When Sooraj Barjatya helmed his debut ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ with Salman Khan and Bhagyashree in the lead, also debuting, Sooraj as well as Salman and Bhagyashree probably did not have any baggage and pressure to deliver. Salman and Bhagyashree looked visibly innocent and submitted themselves to the story, script and the captain of the ship, Sooraj. That worked big time then. On the other hand the trio of Avnish, Rajveer and Paloma, debuting with ‘Dono’ are from the era of Internet – followers, trolls, and ofcourse the pressure to keep up to the expectations for the legacy that they hail from.
There aren’t many lucky youngsters who get to helm a film without bothering about its outcome and still have a lavish budget at their hands. Fortunately for these three, they are! They are so very lucky that the Rajshris, who are known to make absolutely clean films, has a climax clamped on a ‘lip kiss’. Not that the audience would be bothered about it, but the point is that even the Rajshris have bowed down to the aspirations of the younger generation under the pressure to kick start yet another generation of filmmakers and give a freehand to test the waters.
Dono, here would mean both or ‘the two’. Dono is about two individuals who are brought under one roof by destiny to move on from their lives thus far and look at the future. The entire plot is set up against a big fat super rich ‘destination’ wedding of a couple who happen to be a common link of both – Dev (Rajveer Deol) and Meghna (Paloma Dhillon). Dev happens to be son of a well-to-do family but wanting to prove his individuality by being on his own and struggling in his business. He also happens to be ‘friend of the dulhan’ Alina (Kanikka Kapur), whom he has been deeply yet silently in love with for the past ten years. Meghna on the other hand is ‘friend of the dulha’ and struggling with her own break up.
Dono is about how the two meet, open up about their pasts and look into their future. The story explores their relationship.
The formula or reason for the super success of Maine Pyar Kiya was its engaging story, noteworthy dialogues e.g. ‘friendship mein no sorry no thank you’ that still remains fresh and relevant. It had the right balance of story, emotion, humour, action, et al. Though there is no point comparing ‘the two’ (pun intended) but that’s what makes the difference. That is what is missing from Avnish Barjatya’s Dono.
Avnish S Barjatya, the director of Dono shows promise and confidence to handle big budget projects albeit with the support of good writers.
Rajveer Deol looks promising in parts. Though he has refrained from mouthing too many dialogues, he has tried to emote with his eyes and facial expressions.
Paloma Dhillon gets a great launch pad sans an equally great narrative. She forces herself to show confidence but gets dragged down by the poor writing.
Circling back to MPK where music played a major role in its success, Dono does not have a hummable music to boast about, nor does its songs have any lines or for that matter any dance steps that would be remembered as a launch vehicle for the lead pair.
Overall, Rajshri Productions offering for Sooraj Barjatya’s son Avnish’s debut ‘Dono’ can be termed as a showreel presenting his filmmaking understanding, which might payoff in future projects.
Directed by: Avnish S Barjatya
Cast: Rajveer Deol, Paloma Dhillon, Aditya Nanda, Kanikka Kapur