‘Bala’ review: Points to society’s obsession with appearance

Bala, starring Ayushmann Khurrana
Bala, starring Ayushmann Khurrana

Bala film review

Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Yami Gautam, Dheerendra Kumar, Saurabh Shukla, Jaaved Jaaferi, Seema Pahwa, Deepika Chikhalia, Abishek Bannerjee
Director: Amar Kaushik
Rating: Three stars

Ayushmann Khurrana does an amazing job of playing an unlikeable bald person and weaves the character with such intricacy that we cannot help but sympathize. the movie is a journey from embarrassment because of premature baldness to acceptance teaching self-love.

Amar Kaushik’s film is loud and subtle. The loudness of the characters with clumps clinging to the bare scalp and the soot smeared over the leading lady’s face is cringe-worthy, while the subtleness of the vulnerability played and captured so well, really strikes a chord with the audience. The consistency of the Kanpuriya accent is an issue but Dheerendra Kumar – Bala’s younger brother has put up a spot-on performance.

The feminist Latika played by Bhumi has shown her magic with the same pairing before in Dum Laga Ke Haisha, and brings some spark to the scenes here too, not to mention her inconsistent darkness. Seema Pahwa, the mooch-wali-mausi is a solid performance, with the heart-to-heart chats, but has been shown less of, to give more importance to the subject at hand, the hero’s baldness.

Every character in the movie, from Saurabh Shukla to Vijay Raaz’s narration to Jaaved Jaffrey, is as entertaining and unique as the script requires. Pari too, is a well-rounded character, played by Yami Gautam, portraying a superficial Tik-Tok star of a small-town, who is full of herself due to growing popularity on social media.

Bala is a film that touches so many topics, it feels a little stuffed and preachy like a moral science lecture at some point. It unintelligently hammers the societal prejudices that compromises with its fun quotient, but Niren Bhatt’s sharp writing and the empathy with which the film is made, without making it awkward or hurting sentiments, makes up for the loss.

The film’s music is relatable with its 90’s tracks and the music by Sachin-Jigar blends in smoothly, unaffected by the Don’t Be Shy controversy.

All in all, ‘Bala’ is an endearing comedy with relatable situations, portraying a flawed character with all its imperfection and yet, an entertainment that should not be missed out on!

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