The Ayushmann Khurrana film festival continues its dream run at the box-office, with yet another entertainer that is probably the actor’s most commercial work, till date. His energy is perfectly complimented by the experience and enthusiasm of a team of dependable actors making ‘Dream Girl’, a perfect watch, this weekend.
Karamveer Singh (Khurrana), a young, unemployed Mathura youth, is blessed with an uncanny ability to speak using a female voice, which makes him the perfect choice to essay prominent female roles in local street plays, based on the Ramayana and Mahabharata. This irks his father Jagjeet Singh (Annu Kapoor) who is in debt. To ease his father’s financial burden, Karam chances upon a pamphlet that guarantees desired salary. Without knowledge about the nature of the job, Karam lands up at a seedy call-centre where women are hired to talk to lonely strangers during nocturnal hours mostly. His boss W Ji (Rajesh Sharma) instantly hires him, when he answers a caller as Pooja, with conviction. His regular callers include a shayar-flouting policeman Rajpal (Vijay Raaz), a Haryanvi teenager Toto (Raj Bhansali), a man-hating journalist Roma (Nidhi Bisht of TVF fame) and Mahinder (Abhishek Banerjee), the brother of Karam’s fiancé Mahi (Nushrat Bharucha). Once the financial position is secured, Karam wants to quit the job. But he is blackmailed to stay put and his callers begin to fall for the woman he is posing to be. What follows is a comedy of errors.
Written by Raaj and Nirmaan D Singh, the story’s intented messaging is noble, but the screenplay tries to fit in a few unnecessary portions that could’ve been edited. The most unconvincing part being the romantic track between Khurrana and Bharucha, which seems very obligatory in execution. Also, enough is not explained why Rajpal is unhappy in his marriage. At two hours and ten minutes, the editing by Hemal Kothari ensures that the film isn’t overlong. The biggest strength of the film, though are the dialogues penned by Raaj, brimming with laughter all over, mouthed by a team of perfectly cast actors pieced together by casting directors Nandini Shrikent and Karan Mally.
Of course, the film is expected to run on the popularity and success of its lead actor. In less than three months since the release of ‘Article 15’, Ayushmann steals the show as Karam/Pooja in ‘Dream Girl’. Trust me, women in the crowd hooted as the actor walked in at the start of the ‘Radhe Radhe’ song. It’s a bold move for a leading man and yet, its to his credibility that the effeminate act is not loud, garish or stereotypical. Annu Kapoor as his father is outright hilarious and endearing in equal measure. The scenes between these two are bound to give you major ‘Vicky Donor’ feels. Vijay Raaz too, is an absolute hoot. Manjot Singh playing Karam’s best friend Smilie, deserves a group hug from all of us. The rest of the cast is fairly serviceable.
‘Dream Girl’ is a harmless laughter riot with faint room for logic, which is fairly forgiveable.