After portraying roles such as a sperm donor in Vicky Donor (2012), a man dealing with erectile dysfunction in Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017), and a young man facing premature baldness in Bala (2019), Ayushmann Khurrana has now taken on a new challenge in his latest film, Doctor G. In this film, currently playing in theatres, he plays the character of Dr Uday Gupta, a medical student who aspires to specialize in orthopaedics but ends up studying gynaecology due to unforeseen circumstances. Instead of fully immersing himself in his studies, Dr Gupta decides to bide his time in the gynaecology department while preparing to retake the entrance exam for orthopaedics. This decision is driven by his traditional and patronizing views that perceive gynaecology as exclusively a field for women.
Dr. Gupta resides in Bhopal with his mother, and his initial struggles with female patients at a local government hospital stem from his dismissive attitude towards gynaecology, coupled with some patients’ reluctance to consult a male doctor. Being the only male student in his class, he faces scepticism from his peers who doubt his commitment to the field. His department head, Dr Nandini Srivastava (played by Shefali Shah), is tough on him because she recognizes his lack of sincerity. Amidst these challenges, Dr. Gupta becomes romantically involved with his classmate, Dr Fatima (played by Rakul Preet Singh).
The film, directed by debutant Anubhuti Kashyap, follows Dr Gupta’s journey from reluctance to awakening and, ultimately, complete dedication. However, the film itself falls short of demonstrating the same level of commitment to its own serious themes. While it effectively addresses certain issues, it lacks clarity in other aspects of its narrative.
For instance, the film succeeds in conveying important conversations about professional ethics, such as not examining a patient alone and the importance of making patients feel comfortable. Yet, a scene intended for humour involves Dr Gupta mishandling a woman in labour, which perpetuates a dismissive attitude towards women’s pain and childbirth. Similarly, the film handles the issue of consent and statutory rape without delving into the legal and social implications in a meaningful way.
Despite some notable moments, the film struggles with coherence in its storytelling. The reason behind Dr Fatima’s hesitations about Dr Gupta remains ambiguous, and the handling of cultural and religious differences lacks depth. The standout performance comes from Sheeba Chadha, who portrays Dr Gupta’s mother with depth and authenticity, while other characters lack similar development.
In the end, Doctor G falls short of treating its chosen theme with the respect it deserves. This is evident in the way it concludes with a seemingly contradictory song during the end credits, undermining the film’s previous messages. As a result, the film’s inability to uphold its own themes raises questions about its overall impact and credibility.