Bala Review: Ayushmann, Yami and Bhumi's entertaining film will get you over a bad hair day

Bala Movie Review: It is a reflection of society’s colour, gender and class discrimination told through an engaging and entertaining light-hearted script
Bala Movie Review: Ayushmann, Yami and Bhumi's entertaining film will get you over a bad hair day Bala Movie Review: Ayushmann, Yami and Bhumi's entertaining film will get you over a bad hair day
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Movie Name: Bala 

Bala Movie Director: Amar Kaushik

Bala Movie Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Yami Gautam

Bala Movie Stars and Ratings: 3.5/5

Ayushmann Khurana has mastered the art of picking up scripts which aren’t always the first bet for many – from erectile dysfunction to premature baldness. Director Amar Kaushik and writer Niren Bhatt pen Bala to reflect many things wrong with the middle-class in the hinterlands of the country.

Balmukund Shukla a.k.a Bala (Ayushmann Khuranna) is a young Kanpur salesman of a fairness cream brand, whose life turns topsy-turvy after he starts seeing signs of premature balding. His vanity nosedives and confidence recedes at a faster pace than his hairline. Consequently, on his path of self-deprecation and self-loathing, Bala’s clamour to find support and solution lands him with a sea of jugaads. From shirshasana to applying egg or an awful mixture of cow dung and semen, he tries it all in the quest of regaining the lost vanity and confidence.

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The condescending gaze to fake sympathy from society leads him to a road where he blames his Karma (for calling his school teacher bald) and his genes which made him both diabetic and bald like his father. Bala falls in love with a local TikTok sensation, Pari (Yami Gautam) and makes wooing her his mission. 

Writer Niren Bhatt, whose Made in China hit the screens only a few days ago, and Director Amar Kaushik has done an excellent job discussing a spectrum of societal discriminations, albeit avoiding melodramatic scenes. If you observe, Bala doesn’t need treatment for hair loss but a fragile belief of identity that is based on vanity. Bala’s character is a microcosm of society’s colour, gender and class discrimination. The script juxtaposes the discrimination faced by a dark-skinned girl through her life against a few years of receding hair-line of a grown-up man – there is no better or worse.  
Ayushmann knows how to be the frustrated Indian man from a small town. He has done this multiple times, yet he is adept at making each character stand out, and is not repetitive.

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Bala is not a spotless human; he has flaws. Ayushmann deftly lives the good and bad side of the character, confiding in the audience that these are complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world. 

It is Yami Gautam who throws a surprise. She has studied nuances of Tik-Tok sensations and video content creators. The writers should be credited for penning scenes which use comedy in places where the audience tends to expect melodrama. However, Yami takes it a notch up with her comic timing and interpretation of the scene. Pari and Bala are two sides of the same coin. Pari has built her life and fame on solely her good looks and is adamant not to compromise with a bald husband, regardless of how supporting he is in her career. 

If you set aside the controversy of choosing a fair-skinned Bhumi Pednekar to play a dark-skinned lawyer (Latika), there is nothing much to complain. Bhumi delivers as a confident woman who will not budge because society thinks her skin colour is more important than her personality. She plays the role of Bala’s classmate who has been the subject of his discrimination. Seema Pahwa, who plays Latika’s aunt with an awkward upper-lip facial hair growth, convincingly plays the part. She shows how over time she has adjusted with the societal pressures and even become a living contributor. In the desperation to find a suitable groom, she doesn’t mind using Instagram filters to lighten Latika’s skin tone. 

ALSO READ: Bala Dialogue Promo: Ayushmann Khurrana aka Bala REVEALS having an identity loss; Watch

Javed Jaffrey as Bachchan Bhaiya has a small part to play but does it well. Saurabh Shukla as Bala's father is amazing and entertaining. Abhishek Banerjee who rose to fame with his character in Stree plays Bala’s friend (Ramu). He is funny and adds comedy quotient to the film along with Dheerendra Kumar Gautam (Bala's brother). Dheerendra steals the show with a monologue that you might soon start seeing in the meme circles. 

Dialogue is impressive and light as they showcase real-life struggles, situations aptly without making them over-dramatic. The film could have been chopped by 15 minutes, especially in the first half. The film also seems a bit dragged in places, but despite all this, it entertains.

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The best thing about Bala is that it doesn’t preach all things end well. Neither does it show change comes easy. What it does is to infuse a sense of self-appreciation and acceptance. Nothing changes until your approach does.

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