Podcast: How Much Does ‘Dream Girl’ Score on the Gender Scale?
The film prompts you to mull over when it comes to the portrayal of Pooja, and the message that it puts out.
Ayushmann Khurrana seems to have nailed it again with his spectacular performance in Dream Girl. The movie, directed by Raaj Shaandilyaa, is an out-and out comedy and nobody really expects it to be too deep. However, the film’s subject lends itself to the gender perspective quite organically, and cannot be viewed in isolation.
This week’s Reel Deal looks at Dream Girl through the gender lens and whether the film lives up to the message it tries to convey.
Tune in to the podcast here:
Dream Girl revolves around Ayushmann Khurrana, who plays the role of an unemployed man named Karamveer, living in Gokul, desperately in need of money to pay off his father’s loans. With no other option in hand, Karamveer has to take up a job in a seedy call centre, wherein he is required to talk to men on the phone in a female voice, something he has been good at doing since he was a kid.
Despite being a laugh riot, the film prompts you to mull over when it comes to the portrayal of Pooja as a woman, the references from Sanskrit epics, and the message that it puts out.
Ayushmann brings an endearing quality to the character of Pooja. So, this normalizing of gender fluidity is something to take away from Dream Girl. But, what if Pooja was actually a girl, and not a man in the disguise of girl? Because all the men who claim to be her lovers declare Pooja as theirs, and somehow her consent doesn’t even seem to matter. And THIS should have been the greater message to give out here.
Secondly, one of Pooja’s admirers is a woman, Roma, a magazine editor, and her portrayal is the most stereotypical one in the film.
Even though there is tons to laugh about in the film, the greater issue related to gender equality, which seemed like the crux of the whole story, is not brought to the fore in its ending. A film where a man voices a woman should have had more of the female voice in it.
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