Director: Raaj Shaandilyaa
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Ananya Panday, Annu Kapoor, Manjot Singh, Abhishek Banerjee, Paresh Rawal, Seema Pahwa, and others
Where: In theatres near you
Ratings: 2.5 stars
Ayushmann Khurrana is a bonafide torchbearer of socially relevant films. He is the first of his lot to touch upon important subjects in mainstream Hindi film culture and even got commercial success right from the beginning of his career. Dream Girl (2019) was a first ]-of-its-kind film that threw light on male crossdressing with comedy as its backdrop.
Director Raaj Shaandilyaa, who worked in television for years, marked his directorial feature debut with the first one that was a massive crowd puller with correct humour and a taut screenplay. Although the concept of a male in a female demeanour isn’t new to our palates, somehow, Ayushmann got a freshness of his own.
Set in Mathura, Raaj got his second film with a whole new narrative as the two seem to have no interconnection with each other. For the sake of the recall value, Raaj manages to add the stalwarts of comedy — Paresh Rawal, Asrani, Rajpal Yadav and Seema Pahwa to his original star cast — Annu Kapoor, Vijay Raaz, Manjot Singh, and Abhishek Banerjee. This one certainly is bigger and better but definitely not half as entertaining as the first part.
Karam (Ayushmann Khurrana) decides to crossdress and become a popular bar dancer Pooja to fulfil the financial demands of his girlfriend Pari’s (Ananya Panday) greedy father. Will Karam and Pari marry or Pooja will end up in unwanted chaos?
Raaj manages to keep the vibe and momentum of the first part throughout but sadly, with a weaker screenplay, this one doesn’t really hold any standalone identity. While Annu, Seema, Vijay and Manjot have got the majority of the best lines, Paresh, Rajpal and Asrani are not utilised enough. The first half is still watchable but after the interval, Dream Girl 2 leads to complete boredom. Scenes appear to be fillers and by the end of it, the feeling is tiresome.
The film solely aims to entertain people but still clearly gives preachy social gyaan which is probably the most problematic thing for this part. The only difference is that Pooja is a solid character of her own in this one and in the earlier film only had her voice doing the magic. In totality, the whole crux of the story doesn’t seem to have any purpose.
Ayushmann, who plays both Karam and Pooja is noticeable — with full latka jhatkas and adaayein similar to the 1990s heroines, but despite being the main protagonist, he seems to be lost in the poor execution. Ananya is slightly better than her previous works. The rest of the ensemble cast is funny and apt.
Raaj’s Dream Girl 2 looks like a far-fetched dream that is anything but funny. Well, it is needless to say, the film with obligatory humour doesn’t land anywhere. Unfortunately, as audiences, we all take back the second half to our homes and that is questionable.