Comedy is a serious business. The greatest comedians would vouch for it. Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Abbott-Costello and Laurel-Hardy duo, each of these actors excelled because of the physical comedy they had to endure on themselves. As the world evolved, along with it, evolved the cinema. Talkies forced the comedians to incorporate written gags into their acts. Word plays, tongue twisters, sexual innuendos they all came in, as the writings went to the next level. In the 16th century Bengal, there used to be poetry fights between poets known as the Kobiyaals. These poems could range between anything under the roof, from devotional poems to romance, from the songs of harvesting, even to the extent of intimidation of the opponent by highlighting his/her weaknesses, poetry ruled then all. The reason I am highlighting these is that good writing is the backbone of a great film. Director Raaj Shandilyaa’s ‘Dreamgirl’ isn’t a great film. To be honest, it has an ordinary script. What elevates it to a hilarious watch is some fantastic performances and laugh out loud moments, perfectly aided by ROFL dialogues, which is a rarity in today’s filmmaking.

Director Raaj Shandilyaa used to be the scriptwriter of various comedy shows on tv, most notably many seasons of ‘Comedy Circus’ and ‘Comedy Nights With Kapil’. This is a guy who knows his audience in and out. The film primarily works for its superb dialogues and funny gags. Despite being a first time director and familiar story, Raaj makes it work only because of his writing along with Nirmaan D Singh. Raaj’s dialogues such as ‘Bhagwan na kare aapko kuch ho, magar bhagwan karega jaroor !’ and ‘Re Gujjaro ke Justin Bieber’ and many such gems bring the house down with laughter. Aseem Mishra’s lenses beautifully capture the scenic small town Mathura and the lingo is spot on. Music is peppy and hummable, with ‘Dil Ka Telephone’ being the pick of the songs.

What doesn’t work for the film is the constant reminder is that it’s a weak script, so leaves ample scope of improvisation for the actors to take up the onus. An entire sequence which deals with a person’s affliction with Islam is stretched a tad bit. Here, the writer-director walk on a really thin rope. It’s obvious the material has been toned down from what it actually was. But one can seldom do anything, in today’s ‘woke’ world, where one man’s sense of humour is anothers’ cue to get offended.

The trailer pretty much tells you everything about the premise of ‘Dreamgirl’. What it doesn’t tell you, is how great actors enhance an average film with their individual acts. The great Vijay Raaz is on fire as the policeman who doubles up as a shayar. There is not a single pretence about his act. His gait, ways of talking, everything is on point. Abhishek Banerjee, the ‘Jana’ from ‘Stree’ again enthrals with his small-town naive boy act. Then there’s the quintessential Annu Kapoor, who time and again, tells the audience how gifted he is and it needs a solid character to see him enact it. Manjot Singh and Raj Bhansali in their individual acts, do great. Nidhi Bisht doesn’t get that much of a meaty role and frankly disappoints in her male basher avatar. Nusrat Bharucha doesn’t get much to do, than the usual naach gaana act.

Which brings us to the most important cog of the wheel. Mr Khurrana himself. Impeccable choice of scripts, the uncanny ability to assimilate the character and then imbibing himself into it, these traits have made him the numero uno actor today. Whatever the script lacks, Mr Khurrana fulfils it with his effortless charm. What an actor! His confidence, his ability to own up the character and perform with equal panache reminds me of a young Shah Rukh Khan of the ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’ days. The guy dons an effeminate persona throughout the film, eventually ending up in a climax sequence in drag, which he slays, in a ghagra-choli. More power to this humongous talent.

Watch ‘Dreamgirl’ for fun. Watch it with your friends, family and co-workers. Let’s not get offended, rather laugh out loud, till it hurts the belly.


The Cinemawala Rating: 3.5/5

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