Gender-bender comedy slowed by predictability

Gender-bender comedy slowed by predictability

Ayushmann Khurrana in Dream girl

Puja is the star of an adult hotline. She is sharp, sensible, sympathetic and everything a lovelorn man picks up his phone in the night for. She is also male.

Ayushmann Khurrana is all hanky-panky as he sweet-talks men (and women) with his husky whispers at a seedy call centre. His versatile vocal cords fetch him Rs 70,000 a month, a profitable leap from playing Radha or Sita at local festival committee programmes. He has the gift of the gab and the voice too (and boy, what a voice!).

‘Dream Girl’ weaves its phone magic, but the tricks get jaded with every second ring. Khurrana is a hoot, so is his turbaned friend (Manjot Singh). The two mouth some of the best one-liners of the year. Yet, predictability mars the film, and all that one is left with is some funny call logs.

A traffic cop (Vijay Raaz) wants to unleash his inner shayar; a volatile millennial itches to spice up his love life; a thrice-jilted woman seeks a girl shoulder to cry on; and a widower (a superlative Annu Kapoor as Khurrana’s up-for-anything dad) doesn’t mind some passion in old age... All of them hook up with Khurrana’s Puja on the phone.

Meanwhile, Nushrat Bharucha parades her entire finery as she falls head over heels (a distracting pair of heels) for our nice bloke.

Ayushmann gives a standout performance with gender-bending glee. And that’s about it.