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‘Dream Girl 2’: Ayushmann on a Review Rollercoaster!

Dream Girl 2: Ayushmann on a Review Rollercoaster!
Image Credit: Pinkvilla

Dream Girl 2, the latest film of Ayushmann Khurrana, has been released and is receiving mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike. The film is a sequel to the 2019 hit Dream Girl. It features an ensemble cast of Paresh Rawal, Annu Kapoor, Rajpal Yadav, and Ananya Panday, who replaced Nushrratt Bharuccha from the previous film.

Dream Girl 2 Makes Ayushmann Khurrana Shine Again

Ayushmann Khurrana shines as Pooja/Karamveer “Karam” Singh in Dream Girl 2The Indian Express praised Ayushmann Khurrana’s performance, highlighting his skillful portrayal of the ‘ardhanareeshwar’ concept in the film. Yet, the plot is stretchy and relies on familiar humor.

Dream Girl 2: Movie Review

Dream Girl 2 only scratches the surface of navigating womanhood, often focusing solely on physical aspects despite its complexities. The film employs the imagery of two oranges in a bra and a chorus of Agra’s most ardent performers, further perpetuating this narrow focus. Sadly, much of the 2.2 hour film obsesses over this, leaving little space for a good story. Unlike the first movie, which mixed clever dialogue with Ayushmann’s charm, the sequel lacks vibrancy and wit. Instead, it relies on rehashed humor and forced situations that fail to recapture the original’s magic.

A Familiar, Yet Tired Comedy

Dream Girl 2 transports us from the town of Mathura to the bustling city of Agra, where Karam’s voice takes on a tangible form, embodying Pooja’s alter ego. The narrative unfolds against the backdrop of Karam’s father, weighed down by debts (Annu Kapoor), and a close friend in search of love (Manjot Singh). Karam’s convoluted journey leads him into roles as diverse as a bar dancer and an impersonator of a psychiatrist. However, as the plot expands to encompass a bustling Muslim household in Agra, the narrative loses its coherence and the once-enticing comedic charm. The film attempts humor through absurd situations but falls short. Even skilled comedians like Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav struggle to make the story lively.

A Farcical Descent

Dream Girl 2, as part of a comedy series, sometimes exceeds the silliness and lack of fresh ideas seen in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. It revisits jokes from the first movie, leaning on Annu Kapoor’s use of Muslim stereotypes and Pooja a.k.a Karam’s flirty exchanges with unsuspecting men. An emphasis on respecting the LGBTQIA+ community raises concerns about the film’s potential offensiveness. However, the movie’s drawbacks aren’t limited to any particular group. Instead, it struggles with logical coherence, sophisticated humor, and creative comedy.

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Lost in Translation

Dream Girl 2 occasionally mentions real-world events like the Sri Lankan economic crisis, COVID, and demonetization but does so casually. The director’s TV background is also visible, as the film turns into a Kapil Sarma Show without Sunil Grover at a point. He also gives a Roadies reference when Ayushmann says, “Roadies ka task de rahe ho kya?” (Translation: “Are you giving me a Roadies task?”) (Note: Ayushmann was a Roadies contestant years back and won the show as well.)

The narrative also dabbles in queerbaiting, particularly within the dynamics of the Smiley-Karam relationship. Ayushmann Khurrana’s spirited exploration of cross-dressing is commendable, but managing multiple identities results in more confusion than certainty. The climax unexpectedly shifts, delving into a detailed conversation about love and acceptance, leaving the audience puzzled. In the end, the experience of Dream Girl 2 can feel like a confusing dream turned unsettling reality.

The Overwhelming Aspects

  • Ayushmann’s Remarkable Pooja: Ayushmann Khurrana’s portrayal of Pooja is truly impeccable. He expertly captures the essence of the character, striking a balance between playful flirtation and genuine empathy. His commitment to the role ensures that Pooja doesn’t become a loud caricature or a mere obnoxious stand-up act. From the flutter of his eyelids to the sway of his walk, Ayushmann’s attention to detail makes Pooja incredibly convincing.
  • Whimsical Premise with Identity Confusion: The movie is based on a whimsical and intriguing idea of impersonation and identity confusion. While the plot becomes increasingly complex, this unique perspective offers a fresh take on comedic storytelling. Karam’s transformation into Pooja, both in voice and appearance, adds a layer of unpredictability and curiosity to the narrative.
  • Supporting Cast’s Comic Prowess: The supporting cast’s experience and comic timing enhance the film. Experienced actors like Seema Pahwa, Paresh Rawal, Annu Kapoor, and others add humor to their characters, boosting the comedy. Despite the film’s flaws, their performances bring genuine laughter and light-hearted moments. An example of this is Seema Pahwa asking Ayushmann Khurrana, “Tumhare phone ki wazan kiti hai?” (Translation: “How much does your phone weigh?”) To which Ayushmann replies, “Yehi 250-300 gram…” (Translation: “Around 250-300 grams…”)and then Seema Pahwa retots back saying, “To uthate kyun nahi ho?!” (Translation: “Then why don’t you pick it up?!”) This part is truly hilarious.
  • Funky Soundtrack: The film’s soundtrack, featuring tunes like “Dil Ka Telephone 2.0” and “Jamnapaar,” received an enthusiastic response from audiences.

The Underwhelming Aspects

  • Recycled Humor from Prequel: One of the film’s glaring drawbacks is its heavy reliance on recycled humor from the original installment. Many gags and jokes are borrowed directly from the first film, resulting in a sense of déjà vu for the audience. This lack of originality hampers the film’s ability to deliver fresh comedic content.
  • Incoherent and Overcrowded Plot: As the story moves from Mathura to Agra, it gets more confusing and hard to follow. Many subplots and characters mix up without coherence, making the plot chaotic and crowded. It creates a gap between the audience and the unfolding events.
  • Sluggish Second Half and Flat Jokes: The film’s pacing takes a hit in the second half, causing the energy and momentum to wane. As the film continues, many jokes and gags don’t work as intended. This decline in humor weakens the film’s overall impact and engagement. For example, Vijay Raaz who is soon to divorce Seema Pahwa for Ayushmann, makes bland jokes on his wife. He body-shames and fat-shames her saying, “Ice-cream ki aadat nahi gayi?” (Translation: “You are still not over with having Ice-cream, are you?”).
  • Wasted Stalwarts: There are many stalwart actors in the film but their talents are simply wasted. For example, Annu Kapoor, who has given otherwise great performances with Ayushmann himself in films like Vicky Donor, is seen to lick his lips and ogle Seema Pahwa. Vijay Raaz, who plays the bar owner does the same with Ayushmann (Pooja). Paresh Rawal acts in the most frustrating role with Rajpal Yadav trying too hard to do a slapstick comedy. Seema Pahwa’s talent appears underutilized – she has only a couple of good punchlines and is mainly exposed to body and fat-shaming as a comic element.
  • Not Really a Love Story: Ayushmann Khuranna and Ananya Pandey barely have scenes together thus, making their lovestory quite hard to acknowledge. They do not have that kind of chemistry that would radiate ‘love.’
  • Ananya Pandey: Why one would chose Ananya Pandey over Nushrratt Bharuccha, is not comprehensible to many. Ananya’s stiff acting and dialogue delivery is is not really appealing as an audience. Moreover, her character, who is a lawyer but harbours a masculinist thinking process, that is reflected through her dialogues. This is substantiated when she comes up with the idea of having a boyfriend to acquire money. Not sure if it is ‘innocence,’ but her asking “death ho gayi hai kya?” in a funeral makes her look unlike the ‘bright’ lawyer she is in the movie.(Translation: “Is there a funeral in the house?”) Also, her saying, “Suna hai M.F. Hussain ghoda paint karke lakho mein bech deta hai! Maine to 15-20 ghode paint kiye hai, 15-20 lakh to mil hi jayenge!” (Translation: “I’ve heard that M.F. Hussain paints horses and sells them in millions. I’ve painted 15-20 horses too, 15-20 million is an easy deal to crack!”)
  • Tiktok Comedy: The dialogues, background music score and its placement, the characters’ look– their hairstyle and clothes resembles those of tiktok stars, who overdo every single bit of it.
  • Goal: The movie has no specific goal unlike its prequel which focused on isolation and lonliness of the humans. It is more like a hoch-poch goal!

Dream Girl 2: The Director’s Perspective

Dream Girl 2‘s director, Raaj Shaandilyaa, responded to criticism by emphasizing the film’s lighthearted comedic nature. He urged viewers not to overanalyze it, highlighting the film’s intent to promote love and acceptance.

Dream Girl 2‘s Strong Box Office Performance

Despite competition from movies like Gadar 2Dream Girl 2 with Ayushmann Khurrana and Ananya Panday is performing strongly at the box office. On its opening day, the film garnered Rs. 10.69 crore, followed by a substantial leap on day 2, raking in Rs. 14.02 crore. On day 3, there was another big jump and collected Rs. 16 crore according to early estimates, bringing the first-weekend collection of Dream Girl 2 at the Indian box office to Rs. 40.71 crore. It marks Ayushmann Khurrana’s biggest opener to date.

Dream Girl 2: Popularity and Uncertain Future

Dream Girl 2‘s strong box office performance is a testament to its popularity among moviegoers. The film’s future performance is uncertain, but one thing is clear – Dream Girl 2 has drawn a large audience and outperformed competitors at the box office.

Dream Girl 2: Verdict

Dream Girl 2 has ups and downs, but Ayushmann Khurrana’s captivating portrayal of Pooja shines as a highlight. His dedication to the role, from the flutter of his eyelids to the sway of his walk, ensures that Pooja doesn’t become a mere caricature. Yet, the movie’s downsides – recycled humor, crowded plot, and uneven comedy – hold back its success. The premise has the potential for engaging storytelling but falls short due to a lack of fresh ideas and proper execution.

While the film’s supporting cast, seasoned in comic timing, injects moments of genuine laughter, the reliance on recycled gags and disjointed subplots diminishes its impact. The film’s pacing takes a hit in the second half, and many jokes fall flat, causing the energy and engagement to wane. As a result, the film fails to sustain its momentum throughout its runtime.

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Is Dream Girl 2 Worth Watching?

Dream Girl 2, despite its flaws, provides moments of light-hearted fun, making it a good choice for those looking for easy entertainment. While it falls short of its predecessor’s charm and originality, Ayushmann Khurrana’s dedication and the supporting cast’s comic prowess elevate the viewing experience. As with any comedic endeavor, individual preferences will determine the extent to which the film’s hit-and-miss humor resonates.

Although we are yet to see how the film will perform at the box office in the coming weeks, the film’s current success at the box office once again showcases Ayushmann Khurrana’s remarkable versatility as an actor.

Written By

With an avid interest in all kinds of world affairs, Diya is a Literature graduate who is now into the field of Journalism and Mass Communication and has over 3 years of experience in content writing specialising in the entertainment, fashion and sports sector.

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