Uncomfortable middle class stereotypes, a northern small town, identifiable characters and some tongue- in- cheek humor, feels like home for our non conformist hero – Ayushman Khurrana. With a promising trailer that sets a rather absurdly humorous premise, Dream Girl starts off with an intention to leverage and continue Ayushman’s winning streak in this genre. But there is only as much entertainment to Dream Girl as Ayushman and some other veteran actors could carry on their shoulders through this otherwise confused and bumpy ride.
‘Karamveer’ – A go-to guy for playing female characters since childhood grows up to find himself jobless until a bus ad brings him to a shady ‘friendship club’. Here he lands a job in a hotline where women sweet talk to lonesome men (and women) and he goes from a new joinee to best employee in no time. Soon the fan following of his falsetto- Puja starts growing across all demographics. How Khurrana brings alive Puja with so much poise without getting sleazy is laudable. Cannot imagine any other ‘hero’ going around half the screen time in female voice and just the right amount of feminine mannerisms with such comfort.
While the first half is full of harmless laughs at frequent intervals, the second half gets all chaotic between preachy, offensive, insensitive and comic. Despite being based on the subject of gender fluidity, it doesn’t delve much into the sociological or mental impacts of a queer/drag life. It chooses to look into this sensitive topic only through a blurry comic lens. While this non nonchalant approach could have also worked, but towards the end the makers have a sudden change of heart and decide to end with a moral monologue which is so disconnected and all over the place that it reduces the entire impact of what could have passed on as a light hearted frivolous comedy. The film is filled with confused intentions from start to end. One minute it is addressing queer acceptance, the second minute it becomes chauvinist with dialogues like ‘bhoolna mat Pooja ek Mard hai’. There is a female character placed among these lonely men to maintain that the need for a confidant is gender neutral , but then again she goes on with typecast boyfriend bashing of ‘sab mard ek jaise hote hain’ sorts.
Another major fail is in writing full characters. Nushrat Bharucha as ‘Mahi’ is left with no contribution to the narration. Her apathetic acceptance of her fiance’s absurdist profession can be only justified as writer’s laziness.
Thankfully, there is an unfailing comic timing and some great talent that pulls through all the weak writing. The talented trio– Annu Kapoor, Vijay Raaz and Abhijit Banerjee make the best of whatever is given to them. They dive deep into these questionable personalities and iron out most of the rough patches in writing.
Its shallow, exaggerated, border-line offensive, but funny. Thumbs up for the cast, acting and timing. Thumbs down for its half- hearted writing.