Bhopal is really having a moment in Bollywood. He’s back again as the backdrop for a film so busy earning its feminist reputation that it’s forgetting the show-does-tell-it dictum. And that is the crucial element that Dr. G overall usable and not the cracker it rightfully should have been.
DR Uday Gupta Desperate to specialize in orthopedics, (Ayushmann Khurrana) ends up doing an internship in the gynecology department of the city’s state medical college. And that’s where his true parenting – losing his “manly” touch while learning to “listen” to women – begins. The entire film and its characters serve to transform the hero from a bold boy to a sensitive man. His girlfriend, who shows up briefly to break up with him, disappears completely from view when the work is done. His new classmates, including the cheeky Fatima Siddiqui (Rakul Preet Singh) and a bunch of other confident women (he’s the most reserved solo man in the class) only spank him so he can improve. His superior (Shefali Shah) lectures him continuously with the same intention. His best friend, who floats through the film oddly naked with his skinny torso, stays with him long enough to teach him self-knowledge. And his mother (Sheeba Chaddha), the only one attempting a life of her own, is being tutored.
Watch the trailer of the Doctor G movie here:
Sure, all of those things apply in this comedy with rudimentary vaginal manners, a debut film directed by Anubhuti Kashyap, who happens to be Anurag’s sister. With the male hero at the center of the film, who starts out as a rash bully and ends up having to break away from the prejudices of his life, everything else inevitably revolves around him. And Kashyap shows the ability to create an inhabited universe. But after a certain point, the situations that Uday used as learning moments on his way to his Dr. G, the man comfortable around female-dominated maternity wards, to one more thing. And I’m not sure how tasteful it is to make a “stree-rog vibhaag” the butt of a running gag; Fortunately, Dr. G. to the point where he realizes his true Yin-Yang potential. The second half is a restless tonal shift, dealing with the troubles of a teenage pregnancy that feels like it was created to tell us how far the hero has traveled from where he started.
Khurrana is also once again the confused but kindhearted Indian man who learns to move through harmful bodily fluids and reproductive systems in full flow with respect and sensitivity. as dr Uday Gupta earns his spurs well enough. Shah, as the raised finger, sounds familiar. Chaddha has some nice moments but I wish Bollywood would give her a break from being a mother to these young men coming of age. These two ladies deserve more for themselves. It’s Rakul Preet Singh making the most of a role that could have turned out to be cliche, but not because she takes it so lightly. Learning to wear a stethoscope naturally, as an extension of oneself, is also a trait of all good doctors.
Doctor G movie cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Rakul Preet Singh, Shefali Shah, Sheeba Chaddha, Indraneil Sengupta
Doctor G Film Director: Anubhuti Kashyap
Doctor G Movie Rating: 2.5 stars