Rating: ***(3 stars)
This week’s big release Bala stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pedenkar, the Dum Laga ke Haisha and Shubh Mangal Savdhaan Jodi. Should you watch it? Yes, surely, absolutely. Even if you have seen Ujda Chaman that released last week with similar content and a similar idea – that of a man suffering from premature balding and his worries about how his romantic relationships were going to pan out. Of course, this is a major concern in the sub-continent and of course, the world over, there are legitimate concerns about body shaming and society judging our appearances. Curiously, both these films have also been released around the same time.
However, it’s important to judge every film on its own merit and that’s what we are going to do with Bala. Based on its own merit, Bala, we can surely say, is a good film and an enjoyable watch with great performances. The only concern I felt with Bala was that there were moments that the director and write could have capitalised on to make it more sensitive – this topic certainly deserves that! Just so that when there is a big moment, the output or final giveaway actually makes a bigger impact. Unfortunately, the whole film is very high-pitched so when the moment of drama arrives and those situations occur when you wish for a bigger emotional feel, it somehow falls flat. For instance, if you have been feeling for a character and his actions for 10 minutes, at the 11th minute, when another character expresses the same emotion, you fail to relate to it. If only the director had held those big moments together in a better way.
Other than that, Bala is what you would call, a good ‘timepass flick’. The best parts are definitely Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar who I really, really wish hadn’t been brown faced. The actress is not somebody you need to brown face that much because she is naturally a nice, beautiful, dusky girl with a lovely complexion. Even if they needed somebody who was that dark, the makers could have signed on an actress who had that natural skin colour. But anyway…
I am glad to have watched the film because it is funny, has some good moments, doesn’t make you cringe, does not shame people (as is seen in several Bollywood comedies these days) and actually brings a lot of good messages for society. In the end, there is a bit of body shaming though it doesn’t rankle. Ayushmann Khurrana plays a comic and it fits in with the role.
On the musical side, there isn’t much to recommend. But over all, I believe a film is good if it has a certain emotional connect with the audience and if you remember the story and its nuances after you leave the theatre. By those standards, Bala does well. It manages to grip you, hold you together till the end and even has a good message that you can take home.
Go watch it for Ayushmann and Bhumi and also the very hilarious Yami Gautam who plays a Tik-Tok star. The reference to these new pop culture phenomenon in the film is really cute. Then there are other moments like the time when Ayushmann beautifully mimics Shah Rukh Khan. Check out Bala, it’s in theatres right now, and let us know what you think.