Who would have thought that a comedy film based in Gokul, about a man who can speak in a woman’s voice would be revered by the audience to the extent that it would enter the 100 crore club? Director Raj Shandilya’s Dream Girl has done it, with all the right reasons. The dialogues, the style of delivery, the perfectly mastered accent, and the comic timing led to the kind of humour that Hindi Cinema is severely lacking these days. The writing wasn’t desperate to make you laugh, and hence had more impact. This is exactly why the film, in the era of multiplexes has successfully completed 50 days of its release. But apart from great writing, and terrific acting, there’s something else that the film has very subtly offered: The question that why in the era of 4G connectivity, loneliness is emerging as an epidemic.
While laughing through the film you won’t even stop to think that why these men and a woman are so crazy about Pooja with whom they have a telephonic relationship. The reason is right there, but had to be talked about in the climax by the protagonist that actually makes you pause to think about it. The reality gushes all over you because you know it’s true and “A film” took you by the horn to accept it.
The film talks about how “We all got obsessed with taking selfies and have forgotten about Family photographs”. In times of Social Media validation through likes, comments and, reshares we are gradually losing touch with real conversations. Earlier long journeys in trains would pass off easily because speaking to a stranger was not considered creepy, but now we all feel doomed if our cell-phones aren’t fully charged to keep ourselves engaged.
But think again, is social media the real culprit here? Isn’t it okay if somebody doesn’t want to be disturbed by human dealing all the time? What is wrong with not wanting having to engage in a conversation? What is wrong with celebrating yourself through selfies? Who said that choosing online movie streaming over people is unhealthy?
Circling back to the question then, “Why are people feeling lonely?”
In my opinion, it isn’t about feeling lonely, it’s the stigmatisation of being alone. Remember what Karam (Ayushman Khurana) said to his father in the film? “Papa! Kitti baar kahi ke ek zinda ladki dekh ke shaadi kar lo” (Daddy! How many times have I told you to find an alive girl for yourself and get married). Solitude is frowned upon in our culture. People want to have companions not because they complete each other, but more because they want to avoid the uncomfortable and constant scrutiny by the people. Yes, human existence is because of communication, and it is essential, but it doesn’t have to be a 24/7 thing.
Think about it, even when you reach out to people to have a real conversation, you’re labeled as desperate, and then looked down upon.It is this stigmatisation of loneliness that is making uncomfortable in finding someone whom we can open up to, because who wants to come off as clingy or needy.
People were crazy about Pooja in the film because she listened. But does human connections really work like that? It isn’t a one way. The listening has to be offered from both sides. Before finding such people with whom we can actually connect to, it is essential for us to be able to love ourselves, to be comfortable in our own skin. Only people who have the capability of loving themselves are fearless of offering trust. It’s all about having the mental strength to ignore the labels the society is obsessed with giving. Say it, “You’re not needy, if you want a human connection”.