Anubhuti Kashyap’s feature film directorial debut, Doctor G, is a film about a male medical student whose typically chauvinistic attitude towards women and their anatomies alters once he works along with them in the gynaecology department. Though enjoyable and entertaining in bits and parts, the film fails to deliver.
Uday Gupta (Ayushmann Khurrana) wants to be an orthopedic surgeon. But as he hasn’t scored high enough marks to secure a seat in a reputed medical college in the city, the only department where he can get admission is gynecology. Compelled by his circumstances, he decides to take the admission and prepare himself for the following year’s medical entrance examination. How he encounters one challenge after the other while developing a renewed perception towards the world, women as well as his profession is what the film explores.
Doctor G had a novel and relevant idea with much potential. However, Kashyap and her band of writers comprising Sumit Saxena, Saurabh Bharat, and Vishal Wagh, deliver a highly muddled screenplay that does not feel cohesive at all. The narrative rather unspools more like a string of episodes slapped back-to-back, its biggest casualty being the central character arc of Uday. His transformation from an individual firmly adhering to his rigid values to an open-minded and capable gynecologist seems choppy and devoid of a gradual progression. For instance, the differences between Uday and his fellow female mates are resolved all too conveniently and rather suddenly. Then there is the love story. The romantic liaisons between Uday and his love interest, Dr Fatima Siddiqui (Rakul Preet Singh), suffer from highly lazy writing. And moreover, the feminist concerns within the story are treated without much subtlety or nuance and are in our faces.
That said, Doctor G does have its share of moments as in the interactions between Uday and his HOD, Dr Nandini Srivastava (Shefali Shah). There are warm moments such as a woman naming her newborn after Uday following two miscarriages. Lakshmi Devi (Sheeba Chaddha), Uday’s mother, gives much of the emotional core to the film. As the film heads towards the climax, Uday’s bonding with Kavya (Ayesha Kaduskar), a high school going girl with whom Uday’s cousin, Dr Ashok Gupta (Indraneil Sengupta), is having an illicit affair, brings tenderness to the story even if appearing as if the entire sequence was written first before conceiving the beginning of the film. For all their beautiful constructions, these scenes fail to overcome the weaknesses of the film, giving the impression of flavorful condiments garnished over an undercooked food item.
Ayushmann Khurrana delivers a mature and natural performance. But it has to be said, he’s done better. Shefali Shah fleshes out the strict and principled Dr Nandini competently. Sheeba Chaddha, a widowed mother who loves to participate in cookery competitions and is brazen about having a tinder account, infuses much flesh and blood and empathy into Lakshmi Devi. Ayesha Kaduskar as Kavya brings such conviction to her role that it belies her age. Puja Sarup, in a supporting role, brings a firm demeanour to the character of Nurse Sunita and provides some of the most hilarious moments of the film. But above all, it is Rakul Preet Singh who brings freshness and confidence to her role, far removed from being the conventional glamorous entity in a film. It is, however, ironic that the ridiculous promotional song, Dil Dhak Dhak Dhak Karta Hai, that appears at the end leaves no stone unturned to objectify her and focus on her well-toned figure.
Eshit Narain, the cinematographer vividly captures the various moods of the film. Bindiya Chhabria and Arvind Ashok Kumar’s production design effectively creates the milieu of the film with intricate details be it the various departments of the hospitals or the interiors of Uday’s home. The editing by Prerna Saigal, though, is unable to save the film from its overwhelmed script.
Doctor G undoubtedly has a novel and well-intentioned idea and creates a world that is instantly recognizable with characters and scenarios that are relatable. But the floundering screenplay proves its downfall. To yet again quote the great Alfred Hitchcock, “To make a great film you need three things – the script, the script and the script.”
Hindi, Comedy, Drama, Color