek Dogra
Though produced by Arbaaz Khan Productions, this film does not boast of big bankable actors/stars. A medium budget film, this one obviously could not bank on the story, direction and performances alone. So the next best thing for the younger Khan bhai (Arbaaz) was to get newbie director Abhishek Dogra into the act of primping-up his narrative with conspicuous allusions to Salman Khan in some form or other.
We recently saw Arjun Kapoor going ape over Salman Khan in ‘Tevar.’ Now it’s the turn of Sonam Kapoor and Pulkit Samrat to do the needful. So irrespective of whether the story demands it, we are saddled with yet another film that cashes in on Salman Khan’s standing at the Box-office in the hope of scoring a hit.
But that’s not a strategy that will pay dividends especially when the story itself has little teeth and the pivotal lead (Sonam Kapoor) comes across as pasty, lacklustre and uninspired. ‘Dolly ki Doli’ is reportedly based on newspaper accounts of a ‘Looteri Dulhan’ involved in a cross-country racket of conning well-heeled men in search of suitable wives. You get that from the promos itself so there’s nothing more interesting to be had in the narration.
Writer Umashankar Singh teams up with director Abhishek Dogra to fashion a screenplay that is lackluster and inhibiting. Dolly (Sonam)’s story is shown as one of opportunism and need, and that’s probably to make her seem just a wee bit sympathetic. She embarks on her conning crusade after she is ditched by an immature lover. She is at first shown conning a naïve love-sick Haryanvi, sugarcane farmer Sonu (Rajkumar Rao), then goes on to wreak vengeance on Delhi boy (Varun Sharma) because he did not drum up the courage to ask for her hand in front of his dominating mother (Archana Puran Singh).
Both guys seek police help and Inspector Robin (Pulkit Samrat sporting Salmanesque attitude) is on the chase, post-haste. Dolly and her make-believe family (including brother played by Zeeshan Ali Qadri and father played by Manoj Joshi) are apprehended when they get ambitious and are all set to play a con on a charming Prince (Saif Ali Khan).
When Dolly comes face-to-face with Robin, a back story involving the both of them unfold. A brief interlude of romance follows and thereafter it’s Dolly’s turn to stand true to herself. It’s almost a feminist statement, but not quite. And this, mainly because the script is dowdily inconsistent and the plotting appears a little too over simplified, farfetched and implausible.
The end appears fanciful coming as it does after a fantasy-come-true marriage to old love Robin following an inexplicable release from prison without being charged. The editing is a little sloppy in that respect. The story-telling, is quite flat and un-requiting. The narrative could have been whimsical and quirky but the manner in which it plays out there’s not much purchase in either aspect. Music and choreography are also uninteresting to say the least.
Clotheshorse Sonam is unable to make Dolly interesting or exciting. She is pretty enough but doesn’t have either the charisma, screen presence or the pizzazz to carry off such a live-wire role, which might surely have suited Kangana Ranaut, better! Archana Puran Singh, Rajkumar Rao, Zeeshan Ali Qadri, Rajesh Sharma and Varun Sharma distinguish their craft with distinctive performances. If at all you decide to watch this film, it should be because of them!