Often when a trailer releases, one assumes these are the best highlights of the entire film, and more often than not, these are the only moments, captured in an average of 3 minutes. The Dream Girl songs and trailer was no different, but does this reflect the reality of the film, hold true to the film and deliver continuously or is it all just talk?
With his father, (Kapoor), drowning in debt, and nothing more secure than the odd evenings of playing Mother Sita for a local theatre company, Karam’s, (Khurrana) falling deeper and deeper into a world of frustration and self-pity, when he spots a poster promising a pretty penny, for what appears to be a simple job. Upon arrival, he is led to an underground, basement office, where he discovers the Friendship Centre andis told in no uncertain terms by Maujiaka WJI, (Sharma), that this is not a job him. However, his feminine talents rise to the occasion, as he picks up the phone and keeps the caller engaged long enough to rack up an attractive bill! Watching him strut his stuff, we see Karam’s alter ego being born and coming to life, as Pooja, enticing everyone that crosses his path.
During the day, Khurrana continues his daily dramas, with Kapoor wanting his son to led a ‘normal masculine’ life, as he falls in love and gets engaged to the love of his life, Mahi, (NushratBharucha). However, as the dawn turns to dusk and Pooja comes to life, his list of lovers continues to grow, as admires include the local middle-aged drunken cop, (Vijay Raaz), a tug like teenager (Raj Bhansali), a misandrist editor (NidhiBisht), the village virgin and Mahi’s only sibling, (Abhishek Banerjee) and the twist in the tale, his own father! As the first half comes to a close, we see just how lonely all five characters are, as their dependence and love grow, with Khurrana drawing comparisons to Mahabharata’s Draupadiand even a reference to how this would have fared out during the MeToo period, all whilst Bharucha is blindly oblivious of her fiancée’s double life.
Bollywood is no stranger to seeing its leading males in a woman’s role, glitz and glamour included. From the time of Shammi Kapoor, Biswajit, Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty and Rishi Kapoor to Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh Khanto Kamal Hassan’s Chachi 420 and Govinda’s Aunty No. 1. Even Akshay Kumarhas not been able to resist the odd drag dance or the occasional comic scene. In this case, Khurrana isn’t doing anything new, however the portrayal of Pooja and its underlying message of loneliness is what makes this movie different. Although Khurrana brings thestars of his saree in parts, the crux of his role lies in impersonating a woman’s voice.
Making his debut from the first film, director Raj Shandilya proveshimself, a sure sign that a great script, concept and coupled with the right cast in place, a story can be told through a comical genre. Shaandilyaa manages to use the one line hits consistently, to not only concoct comedy, but arouse food for thought about the hidden messages of loneliness. Whilst some may say there is not much of a story to direct, there is certainly sub storylines to continue and conclude, which is sustained simply, so as to not turn any scene serious. Shaandilyaa clearly puts his years of scripting for comedians to optimal use, as the audience is constantly treated to droll dialogues, comic one-liners and amusing scenes, incessantly breathing life into each scene.
The delightful and witty first half is fast paced and in comparison, the fear of a let-down in the second half does not fail, as there is a taste of a lengthy and repetitiveness, as we see Khurrana trying to hide his double life and escape it all in exchange for ‘normality.’ A few points within the second half could have seen the climax brought in much sooner, avoiding the drag out scenes. When the moralising finale is brought in eventually, does it really leave the audience with a message that will stick is debatable.
Khurrana was the best choice for both Karamand Pooja, and once again he proves his worth on screen. Dream Girl is a declaration for Khurrana that he has the ability of turning on the mainstream mojo, with his dexterity and deftness. Although in a cameo role, Bharucha portrays Mahi beautifully, different to some of previous work, and is a pleasure to watch. Adding weighty presence to the screen, Kapoor has always been a talented artist, bringing worth and value to any film, whilst virtuosos like Vijay Raj Rajesh Sharma, Raj Bhansaliand Abhishek Banerjee bring plenty of credibility to the film.
Overall, is Dream Girl worth a watch…. Yes, Suche; moochi!
Director: Raaj Shaandilyaa
Producer: Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor
Writing Credits: Raaj Shaandilyaa, NirmaanDsingh, NirmaanDsingh
Cinematography: Aseem Mishra
Music: Meet Brothers
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, NushratBharucha, Annu Kapoor
Written by Sheena Sedani