Dream Girl 2 movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana is the best thing | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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Dream Girl 2 movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana is the best thing in this messy, massy comedy of errors

Aug 25, 2023 03:59 PM IST

Dream Girl 2 movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana plays Karam/Pooja in Raaj Shaandilyaa's latest comedy.

It must have been a difficult transition for Ayushmann Khurrana from being Bollywood's poster boy to becoming its Dream Girl. And you have to give it to him for taking such risks, portraying ‘Pooja’ without letting it get out of hand. Whether it pays off or not is a different story. On the face of it, Dream Girl 2 is audacious, unapologetic and entertaining. However, I personally don't like to devalue a film by calling it a slapstick or no-brainer. One must use their brain even when laughing.

Dream Girl 2 movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana plays Pooja.
Dream Girl 2 movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana plays Pooja.

Director Raaj Shaandilyaa, after he introduced Pooja in Dream Girl (2019), brings her back in a more daring, unabashed and bold avatar. In the first part, we heard her talk her way into everyone's hearts, and the second instalment manifests her into a living breathing 'woman', stepped out of the telephone. But despite all the swag and sass that Ayushmann puts on as Pooja, Dress Girl 2 doesn't hit it out of the park.

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The story is fine and well intended. It makes you laugh out loud, there are some witty one-liners, clever jokes, references to some other films, which sometimes works and falls flat other times. In one scene, we hear Ananya say, 'Mujhe dancing, singing aur painting ka kitna shaunk hai' and you're instantly reminded of young Anjali from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. In another scene, a character throws a pregnancy test kit from the balcony, and it lands right in someone's lap, just like Raj and Simran's picture flies into Babuji Amrish Puri's lap?

The one dialogue that I particularly found problematic was when a person says, 'Yeh ameer hai... tune kabhi kisi gareeb ko depression mein dekha hai' implying that mental health is a rich people's thing. In the times we are living, makers need to be a bit more careful and compassionate while writing such insensitive lines.

Back to the story, Dream Girl 2 serves you a buffet of actors — some are masters of acting, some struggling too hard on the screen and others going completely wasted. Even if I try not to give away the story, just mentioning this assortment of characters would reveal half the tale.

Shaandilyaa takes us through the story of Karamveer aka Karam disguised as Pooja (Ayushmann), who wants to marry Pari (Ananya Panday) but her father (Manoj Joshi) has one condition. Karam must pay off his father Jagjit Singh's (Annu Kapoor) loans, have a chunky bank balance and a stable future. In a bid to make a quick buck, Karam turns transforms into bar dancer Pooja on advice from his father and best friend Smiley (Manjot Singh). But that's not enough. In parallel world, Smiley wants to marry Sakina, daughter of a Muslim patriarch (Paresh Rawal), who first wants his depressed son Shah Rukh (Abhishek Bannerjee) to get married for. Surprisingly, without explaining much, Smiley convinces Karam to turn into a sex psychiatrist and the next moment, we see Pooja getting married to Shah Rukh. Things keep getting messier.

A still from Dream Girl 2.
A still from Dream Girl 2.

But wait, there's more! Bar owner Sona Bhaiya (Vijay Raaj) also wants to marry Pooja, as does a random bank official (Ranjan Ranjan Raj) who hasn't even seen her yet. Adding more to the madness are some over-the-top characters including Sakina's adopted brother (Rajpal Yadav) and grandfather (Asrani) and a thrice-married aunt Jumani (Seema Pahwa) who falls for Karam, while his father Jagjit lusts for her. And then begins the comedy of errors.

At a little more than two hours, there is never a dull moment in Dream Girl 2. Though that doesn't mean it is a joyride from start to end. The pace oscillates from really fast to really slow sometimes, and writing gets weak at places when Pooja is not being Pooja. However, never to an extent that it lulls you to sleep. Shaandilyaa has co-written the story with Naresh Kathooria, staying in slapstick territory at all times.

One thing that remains a delight throughout is Ayushmann — whether as Karam or Pooja — he's too good to be true. In his portions as Pooja, and thankfully there's a lot of them, he is just stunning. From his body language, makeup to dance moves and his ability to talk in a feminine voice, he just leaves you charmed. I'm glad he never makes crossdressing vulgar barring a few scenes that were written in a shoddy manner, yet performed decently. It might not be among his best works, but is definitely challenging by all means. He's the hero we've mostly seen doing films with a social message and we hoped there would be some surprise here, too.

And then there is Ananya Panday. I genuinely feel sad for her, as it seems Raaj Shaandilyaa never gave her something that brings out the actor in her. With very little to do in the film, she ends up having an extended cameo-like appearance, and remains a mixture of Mathura-meets-South Bombay. Guess it's time she gets to play an intense role in a dark thriller or something meatier that will click with people.

Manjot is funny while Abhishek gets very little screen time and doesn't have much to add. Paresh Rawal, Seema Pahwa and Annu Kapoor lend able support to Ayushmann with their veteran acts. Through this review, I want to appeal to makers to please write better roles of Vijay Raaj and Rajpal Yadav — they need to be reinvented.

Dream Girl 2 is full of massy humour and its sole intention is to entertain. And it more or less accomplishes that.

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