There are no great emotional highs or lows in Dono. It is just made up of little moments of normal interactions between young people, observes Deepa Gahlot.
An ad for a clothing brand has a popular star tell the guests at a wedding, who have come in subdued formals, 'Shaadi mein aaye hain, taiyaar hoke aaiye,' and everybody changes into blingy outfits.
Avnish S Barjatya's Dono is a full 'taiyari' movie, in which not much happens in terms of plot but hundreds of wedding guests change outfits for the many ceremonies over days (Ice-breaker, Shagun, Sangeet, Haldi and so on).
Dev (Rajveer Deol) is struggling with a start-up in Bengaluru, when he is bullied into travelling to Thailand for the wedding of his childhood friend, Alina (Kanikka Kapur).
Unbeknownst to her, he has been in love with her since school but never mustered up the nerve to tell her.
Now carrying his chipped heart to Thailand, along with the bride's lehenga, as requested by her mother, he is looking for closure.
Meghna is a friend of the groom, Nikhil (Rohan Khurana) and is attending the wedding to prove to her toxic ex, Gaurav (Aditya Nanda), who is also present, that their break-up has not affected her.
The families from both sides have gathered at a luxury resort in Thailand, where the many rituals are to take place.
Nikhil is part of a very large joint family, who are traditional and arrogant enough to make demands of the bride's side and expect everything to be just so.
At one point, Dev and Megha are dispatched to the local market to purchase 150 saafas, and learn how to tie them because the men in Nikhil's clan want them on their heads! It is just an excuse for the two to get together and talk about their lives.
Every function, song-and-dance and minor crisis is designed to make the two realise they are right for each other.
Films from Rajshri Productions have always stood resolutely for tradition and sanskaari behaviour.
Elders are obeyed, nobody gets drunk and makes a scene. When Alina shows a bit of skin in a backless blouse, she is sent to cover up.
Still, with Dono, Avnish Barjatya has slowly dragged the story a few miles over the boundary into the territory of contemporary lifestyle.
Meghna has a job, and the self-respect to get out of an unhappy relationship after six years of dating. She is not sulking and moaning about it, as much as Dev.
It is quite acceptable for the bride to have male friends present at her wedding (Dev and his sidekick).
After a tiny bit of a scandal caused by a perfectly innocent incident, Alina stands up for herself.
There are no great emotional highs or lows in the film. It is just made up of little moments of normal interactions between young people.
The sprawling cast of Dono comprises mostly unknowns, so that the fresh pair gets to shine.
Rajveer Deol and Paloma Dhillon are attractive enough though not intimidatingly so, in lieu of acting, they get by with youthful charm and trendy outfits.
Dono portrays just the kind of destination blow out that the wealthy are indulging in these days, if social media sites are any indication.
Right from the proposal to the reception, everything is a garish affair with miles of silk and barrels of sequins on display with designer jewellery and accessories.
It won't be a surprise if the film catches on with copycat tailors and NRIs keeping an eye out for what's new this wedding season.