Ayushmann Khurrana is the undisputed Amol Palekar of this century, the greatest comic hero since Govinda, stands alongside Akshay Kumar and Ranveer Singh as the most dependable hero around and.. and.. a lot more. Any movie trailer featuring Ayushmann generates interest, laughter and curiosity. It was clear from the trailers of Bala that the movie addresses the issue of balding and society’s outlook towards it. And just like each of AK’s movies, the Amar Kaushik directed Bala overachieves in content and messaging and delivers on entertainment and engagement. It may not measure up to the lofty standards of six of his last movies, but on its own, Bala is a good fun watch.
The three big positives of Bala…
1. Yummy Bala scenes
While there is a lot to like about Bala, the movie soars to heights in the Yami Gautam Ayushmann scenes. In a rare occurrence, someone (Yami) actually steals the show versus Ayushmann. As a modern world model, wholly dependant on ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ on her social media pages, she has that fragile look and confidence, while finalizing her life choices. While her character is the more gorgeous and successful, you feel more for her, than for the underdog Ayushmann…and that’s thanks to Yami’s performance.
2. Tribute to Bollywood
Bala’s tribute to Bollywood is so strong that it almost runs as a parallel track to the storyline. Whether its talking like Shahrukh Khan, Raaj Kumar; dancing like Rajesh Khanna, Bobby Deol, Twinkle Khanna; or the dirty wall painted with Chulbul Pandey; the references to Rocket Singh salesman or to Murad for ‘Apna Time Aayega‘; the hairstyle of Bachchan bhaiyya; the ‘chalo Aashiqui karte hain’; the remix of past classic songs in brilliant use of Tiktok. It all blends so well with the movie that its worth a second watch on TV solely for the Bollywood tributes.
3. Say no to Body-shaming
Bald is beautiful and sexy too! It took the likes of Anupam Kher and Salman Khan with their bald looks that got India to accept baldness more. In my growing years, my mother got every possible medicine, liquid, semi-liquid, exercise and nails scratching to do in vain hope that my hair will grow. It was a bigger issue with her and the society around her, than with me! In Bala, our protagonist is so ashamed that his selfies turn to self-pity and he is envious of hairy dogs. The movie also stresses on societal taboos like dark-skinned women, ones with facial hair, people with loud snore problems, a man staying in father in law’s house and the importance of following your passions. Personally, I feel while it’s fine to make/take jokes on physical issues (cause we are all imperfect, and it’s important to keep humour alive than make a society of dumb robots), it should not stretch into impacting life choices. Cause… we are all imperfect, have our own fears, own issues… so we must all walk together.
Rating: 3.25/5 (Great watch in the hall, second watch on TV)
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