How often does one come across a mother-daughter duo out on the prowl? While the mother uses her head and looks for the best possible match, the daughter often ends up falling for the wrong guy. And from then on begins a series of ups and downs that might lead to either the perfect match or domestic hell.

Produced by Evernew Entertainment, Dolly Ki Ayegi Baraat is written by Vassay Chaudary and Bushra Ansari, with Marina Khan and Nadeem Baig as directors.

It is a romcom serial which follows the love life of Dolly. The play is a sequel to Azar Ki Ayegi Baraat which was aired last year. With Dolly's earlier crush now married, she undergoes yet another bad relationship and seems to show no inclination of learning from her mistakes. The viewers are informed periodically that Dolly (Natasha Ali) has already broken off seven engagements and now her mother, Saima Chaudhry (Bushra Ansari), is hell-bent on getting her married to Mushtaq (Ali Safina).

Dolly, meanwhile, has other plans and it involves her former sweetheart Nabeel (Raheel Butt), the polar opposite of her latest fiancé. In this mix, there is the other family which is a set of stereotypical Defencewallas. Dolly's former crush, Azar (Hassan Niazi), is now happily married to Sila (Ayesha Omar) and hence the Faisalabadi and Karachi families are linked to each other. With one track of the story following Sila and Azar as they are set to become parents, the other follows the surprise and shocking pregnancy of Sila's mother Rabia (Saba Hamid) and her over-enthusiastic father Faraz (Javed Sheikh), which they try to hide.

The USP of Dolly is not Dolly but her mom Saima Chaudhry. As Faisalabad's famous fashion designer, she takes things to another level — whether she is nagging her husband for his appetite for mujra DVDs or her entry in the Karachi Fashion Week. Bushra with her verve and spunky personality does justice to her character and as one viewer commented “The old Bushra is finally back!” In short, she can give any showstopper a run for her money, especially when she rolls her eyes and says, “Na karya karo na chaury saab!”

Next in line is Ali Safina as Mushtaq. Known for being the voice in Desi Club, a popular show at an FM station, a lot of Ali's fans are thrilled to see him in the role. While Ali is one of the most polite and sensible radio jockeys, it's fun watching him as an utter goon who is the macho man many women avoid.

Another worthwhile performance is that of Javed Sheikh as Faraz, an ageing but thriving actor. Whether it's the scene where he convinces his wife to tell the family about her pregnancy or his interaction with Saima as he tries to run away from her flirtations, Javed finally seems to have found a role that allows him plenty of expression. Much better than playing Shah Rukh Khan's dad or some side kick in a Bollywood flick.

However, despite all the laughs, there are some downs to Dolly Ki Ayegi Baraat. For instance, the premise of the play, with Dolly having seven broken relationships behind her, seems strange at a time when people are finding it harder and harder to find suitable matches. Dolly is just a girl next door who carries her heart on her sleeve and that's about it, “nothing special” so to quote a prospective mother-in-law who watches the play.

Natasha as Dolly suffers from bad expressions and needs to work on her dialogue delivery. Her bland narration of dialogues and eyelash batting doesn't do much for her character either. Same is the case with Ayesha Omar as Sila. Her overacting and nasal voice after a while makes you wonder if this is the same girl who made people laugh with her rollicking performance in College Jeans.

Also strange is the way Rabia is so bent on hiding the news of her pregnancy. It may not be the norm in most homes now to have kids when one is in their early 40s and 50s, especially when one's daughter is pregnant, but in case one does then what's the point of hiding the news and making it seem so clandestine?

Two performers who are wasted here are Samina Ahmed as Nanno and Saba Hamid. Their dialogues are cliché ridden and there is no chemistry when it comes to their interaction with the other characters. The two were great in Family Front, but in Dolly — be it Nanno's weight obsession or Rabia's newfound interest in food — they seem to be overdoing their roles.

Overall, Dolly Ki Ayegi Baraat is a good presentation but one that relies solely on the performances of Bushra Ansari, Ali Safina and Javed Sheikh. So if you are looking for an easy-on-the-brain treat after a long day fasting, then this is the play to watch.

Updated Aug 29, 2010 12:00am

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