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Bala Movie Review

Hair loss is a very common problem among adult males across the globe. Two years back, this issue was addressed in the Kannada film ‘Ondu Motteya Kathe’ (2017). The film was remade into Hindi as ‘Ujda Chaman’ and released last week. Now, another film dealing with the same issue – ‘Bala’- has hit the theatres. Though ‘Ujda Chaman’ released just last week and the promotional material and thus, the content of the two films seemed slightly similar, one has higher expectations from ‘Bala’ as this film is headlined by Ayushmann Khurrana who is having a dream-run at the box-office. While his choice of films is being lauded by everyone, the numbers his films have managed to do have also strengthened his position as a saleable actor. Another reason to look forward to ‘Bala’ is that it is the second directorial feature of Amar Kaushik after ‘Stree’ (2018).

As a teenager, Bala (Ayushmann Khurrana) is very proud of the way his looks, especially his hair. He is one of those students who taunts Latika (Bhumika Pednekar) about her dark skin. Bala ends up losing a large patch of his hair in his 20s and suffers from inferior complex on account of that. Bala works in the marketing department of a company that manufactures fairness creams. After going through several failed attempts to cure his baldness, Bala finally stumbles upon Bala has a crush on Tik-Tok star Pari Mishra (Yami Gautam). He finally gets to meet her when she does an ad for the fairness cream and Bala is sent by the company to supervise it. Bala manages to woo Pari with his charm and they finally end up getting married. Pari remains oblivious to the fact that Bala is suffering from a receding hairline and has very little hair on his head until one day, when she comes face-to-face with this realization.

‘Bala’ gives an important message – you must accept yourself for who you are and be comfortable in your skin. The message is served while making sure that the film does not come across as preachy. The film is filled with dollops of humour which keeps the audience entertained throughout the film’s duration. The tender, emotional moments, too, have been handled rather well. The script (story by Pavel and Niren Bhatt) and the screenplay (Niren Bhatt, additional screenplay by Ravi Muppa) is, undoubtedly, the biggest highlight of the film. Bucketful of entertainment is served to the audience while making sure that the film remains sensitive to the issues it is dealing with. The pace dips slightly in the middle of the second half when Bala goes through a major personal crisis but overall, the script gives you very little to complain about. The equation between Bhumi and her fiancé (Varun Shashi Rao) should have been portrayed in a better way. Amar Kaushik showed a lot of promise as a director in his very first film ‘Stree’ and here, he proves that the film was not a flash in the pan and he is here to play a long innings as a filmmaker.

Ayushmann Khurrana delivers one of the finest performances of his career in ‘Bala’. He embraces the vulnerability of Bala and channelizes it on the screen as convincingly as an actor could. One also gets to see glimpses of his wonderful mimicking abilities which one had not really seen since his days as a television anchor/VJ. Yami Gautam looks ethereally beautiful and delivers an extremely confident performance. Here is yet another performance which shows that she is a highly underrated actor. Bhumi Pednekar is highly effective as Latika. She understands the nuances of her character well and brings them to fore in an effortless manner. Her make-up looks inconsistent throughout the film though. Javed Jaaferi is brilliant as ‘Bachchan bhaiyya’. His spotless performance makes you yearn to see more of him. Abhishek Ahuja is wonderful as Ajju. Seema Pahwa is brilliant as always.

‘Bala’ is one of the best Hindi films to have come out this year. It does complete justice to the subject it deals with and delivers tons of entertainment at the same time.

Rating: 4/5

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