From its title to the many sequences that build the film’s narrative to the several references to Hindi film songs, the most striking aspect of Raaj Shaandilyaa’s Dream Girl is its self-reflexiveness, a cinematic trope that thrives on drawing attention to the medium, making the viewer aware that they’re watching a film.
In a scene where a brass band is playing celebratory tunes, the song is Ooh La La from The Dirty Picture before it switches to Baby Doll from Ragini MMS, both films banked by Ekta Kapoor, also the producer of Dream Girl.
A heartbroken character gets Tadap Tadap Ke from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam as background score while his romantic longings are tuned to Kuch Kuch HotaHai. When a character touches Khurrana’s feet (when he’s playing Sita in the Ram Leela stage play), he says, “Ayushman Bhava” with an emphasis on his own name. When he gets into a fight with his fiancé and she strides off in an autorickshaw, the back of the vehicle says, “Hum Aapke Hai Koun.” Abhishek Banerjee, who plays Mahinder, inserts the “Vicky pleej” dialogue from Stree in a different context in Dream Girl.