Since childhood, Karam (Ayushmann) has the talent of impersonating women’s voices. Both Karam and his father Jagjit Singh (Annu Kapoor) aren’t much pleased with the popularity this talent brings to Karam, still the son reluctantly continues to play the female lead to pull the crowd in religious stage plays of Gokul – and eventually – The Dream Girl aka Pooja at a phone call center, where Karam ends up searching his job. He falls for Mahi (Nushrat), and the callers of Pooja end up being head over heels in love with the voice and woman, paving for a comedy of errors.
The movie seemed pretty proud of what it has in store, so it wastes no time in bringing one to the prime point. The major romantic development is courteous to one song, and mostly the gags are ones doing the constant working, managed in the writing by Raaj Shandhilya (a veteran writer for TV shows). The social commentary runs subtly in the first half, to rise up for the expected eventual loud climax. This wasn’t needed though, but the climax of such social comedies is synonyms to the social commentary and eventual redemption – the case is no different here.
Besides the amusing to borderline offensive one-liners thrown perpetually, it’s the acting by the entire cast the keeps ‘Dream Girl’ being enjoyable despite the constant loud background score and the repetitive writing of second half. Meet Bros’ songs are one for each occasion – nothing to do with hampering the pace of the narrative. For the big picture is enjoyable, I didn’t mind the minor bumps in it as the actors leave a no dull moment with their impeccable presence.
Ayushmann is in full form being the actor that he is – natural and convincing. Already a pro in enacting parts that lead dual lives (Read: the sperm donor in ‘Vicky Donor’ to being the apparent blind pianist in ‘Andhadhun’), never does his act makes this all come across as crass. He is spot-on with the nuances again, from changing accents to changing the bass to his voice in a split second. The climax speech could have gone downhill, but he saved it with his conviction to play the unconventional. Watching him lip-sync to Jonita Gandhi’s voice and dance in ‘Dil ka telephone’ song is sheer amusing.
Nushrat as Mahi expresses well in the little she was offered to do, actually way better than the pioneer actresses of the small-town comedies genre of Bollywood. Still, the romantic angle is forgettable and doesn’t contribute much to movie and Ayush’s character arc, but it’s fine as the comedy doesn’t take a backseat for it and she is shown constantly supportive of his taboo job. Good. Manjot Singh as Smiley is hilarious as in his part of an endearing childhood friend to Karam. His “justification” scenes with Ayushmann are the ones to watch out for. The digital star Nidhi Bisht is befitting as the dominant pseudofeminist. He part is prominent, as her admiration and love for Pooja blurs the lines of homosexuality. Rajesh Sharma is his usual remarkable as the shrewd owner of the call center.
Amidst their presence, the ones who steal the show are Pooja’s biggest admirers – Annu Kapoor, Vijay Raaz, and Abhishek Banerjee. Annu Kapoor well reprises his chemistry with Ayushmann after Vicky Donor, accounting for some of the most hysterical moments in the movie. The part goes over the top too, but the actor keeps it all going, generating perpetual laughs even when the writing pages are blank. The constant smile is maintained in the presence of Vijay Raaz too, as he reprises his distinct audacity post ‘Gully Boy’ – this time as a Haryanvi policeman with the soul of a “shaayar”. Abhishek Banerjee has that ready for comedy face, and he well plays the funny guy again after ‘Stree’. A new addition are his singing sequences, just harmless comedy. All these conversations of Pooja with her lovestruck gang eventually convey the message of the dearth of a listener in this plastic social media era, which they end up finding in a persona that is Pooja.
All this madness is encapsulated quite crisply in a runtime of 137 minutes, as ‘Dream Girl’ never goes steeply downhill – courtesy the impeccable cast and the one-liners they utter. Mentioning Ayushmann’s name just another time, for how effortlessly he manages pulling off such unconventional parts with much conviction. A man or woman – all played to perfection when the actor onboard is Ayushmann!
Watch its Trailer here: Dream Girl (2019) Trailer – YouTube
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