Dream Girl is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language comedy film directed by Raaj Shaandilyaa and co-produced by Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor under their banner Balaji Motion Pictures. In the film, Ayushmann Khurrana plays a cross-gender actor whose female voice impersonation begets attention from others. Nushrat Bharucha, Annu Kapoor, Manjot Singh, and Vijay Raaz feature in supporting roles.
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Karamveer Singh is good at impersonating the female voice from a very young age and hence keeps getting female lead roles in mythological plays since his childhood, although he protests every time and would settle for a much smaller but a male character. He is currently unemployed and gets to perform these roles because it fetches him good money. His friend Smiley runs a liquor shop and supports him in his every endeavor. His father runs a shop and is sunk deep into loans he owes to various banks and is unable to pay the EMIs. One beautiful day while returning from an interview, he sees an ad that promises Rs. 70,000/month as salary. He reaches the given address, but the employer Mauji ‘W Ji’ rejects him outrightly without asking a single question. Karamveer pleads regularly, and finally, the W Ji relents and shows him his call center where only ladies work. The call-center is entertaining fantasies of callers who call them, mostly men who don’t have a partner in life. Karamveer is shocked but quickly regains his composure, and impromptu answers a call in a female voice for Ms. Puja, who frequently is on leave.
‘W Ji’ is stunned with his skill and immediately hires him and gives him Rs. 25,000 as advance payment. Karamveer tells his father that he has got a job at MNC (Multinational Corporation) and hands him over the advance he received. His father is highly happy, and he celebrates with his friend Smily. The next day while returning from his job, a drunk police constable Rajpal stops him and asks him to drop him home. On the way, he recites a few couplets (Shayari) he has written, which irritates Smily and Karamveer, but they bear it because he is a cop. Later at the job, he garners a good fan base because of his sweet voice and sharp presence of mind. One beautiful day he comes across Mahi when he is about to deliver stuff asked by his father. He felt smitten by her beauty and caught her attention with a few witty lines. Later they come across each other randomly at the street, and Karamveer further impresses her with his funny lines and love blossoms between the two. Over a while, they get engaged.
Here at his job, he comes across a few fans who call him regularly. The first one is Toto, a rich spoilt brat. Second is the cop, Rajpal, who invites him to recite his couplets, and no one wants to listen to his. Then there is Roma, editor of a magazine. She hates men because she had three break-ups earlier. The biggest shocker is that his father and brother-in-law, Mahinder, are also his fans. Over some time, these callers become obsessed with Puja, impersonated by Karamveer, and everyone wants to marry Puja. Karamveer is frustrated with such unsolicited requests and offers to quit. His employer rejects and blackmails him that he would expose his identity to his family, which might jeopardize his marriage. Karamveer decides to tell everything to Mahi but fizzles out when he realizes her brother Mahinder is also a fan of Puja. He figures out that if he talks rudely with his callers, they would automatically get along with their realities and stop calling him. This move backfires as everyone becomes more obsessed with Puja. Toto attempts to commit suicide, Rajpal threatens to abandon his wife.
Karamveer first threatens Toto is telling him he is Puja’s brother. Later he visits Rajpal’s wife when he is not at home and gives her a few gifts telling her that Rajpal has sent her, and she should dress to seduce him to reciprocate his love. He invites his father at a restaurant and reveals that Puja (dressed in Burkha) is a Muslim girl, tells Roma that she (Puja) is now engaged, convinces grandmother of Mahinder, that he has fallen for a girl of loose character.
This move further backfires. Toto gangs up his cronies to trash Karamveer ( assuming he is her abusive brother). Mahi convinces her grandmother that she should not judge the character of a girl on hear-say ( She is unable to recollect that it was Karameer who told him about Puja) and honor the love of Mahinder to which she agrees. His father transforms everything (home, language, clothes, etc.) as per Muslim customs. Roma insists she meets Puja’s fiancé and checks if he is an honorable man. Karamveer meets Roma at a mall. He was posing as the fiancé of Puja and came across Mahi, who is also shopping at the mall. Roma, who is already skeptical of Karamveer’s character, tells Mahi that he is engaged to Puja when Mahi reveals that she is involved in Karamveer, and his duplicity is exposed. Mahi runs away from the scene when Karamveer is not able to explain the situation to her.
He chases her and takes her to his office and explains everything. ‘W ji’ misbehaves with Mahi and she slaps him in front of his staff. Karamveer defends Mahi and leaves the office, further enraging ‘W Ji’. Mahi reconciles with Karamveer consoles him saying that everyone makes mistakes. They later go to play where Karamveer is playing role of Radha. In the end, Rajpal comes along with a few cops and ‘W Ji’ claiming he has killed Puja. While taking him away Karamveer recites one of his couplets and Rajpal is taken aback and believes that Karamveer has been impersonating Puja. Later Roma comes with the real Puja and exposes the treachery of ‘W ji’ and everything ends well when Toto, Mahinder and his father learns that he has been impersonating Puja all the while.
- Ayushmann Khurrana as Karamveer Singh/Pooja
- Nushrat Bharucha as Mahi Rajput
- Annu Kapoor as Jagjeet Singh
- Manjot Singh as Smiley Singh
- Vijay Raaz as Rajpal Kirar
- Abhishek Banerjee as Mahinder Rajput
- Raj Bhansali as Chandu “Toto” Pushp
- Rajesh Sharma as Mauji (WJI)
- Nidhi Bisht as Roma Gupta
- Neela Mulherkar as Dadi
- Neha Saraf as Chandrakanta Kirar
- Jitender Gaur as Toto’s Dad
- Arihant as Sonu Kirar
- Gagan Gupta as Director
- Saurabh Nayyar as Ram
- Shashi Ranjan as Hanuman
- Yash Yogen as Laxman
- Basant Garg as Deepak
- Sukesh Anand as Ravan
- Vedika Bhandari as Pooja (Original)
- Riteish Deshmukh (special appearance in song “Dhagala Lagali”)
In November 2018 Ayushmann Khurrana announced Dream Girl to be written and directed by Raaj Shaandilyaa and produced by Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor and Aashish Singh. Nushrat Bharucha cast opposite him. The lead character will have three accents in the film. Ahmed Khan is choreographing the dances with Khurrana in sari.
Marketing and release
The film was released theatrically on 13 September 2019.
Dream Girl received mixed response from critics, who criticised the “empty” and “jumbled-up” writing as well as the “tasteless” and “stale” humour, but praised the performances of the supporting cast. The film holds holds an approval rating of 47% based on 11 reviews on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 5.6/10.
Charu Thakur of India Today gave the film three stars out of five, noted that Dream Girl was an out-and-out comedy with witty one-liners and jokes, which made it a long comic skit sans a storyline. She concurred with Taran in praising performance of Khurrana and Kapoor. Criticising director for losing subject of the film she concluded, “However, his [Shaandilyaa’s] hesitation to delve deeper into the subject makes it score less on the report card. If you are looking for a light-hearted comedy this weekend, [this film] should definitely be on your list.”
Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express gave two stars out of five and felt the film was had many good ideas but those were not executed, stating, “…. these ideas remain half-baked, being mouthed strictly as meaningless dialogue for either laughs or claps”. Praising Khurana for his performance, she concluded, “You stay watching Dream Girl for Khurrana. He plays Karam/Pooja with grace and conviction, and makes this thing sing.”  Priyanka Sinha Jha of CNN-News18, praising Khurrana and ensemble of Manjot Singh, Vijay Raaz, Annu Kapoor, Abhishek Banerjee, Nushrat Bharucha, Rajesh Sharma, Nidhi Bisht and Raj Bhansali for their performances, rates the film with three and half stars out of five. Agreeing with Gupta, she noted that the second half did suffer from lack of ingenuity. Praising writer-director Raaj Shaandilyaa for ‘keeping the screenplay pithy, the dialogues glib and story on the tracks, she opined, “Dream Girl will surely entertain the film going audiences while sparking off an important conversation on gender constructs in Indian cinema.”
Dream Girl has the opening day collection of ₹10.05 crore, and second day collection of ₹16.42 crore, whereas the third day collection was ₹18.10 crore, taking its total opening weekend collection to ₹44.57 crore in India. On the fourth day the film crossed ₹50 crore and became Khurrana’s fastest film to cross ₹50 crore until his next release, Bala. The film has become the eleventh highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2019.
As of 24 October 2019, with a gross of ₹169.36 crore in India and ₹31.44 crore overseas, the film has grossed ₹200.80 crore worldwide.