Mumbai, Sep 7 (IANS) Debutant director Raaj Shaandilyaa of the upcoming film “Dream Girl”, featuring Ayushmann Khurrana and Nushrat Bharucha, says it is often easier to have a heart-to-heart conversation with a stranger. The film addresses the subject of loneliness in the digital era with an undertone of sarcasm.
Raaj said the seed of the story idea originated in his college days, when he knew of boys who would hide their identity and pretend to be girls in order to talk to strangers on social media.
“Opening up your heart to a stranger is something we have all done in life at some point. These days, in city life where we are so surrounded by people, and getting attention in the real and the virtual world is so easy, people are becoming lonelier, because the real connection is missing. Feeling lonely in a crowd is an urban phenomenon nowadays. That is why we all need a character like Puja (played by Ayushmann) in our life who just listens to you without judging you and, somewhere the process, heals you. We have delivered the message in a subtle way without being preachy,” he added.
Being a scriptwriter who has created the successful standup comedy show, “Comedy Circus”, Raaj feels there is a dearth of female performers to explore comedy as a genre, whether in films or on television.
“During my TV days, wherever I have gone with my team for auditions, almost no girls turned up to participate. More than often we get to hear that not many comedy scripts are written for girls but I have faced the problem of not getting enough female performers to deliver the punchlines in the way Bharti ir Archana ji (Archana Puran Singh) do it. Handling sarcasm is not easy and most girls prefer to look pretty or show interest in intense roles. Female performers on TV are popular as mimicry artiste, although mimicking someone and doing comedy is different,” said Raaj.
Citing examples female characters that he created on “Comedy Circus”, he said that perhaps those characters were not as popular as some of the drag characters played by men because the performance level was not up to the mark.
In “Dream Girl”, Ayushmann plays a character who has a natural talent of imitating the female voice, and also acts as Sita in the “Ramleela”.
The director said that creating such a character has a risk factor because he intended to cater to the family audience without hurting anyone’s sentiment.
“Making a film with a character like Puja, who speaks in a female voice, is a double-edged sword. I have no intention to hurt anyone but, at the same time, I want the audience to enjoy the situation of what happens when a man speaks in a woman’s voice as a call centre employee,” said Raaj who has earlier contributed as a screenplay and dialogue writer in films such as “Bhaiaji Superhit”, “Bhoomi”, “Freaky Ali” and “Welcome Back”.
“Dream Girl” is slated to release on September 13.