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Review: 'Dono' tries to explore fresh horizons in the 'Barjatya Universe' but stumbles along the way

Avnish attempts to breathe new life into the Barjatya cinematic universe with a not-so-cliched love story. However, he falls short when it comes to effectively translating this vision onto the screen.

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Dono

Dono

In the wake of the stalwart's triumphant silver screen presentations in the past few months, a fresh wave of budding talents now stands ready to embark on their cinematic journey with  the romantic drama, "Dono."  What makes it special is that the film carries with it the weight of a storied legacy. Rajveer Deol, son of Sunny Deol, Paloma Thakeria, offspring of Poonam Dhillon, and Avinash Barjatya, hailing from the illustrious Barjatya lineage, are all set to make their grand debuts, shouldering the proud traditions of their esteemed families. While 'Dono' proudly bears the Rajshri film banner, it ushers in a fresh perspective, a new creative mind at the helm. After watching the film, this is what I think about it.  

A fresh concept lacking precise execution

A fresh concept lacking precise execution

In the midst of hearts seeking closure from past relationships, two individuals cross paths at a wedding, an event closely tied to the very people they're trying to distance themselves from. What follows is a love story that defies the usual clichés. It's not just about their budding relationship; it's also about their personal journeys of self-discovery.

However, despite the brilliant concept and eloquent storytelling at the heart of 'Dono,' the film struggles in its execution. It's almost as if the emotional depth and the important message it aims to convey get lost in a maze of unclear visuals and misdirection.

Imagine it like watching a lavish Marwadi wedding video infused with personal drama. While it's undoubtedly a grand affair, the film occasionally loses sight of its core message.

The wedding starts with a cricket match between the team Dulha and team Dulhan and oh boy! The question does pop up- Did the makers have a discussion with Parineeti-Raghav about this? 

The stretch of the film is again a problem and could have been cut short a few minutes here and there. 

Avnish Barjatya's world- taking a step ahead of his father

Avnish Barjatya's world- taking a step ahead of his father

The essence of a Rajshri film is a well-known treasure trove—filled with family ties, relationships, timeless values, grand weddings, sheer opulence, and a touch of extravagance. It's a signature recipe that births a Sooraj Barjatya masterpiece. Avinash, in his directorial endeavor, treads on this familiar path but with a bold twist. While the Barjatya trademark elements are still intact, this time the narrative takes a distinctive turn. Availing himself of the classic Barjatya elements, Avinash endeavors to strike a chord with today's generation.

Spoiler alert: Prepare yourself for a groundbreaking shift—a courageous inclusion of kissing scenes;  a move that breaks new ground in the Barjatya cinematic universe. Avinash and Manu Sharma's writing seeks a fresh perspective, one that comprehends the complexities of modern relationships. All the while, it seamlessly upholds the cherished traditions of extravagant weddings, heartwarming family drama, timeless romance, a plethora of songs, and beloved traditions.

The Performances

The Performances

Rajveer Deol, playing the character Dev, appears to embody some of his own traits. He portrays Dev as a shy and introverted individual, someone who wouldn't typically make a move. While some of his dialogues come across as robotic, almost as if he's rehearsing a script reading, Rajveer attempts to convey Dev's emotions. In his debut film, he manages to deliver a decent performance but certainly has room for improvement.

Paloma Thakeria as Meghna has conviction in her character. However, many of her lines feel more like recitations than acted-out expressions. There's a noticeable absence of emotion, and the chemistry between Rajveer and Paloma falls short. Their on-screen presence lacks the spark that should ignite between romantic leads.

Kanikka Kapur, in the role of Alina, stands out as a strong presence, often feeling like the film's focal point, particularly in the second half and during crucial climax scenes. Her charm shines through, and she delivers a commendable performance. Rohan Khurana as Nikhil and Aditya Nanda as Gaurav adheres to their roles as scripted, offering decent performances.

Music and cinematography

Music and cinematography

In stark contrast to the usual brilliance of Barjatya films, the musical score of 'Dono' is regrettably subpar. With the exception of the titular track, none of the other songs come anywhere close to earning a spot on your playlist, and their recall value is nil.

Shifting our focus to the film's setting, it is an absolute visual delight. The vibrant hues, the breathtaking beaches of Thailand, the city's exquisite beauty, the luxurious resort, and the intricate wedding details are all masterfully captured with meticulous precision, creating a visual symphony.  Avnish diligently maintained a consistent palette of vivid colors throughout the film, from start to finish.

The Verdict: 

Avnish attempts to breathe new life into the Barjatya cinematic universe with a not-so-cliched love story. However, he falls short when it comes to effectively translating this vision onto the screen and harnessing the full cinematic potential of the characters.

Rating **1/2 (2.5/5) stars 

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Kanikka Kapur Thumbnail

Kanikka Kapur

Rajveer Deol Thumbnail

Rajveer Deol

Paloma Thakeria Thumbnail

Paloma Thakeria

Dono poster

Dono

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