Dream Girl: Problematic on so many levels

It’s the climax scene and Ayushmann Khurrana is dressed in a lehenga and is giving a speech on loneliness and how humans are the one to cause it because we are so sucked into this digital age. This scene is nice, what’s even better is the fact that a mainstream Bollywood hero is able to set aside his masculinity and play this character, Karam, who doubles up as Pooja, because he can talk in a female’s voice as well. But, however nice the climax scene may be, it has its problems and also by the time we reach the climax, you’ve already lost me. If I didn’t have to review the film, I would have walked out of it. I am an Ayushmann Khurrana fan, but you need to call a spade a spade. What’s problematic is problematic.

To be honest, and to give credit where it’s due, the film does seem promising at first. But director Raaj Shaanilyaa, who has written Comedy Nights With Kapil treats this film like Comedy Nights With Kapil. But guess what, this isn’t a comedy show where you can make a passing joke on homosexuality, Islam-o-phobia or other socio-cultural issues our country continues to fight. When you watch the film, you’ll know which scenes in particular am I talking about. The trailer of the film is very promising and promises to break the glass ceiling for masculinity in our country, and the kind of heroes we should look up to. But the film does neither.

While Ayushmann Khurrana does push himself but it’s too badly executed a script for him to really do anything. Wonderful actors like Vijay Raaz and Anu Kapoor are wasted in supporting roles. They bring their good humour to the table, but how much can one do! Talking of wasted, the film also stars Nushrat Bharucha who is apparently the female lead, but I don’t think she was, because she’s forgotten throughout the film. She’s there for a song in the beginning, one in the middle and one in the end. That’s all. She also gets two different moments to shout out feminism, but at both times she’s make to stay quiet by Karam, who continues her argument for her. And she thinks this is cute. I really like Bharucha as an actor, but her choice of scripts needs to improve.

Coming back to Ayushmann Khurrana, he does all he can, and I salute him for standing there, on screen, in full hair, makeup and costume of a woman, dancing to some Radhe-Krishna song. I don’t think many men could do that. Khurrana has a brilliant sense of comedy and he uses his comic timing to bring some relief, but the matter just doesn’t match up to his calibre.

My biggest problem with the film is the geography. The story is based in modern Mathura, which, last I checked, doesn’t have a Phoenix Market City, Kurla, but it’s there in the film! They’re sitting in Mumbai auto’s with childishly painted Haryana number plates and I couldn’t help but laugh at that stupidity. And who was in charge of the costumes? Did they not read the script, do their homework? Do men and women in Mathura dress like that? Khurrana is wearing these stunning jackets and Bharucha is roaming around in salwar kameez’s and perfectly blow dried hair, but do people actually do that?

All in all, like Sapna (Hema Malini) in the original Dream Girl would con men, this film cons us because it’s not really a film worth your time and money, even though it has Ayushmann Khurrana in it!

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