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'Dream Girl 2' movie review: Nightmare

Updated on: 25 August,2023 10:35 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Mayank Shekhar |

Dream Girl 2 review: This mess of a forced sequel is about a Muslim household, where the patriarch is a man named Abu Salem. He has a son called Shah Rukh, who suffers from depression, a rich man’s disease, apparently—ever heard of a poor person being depressed? That’s a line in the film

'Dream Girl 2' movie review: Nightmare

In Pic: Ayushmann Khurrana

Director: Raaj Shaandilyaa
Actors: Ayushmann Khurrana, Ananya Panday, Annu Kapoor
Rating: 1.5/5

I guess, you’d do any shit, to grab a hit—which is alright. Including, a cross-dresser comedy that, to be fair, wholly borders on the crass—never quite crossing the proverbial line. Even as every scene/gag stereotypes the living daylights out of every person/community, throughout the pic.

Dream Girl 2 is set in Agra. In a way that there is a full, life-sized Taj Mahal, erected right outside the protagonist’s house! Which, in turn, has been seized by creditors, because the family in the film can’t repay their debts. What they do for a living is immaterial to the movie.

That the hero needs the money, in no time, to convince his girlfriend’s dad that he’s no more in the red, therefore fit to marry, is more important. What the married couple will do in life thereafter is nobody’s concern. But how will the hero get all that money so soon? By turning into a hot, woman, bar-dancer in Agra. Further, remaining a woman to marry a guy, for the dowry.

Yes, you read that right. No, I didn’t write this—the film’s writers did. Hence, Ayushmann Khurrana shows up, dressed as some sort of a ‘shayar ki ghazal’. Dream Girl (2019) was about him faking a woman’s voice, seducing men over the phone, playing Puja.

This mess of a forced sequel is about a Muslim household, where the patriarch (Paresh Rawal) is a man named Abu Salem. He has a son called Shah Rukh (Abhishek Banerjee), who suffers from depression, a rich man’s disease, apparently—ever heard of a poor person being depressed? That’s a line in the film. Puja, now as psychiatrist, and wife, is the painkiller.

So, you watch the cross-dresser go from singing, dancing, with stubble on the chest, that disappears in the same shot, to fending off interested men, and dealing with a confused girlfriend (Ananya Panday), thereby.

Speaking of Shah Rukh, it’s like how the movie Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) would end if the hero just told his wife, he actually has a six-pack, no? As would this pic, if the hero simply confessed to his girl, that he’s playing a woman, for the money, and for her, in the first place.

Or, why would they not just hire a real woman, and split the earnings, for God’s sake? And who are these men going bananas over Ayushmann as a woman, anyway? Okay, why am I asking so many questions!

To be sure—no knock on drawing-room, nautanki comedy. It’s a legit, loved genre. As are men posing as women, with potential for so much fun—think Mrs Doubtfire, Chachi 420, Tootsie… The director Raaj Shaandilyaa, I’m told, worked on Kapil Sharma’s sketch-comedy chat show, which explains his obsession with cross-dressing.

You’ve had it as an audience, though, if the only time you burst into a laugh is when the cross-dresser hero finally tells his fake husband that she’s a he! You don’t see that moment coming. You’re ready for what happens next. But they get back to the same he-she routine all over again, and the damn joke never ends, while you groan, endlessly, in the hall.

How’s this film different from its more authentically Haryanvi prequel? That, from what I recall, you didn’t have to think about any of the above, while the gags piled over gags; many landed, some didn’t. Also, it had Ayushmann, after a series of socially sensitive, or incredibly sorted movies (Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Andhadhun, Article 15), delivering something you didn’t expect. Besides, of course, Annu Kapoor—making it the OG playful pair after Vicky Donor (2012).

It should be the same with this. No doubt, you can sense Ayushmann pulling out his inner Govinda, even when the cross-dressing novelty/joke has worn off. The caricatures for characters remain, as do random, self-referential one-liners.

That’s the thing, though, with a mindless movie, or pedestrian humour, and why it doesn’t merit much dissection—you either find it really funny, or care a sweet f*** all, for whatever’s going on. There’s no accounting for taste (and shouldn’t be). Wouldn’t be surprised if you returned from the theatre, thinking this was such a laugh-a-thon, while I wonder if we watched the same pic. Being kind!  

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