Dream Girl: Cackle-worthy entertainer
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Film: Dream Girl

Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Nushrat Bharucha, Rajesh Sharma, Annu Kapoor, Manjot Singh, Vijay Raaz, Abhishek Bannerjee, Nidhi Bisht

Director: Raaj Shaandilyaa

Rating: * * *

Ayushmann Khurrana’s latest, ‘Dream Girl’ has him, as Karam, imitating a woman, Pooja, an employee in a female only call-center for discreet friendships. Along the way he falls in love with Mahie (Nushrat), and to make matters worse, has his entire small town community of repressed men (including his own father played by Annu Kapoor) falling in love with his imitation of Pooja.

The storyline here, a ‘Chachi 420’ of sorts, better suited to a sitcom, is rather contrived and under developed. A one line premise which appears to have borrowed it’s main theme of a cross-dressing lead, from TV based comedy shows, gets expanded into feature length and it shows.

We see Karam as a young boy being forced to play the role of Sita because he can do a bang on female voice… and this transfers into his life even after attaining adulthood. He wants to be out of it but mounting debt and never ending reprimands from his father Jagjit, a Panditji, forces him to pull the wool over his loved ones eyes. But he did not ever reckon for the unprecedented success that lures his callers into making the anonymous contact more personal and demanding.

Every bit of facile reasoning thrown in here, appears to be conveniently contrived to set the lead up to impersonate a female. The confusion and mayhem that follows is to be expected. There’s really nothing new here, but the sharp one liners and some hard-hitting social commentary helps keep the audience interested.

Of course, Khurrana, riding on the success trail of five hit films, is in his element. He is so at ease playing the convoluted part that we want to believe in his neediness. Nushrat is effective as the love interest. Annu Kapoor, Rajesh Sharma, Abhishek Bannerjee, Manjot Singh, Nidhi Bisht and Vijay Raaz put in well-timed efforts, thus making it much easier for Raaj Shaandilyaa’s light-hearted treatment to tickle the easily susceptible audience’ funny bone.

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