Dream Girl 2
Back in 2019, Dream Girl arrived with almost no expectations apart from presenting a concept that was novel and also during actor Ayushmann Khurrana's hot streak of constant successes. Now, in 2023, the franchise returns with a spiritual sequel of sorts where Dream Girl 2 isn't a continuation of the first film but just a new story with a couple of repeating characters from the first one.
Does the sequel manage to make the same impact as the first film did? Will it be by the end of Khurrana's recent streak of box-office failures? But most importantly, does it entertain enough? Having had the chance to see the film in its entirety, here is what I thought about it-ALSO READ: Mrunal Thakur, Abhimanyu Dassani & others star in 'Aankh Micholi', directed by 'OMG' director Umesh Shukla
Ayushmann as Pooja - Yes! Ayushmann as Karamveer - Ahm....!
Khurrana has managed to carve out an incredible niche for himself with the quirkier characters and struck gold by playing 'Pooja' in the original Dream Girl. In the sequel, Khurrana takes the stakes several notches higher as instead of just being a 'voice' that soothes and enamours men and even women, this time, it is in the flesh. Playing Pooja and even dancing on a couple of songs, Khurrana is surprisingly spot-on with his gestures, movements and basic antics - never going too caricaturish and derogatory while still being 'feminine' in a conventional manner. It can be debated if the intended appeal was impactful or not, but the actor is impressive whenever he is Pooja.
Shockingly, though, it is as Karamveer that Khurrana falters almost through the entirety of the film. In an attempt to land the jokes and a few limericks, Khurrana tries too hard and goes overboard. There is a constant need to be extra animated with everything. Why? One wouldn't know.
The Humor & The Situations
The biggest USP for the first instalment was the humor and, more so, the sheer hilarity that was carved around the situations. Dream Girl 2 might have a few lacking instances of delivering similar situations, but it does deliver the humor and the quirky one-liners more often than not. There is a gradual pacing towards just how crazier every situation gets, and that is aided by improving humor. A few references to other films, usage of a couple of old songs for a few scenes, the comic timing of the actors and the sheer ridiculousness of the aforementioned situations make up for some really funny moments, as you would have expected it to have,
The Real Winners - The Veterans & Other Performances
It is obvious that Dream Girl is an Ayushmann Khurrana franchise, but the sequel relies more on the alluring set of ensemble veterans than ever. Rightfully so, as well. Having such a brilliant set of actors helps in the best way possible. The stupidity attached to Vijay Raaz's character, the snobbishness attached to Paresh Rawal's character, a constantly drunk Rajpal Yadav, an ever-reliable and absolutely amazing Annu Kapoor and everyone else - make sure the situations are a lot of fun. However, it would be very remiss of me not to mention the fantastic Seema Pahwa, who reminds everyone of the versatility she possesses yet again.
Coming to the other performances, Ananya Panday looks beautiful and, while still lacking in her acting chops, is definitely improving with every film. Manjot Singh actually has a lot of screentime and does well as Khurrana's friend, playing to his usual goofiness.
Dream Girl 2 doesn't have the novelty of its predecessor and has a rather underwhelming climax, trying too hard to convey something that isn't important and feels forced. However, the humor, the situational madness and the chemistry and performances of every veteran in the cast are enough to make you feel entertained while sitting on this ride. Thank heavens for an ensemble cast like this to make a film rise from being half-decent to a rather fun experience.
Rating - ***1/2 (3.5/5)ALSO READ: 'Dream Girl 2's' box office journey: A steady rise with 46.13 Crores on day four