It must have been tough for Ayushmann Khurrana to move from being Bollywood’s poster boy to being its Dream Girl. And kudos to him for taking such chances, depicting ‘Pooja’ without allowing it go out of hand. Whether or if it pays off is a another issue. Dream Girl 2 appears to be adventurous, shameless, and fun on the surface.
After introducing Pooja in Dream Girl (2019), director Raaj Shaandilyaa brings her back in a more brazen, uninhibited, and bold avatar. In the first segment, we hear her speak her way into everyone’s hearts, and in the second, she manifests herself as a living breathing ‘lady’ who walked out of the phone. Despite all of Ayushmann’s style and attitude as Pooja, Dress Girl 2 falls short of expectations.
Ananya Panday replaces Nushrratt Bharuccha as Karam’s love interest, Pari. Just wait until you watch Panday if you thought Bharuccha’s involvement in the last film was only cosmetic. She tries to be a loud small-town girl, but she can’t get rid of her SoBo demeanor. However, the two lovers want to marry, and in the most predictable narrative twist, the heroine’s father puts a stumbling block in their way. He tells Karam that he needs more than ‘roti, kapda, and makaan’ to be ready for ‘kanyadaan’ (Just to get you on board with the film’s terrible humor).
Ayushmann Khurrana is excellent as Param/Pooja. With his great acting, he gives his all to the character and elicits a lot of laughs. Ananya Panday is given little screen time or a meaningful part. She’s fine, as Pari. Paresh Rawal is excellent as Abu Saleem. Annu Kapoor plays Param’s father, Jagjit, well.
His subtlety and timing are second to none. Sonabhai is brilliantly played by Vijay Raaz. Seema Pahwa excels as Jumani. Her understanding of comedic timing is superb. Rajpal Yadav builds a name for himself as Shaukiya. Abhishek Banerjee has few opportunities to make people laugh and will thus fall short of his followers’ expectations.
As Pari’s father, Manoj Joshi had his moments. Smiley, Param’s best friend, is played well by Manjot Singh. As Dadaji said, Asrani is a natural. Ranjan Raj makes an excellent Tiger Pandey. As Baby Baba, Sudesh Lehri is pretty amusing. Sapna Sand shines as the school administrator in a short scene. Sakina is well played by Anusha Mishra. Raj Qushal (as Ali) and Raj Bhansali (as Quli) are both excellent actors. Vishal Handa (as Cyrus), Bhavki and Abhiraj Mishra (as Jumani’s children), Fawad and Riwan (as Sonabhai’s children), and others give excellent assistance.
Dream Girl 2 is a bit over two hours long and never has a boring moment. But it doesn’t mean it’s a joyride from beginning to end. When Pooja is not being Pooja, the speed fluctuates from extremely rapid to extremely sluggish, and the writing suffers as a result. However, never to the point of lulling you to sleep. Shaandilyaa and Naresh Kathooria co-wrote the narrative, which stays firmly in comedic area at all times.
Dream Girl 2 is full of cheesy comedy and exists solely to delight. And it mostly succeeds in that regard.