A serial con-bride Dolly, and her gang, capitalise on all things that are severely problematic about the Indian sentiments regarding marriage. They dupe foolish grooms, and their families, through some very plausible tricks. Namely, making sure the pair are astrologically compatible, pleasing to the mother-in-law’s whims and making a buffoon of a groom believe that he deserves a catch like Dolly. This is perhaps the ‘intelligent’ part of Dolly Ki Doli. Everything else is anything but.
We’re given a snippet of an insight into Dolly’s psyche but apparently the writer’s didn’t think their central character and her back-story warranted any screen time. Seeing as Dolly herself is never revealed to the audience, to ask for a backstory for her gang is far fetched, let alone question how they came to being a con-bridal-party. To add to the complications of the writing, there is also a unrequited love story involving Raju (Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub) who refuses to be the fake-brother anymore and promises to be satisfied with a chance at a fake marriage with Dolly instead of a real one…go figure! Like most things in Dolly Ki Doli, Raju’s love story too had great potential that was never realised by the writers.
The loots are what make Dolly Ki Doli interesting which is why the two central dulha’s and their families are the highlight of the film. Raj Kumar Rao is absolute revelation as the weeping Jatt willing to forgive all for a chance at a happily-ever-after. Every time the actor re-enters the screen you rejoice and instantly hope the film is finally going to pick up. Varun Sharma gets all the applause for daring to play that Punjabi Delhi Mumma’s-boy. The downside to Varun’s role however is that by the time its his turn to be a dulha, the jokes start sounding recycled.
Pulkit Samrat as Dabangg-Junior is clearly suffering from a severe Robin-Hood-Pandey hangover, which is why from his wardrobe to his style of walking to his diction, all are heavily inspired from the Salman character. An ode would have been interesting and funny but here it was just the lack of knowing how to play a UP cop seeking revenge. Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub is perhaps the unexpected scene-stealer whose character along with Rao’s should been the central roles in the script. Sadly you never find what happens to Raju love story as the writer’s abruptly abandon this storyline.
Sonam Kapoor, who blew us away with her comic timing in Khoobsurat, is nowhere near as impressive as her earlier release. The performance seems half-baked and at times you simply question how did the director okay that take. Despite being handed an impressive set of lines by the writers she doesn’t manage to make an impact. No matter what the scene the most we see from Sonam is a alteration of the volume of her voice and everything else remains, for a lack of better word, plastic. Surely a con-woman has some emotions deep down somewhere!
The tracks of Dolly Ki Doli weren’t impressive to begin with and annoy even more when they make ill-timed entries on screen. The climax of the film despite being unconventional is yet predictable and by then you’re simply not invested enough to care. The forced promotion of the next Sonam outing doesn’t help.
Dolly Ki Doli was a genius concept wherein Dogra was to tackle the loopholes in the concept of marriage courtesy of the archaic societal norms. With actors as brilliant as Rao and Ayyub, this could have been great however unfortunately Dolly Ki Doli just makes it to the mediocre level.