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Bollywood Movie Reviews

Dream Girl  2, Ayushmann Khurrana’s Drag Act Saves The Day



Rating: *** ½

Not since  Chachi  420 have  I seen an actor  so immersed in the  doing the drag act. Ayushmann Khurrana  juices the part of  his cross-dressed  avatar  for all its worth.

While Khurrana’s  dishy doppelganger  Pooja  in the first Dream  Girl  film was just  a voice on the phone,phone sex has no  place in  the ‘spiritual sequel’ to Dream  Girl. …Or, so  it describes itself, though there is  nothing spiritual about  the  frenetic  fatuous but  fitfully fun plot about Khurrana’s character  masquerading as  a bar dancer  to pay off his  slimy  father(Annu Kapoor)’s death.

The messy  plot has a bifurcated trajectory. Khurrana’s cross-dressed  avatar   Pooja  gets hit upon by  a bundle of  sleazy men including Vijay Raaz  , Rajpal Yadav and Abhishek Banerjee who it seems has Hrithik Roshan’s posters  in his room with a purpose.

Khurrana’s male avatar Karam has its own quota of  attention, notably from Seema  Pahwa who is  a riot as an over-the-hill age-inappropriate bua  who thinks she is  eligible  for seduction.Praesh Rawal as a Muslim patriarch wondering where his family is  going, is wasted in a seriously undernourished part.

Sadly the writing(Raj Shaandilya, Naresh Kathooriya) is  feeble in parts.The jokes seldom land. There are  too many jibes  about oranges being used as blouse paddings.But somehow, Khurrana  makes  it all   bearable, even  likeable in parts . His feminine  mannerisms are never overdone. He  ensures the lines never cross the  border.

The rest  of  the cast seems  to have fun, although it doesn’t necessarily follow that that the audience  feels the same. Some of  the purported comic situations seem written with too much stress  on the punchline, so  that  the jokes never land. They just remain potentially funny not  tapped  properly .

The characters seem trapped in  a plot that allows them no emotional  movement. One  of  the characters  is shown to come out as gay. But the  plot quickly moves forward once the  revelation is made, leaving the  character to fend for  himself.

Khurrana’s dance numbers are jokey versions of mujras  which he  performs in a sporting spirit. He gets  the point: it’s okay to  cross dress  without becoming a flag-waving symbol of the  LBGTQ community. Ananya  Pandey  has nothing to do.And she doesn’t do it  well.

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