Thursday, December 15, 2022

Doctor G

"Doctor G" (2022) was among my most anticipated movies, but assumed it would not  be available for several months, however could not miss a chance to watch an Ayushmann Khurrana film.  Shefali Shah has also proved to be an indicator of a good movie.  

Uday is coerced awkwardly to switch medical studies to specialize in gynecology.  He has social hangups which his all female classmates pick up on.  They tease him with nicknames including "Mr. Nipples".   Dr. Nandini, his immediate superior is tough on him, but feels being male should be no handicap.  Gradually he develops not only skills but pride and a sense of purpose.  

His single mother had decided she wants to date and Uday resents her for it and at a later point tries to break up a developing relationship.  His girl friend breaks up with him saying he doesn't understand women and doesn't really listen.  Finally he seems to have found a mutual attraction with another student, Fatima, however she stops after a kiss declaring she will remain loyal to her fiance while also declaring she wants to be friends with him.  Understanding women is a challenge during most of the movie.

It would be natural for a film about an gynecologist to touch on abortion.  It is not common in his clinic but apparently legal with some restrictions.  A mentor (and hero) of Uday's gets an underage woman, Kavya, pregnant and seeks an abortion to avoid trouble with his wife and job.  Uday avoids actually doing it, but lies to Dr. Nandini and Fatima. Uday learns that Kavya  has a complication that would make an abortion risky.   His mentor is desperate and forces a situation.  Temporarily Uday agrees to let Kavya stay with him and his mother.  Things go wrong and Uday is threatened with dismissal, but his experiences have opened his mind in many directions including his mother, Dr. Nandini, Fatima and his mentor.

Although male gynecologists are well established in India, there is still a bit of a stigma with males seeking more acceptable specialties.  Males are also reluctant to develop friendships with females.  Abortion is of course a controversial topic.  Ayushmann tackles all these issues in this film.

The film does not just make a social statement, it is very entertaining.  For this combination it requires some professional attention.  Here are some of the contributors.

Director/writer Anubhuti Kashyap started her career as a subordinate director on 3 films and moved onto director for three other films before tackling "Doctor G" and adding on writing.  She is sister to Anurag Kashyap, a well regarded film maker. 

Saurabh Bharat also worked on the screenplay after contributing to the story.  He graduated from the    New York Film Academy.  He had been a dentist who went onto be a radio disc jockey before becoming a script writer.  He had awards for his first short film that he also provided cinematography as well as directing in 2011.  He was an assistant director for "Satyagrah" (2013).

Music was provided by Amit Trivedi.  He has also been a backup singer in many films.  His credits include  "Aamir" (2008), "Udann" (2010), "Chillar Party" (2011), "Kai Po Che" (2013), "Queen" (2013), "Dear Zindagi" (2016) "Secret Superstar" (2017), "Padman" (2018),  "Andhadhun" (2018) and "Goodbye" (2022). 

Cinematography was handled by Eeshit Narain.  His film credits include "Qarib Qarib Singlle" (2017) and "Once Again" (2018)

Editing was done by Prerna Saigel.  His screen credits include "The Lunchbox" (2013) , "Tigers" (2014) and "Pagglait" (2021).

Ayushmann Khurrana has played numerous socially challenging roles that can make you laugh.  For example his first feature he was a sperm donor with "Vicky Donor" (2012).  In "Dum Laga Ke Haisha" (2015) he tries to get out of an arranged marriage with an overweight girl better educated than him.  In "Shrubh Mangal Savdhan: (2017) he had erectile disfunction.  In "Article 15" (2015) he played a military officer fighting caste discrimination.  In "Chandigarh Kare Aashiquui" (2022) he played a macho man who found himself making love to a transgendered woman.  "Check:  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2018/12/ayushmann-khuranna-actor-to-watch.html

Rukul Preet Singh played the want to be "friend" for Uday.  She graduated with an Honors Degree in Mathematics.  She also had golfed at a national level.  In addition to Bollywood films she is able to speak Tamil, Telegu and Kannanda.

Shefali Shah played the supervisor to Uday.  She has numerous film credits including "Satya" (1998), "Mohabbatein" (2000),  "Gandhi, My Father" (2007)"Karthik Calling Karthik" (2010), "Dil Dhadakne Do" (2015), "Delhi Crime" (2019) and "Human" (2022)

Sheeba Chaddha plays Uday's mother who loves her, but is a bit embarrassed.  Her screen credits include "Dil Se" (1998), "Talaash" (2012), "Gully Boy" (2019), "Pagglait" (2021) and "Baidhaai Do" (2022).

Indraneil Sengupta played the mentor/hero (at least in the early part of film).    He had played in a number of Bengali films and one of my favorite twist movies "Kahanni" (2012) and "Human" (2022).

Ayesha Kasuskar played the underage girl friend.  She had been in "Agneepath" (2012).

Raj Sharma played the prospective boyfriend for Uday's mother.  His credits include "PK" (2014), "Talvar" (2014), "Kaabil" (2017), "Badhaii Ho" (2018), "Delhi Crime" (2019) and one of my top 2022 films "A Thursday" (2022).  Check:  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2022/02/the-message-is-spoiler.html

As with all of Ayushmann Khuranna films you likely will enjoy this one, laughing and pondering.  As usual I have bolded the first mention of movies I have seen.  As an aside those bolded films are mostly highly recommended as I omit those I would not recommend.

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