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The Ayushmann Khurrana social message movie
is now a bonafide Bollywood sub-genre. In film after film, the actor, usually playing
a middle-class, small-town character, tackles subjects that are considered risky and risqué for the traditionally
wholesome world of Hindi cinema. He started with sperm donation in Vicky Donor and seems to be working through
all types of societal issues. Bala is about lookism, defined as prejudice or discrimination
based on physical appearance. Bala is a balding 25-year-old
living in Kanpur. He was named Balmukund
because of his hair, but now, the lustrous locks are transforming
into a receding hairline. He is, as he puts it, going from
Shah Rukh Khan to Anupam Kher. Anyone who has woken up with hair on the pillow
will relate to Bala’s hyperventilating anguish. As his strands decrease, his attempts to hold
on to them become even more desperate. We get a hilarious, nicely crafted sequence
in which Bala explores every remedy – from hair transplants to
a mixture of cow dung and semen. His hapless brother has the job
of applying these concoctions. Dheerendra Kumar Gautam
who plays him is bang on. As are Saurabh Shukla and Sunita Rajwar
as Bala’s parents. Director Amar Kaushik gets
these details exactly right. Bala’s affectionate but argumentative family, the comically contentious relationship
between his father and his maternal grandfather whose house they live in, the obsession with Bollywood
and Tik Tok, the narrow streets in which
a wedding band plays Tequila, and the accents, aspirations and
mannerisms of small-town India. Writer Niren Bhatt mines this material
for both emotion and humor. His stand-out creation is Pari, Lucknow’s
Tik Tok queen, played with empathy and insight
by the lovely Yami Gautam. In one of the film’s best scenes, Pari explains to Bala why good looks
have always been her priority because her sense of self is based
on likes and comments on social media. Her words hit hard. Because in varying degrees, all
our lives have been hollowed out by the same endless projection. Pari and Bala’s relationship
is played out on Tik Tok. In a memorable montage,
they redo 90s chartbusters. There’s enough to enjoy here and yet Bala
doesn’t land with the sophistication and satisfaction of Amar’s first film – Stree. Largely because the writing doesn’t have
that subversion and cleverness. Stree also grappled with important issues, but the film didn’t hit you
on the head with it. Bala is more simplistic and on-the-nose. A running voiceover by Vijay Raaz
explains to us what we’re seeing. Don’t get me wrong, His addition to any film
makes me happy, but did we really need someone to say:
Kismat hi sulabh shauchaalya jaisi hai. Bala also tries to do way too much. Bhumi Pednekar, painted many shades darker,
is Bala’s childhood friend Latika. Latika is Kanpur’s woke activist. She’s in the film to teach us why our obsession
with fair skin is a terrible thing. Ironically, the color on Bhumi’s face is
so distracting that this moral is lost. I think filmmakers should have
the freedom to cast who they want, but here Bhumi’s talent is misplaced. Moreover, her track is half-baked –
it seems to be stitched in only so her character
could deliver the message. Ayushmann, as always,
is affable and relatable as Bala. With a refreshing lack of vanity, he nails
the extreme insecurity and trauma of balding. Ayushmann isn’t afraid
to look foolish and unheroic. We laugh both at Bala and with him. But I do wonder
if after so many films, this act of being different has also
become somewhat formulaic. Seema Pahwa and Abhishek Banerjee
are similarly dependable, but their characters also feel familiar. There just isn’t enough surprise here. Bala is an aspiring stand-up comic. He entertains people by mimicking Bollywood
stars, especially Shah Rukh Khan. This film is like his act – fun in places,
flat in others and just not enough sticks.

100 thoughts on “Bala | Bollywood Movie Review by Anupama Chopra | Ayushmann Khurrana | Amar Kaushik | Film Companion

  1. I think bala & ujda chaman both overshadowed by original kannada version. Still both are decent but I would rather suggest to watch original it's much more grounded and realistic without much melodrama.

  2. Yes mam bala nowhere between films like blockbuster like zero befikre cult classic🤣🤣
    Cmon this film is blockbuster ayushmaan faad Diya film mein rip yur review

  3. Bala review :-
    55% (normal) people :- nice movie
    45% (Takkle) people:- not good not bad…average movie.. 😂😂😁😁

  4. Dear Anupama, You really should watch a malayalam move called "Thamasha"!! Bala and Thamasha having the same story premise! this will be a good comparison about how the two different directors are interpreting the same story premise!!

  5. #Bala simply outstanding film of this year. @ayushmannk is top notch in every scene when he switch off the characters. Totally nailed it. Specially in the climax scene, he just bang it with best performance. @bhumipednekar marvelous with her role. @yamigautam best of them.

  6. Ok so, basically you are saying that ayushamnn is doing different kinds of films and hence they look all the same. What is wrong with doing different kinds of films ? I mean 70% of the movies of the 70s, 80s, 90s had basically the same plotline with minor changes. Hence majority of them come with the same flavour

    Here we have a man who not only is interested in addressing topics never addressed before, but is confident enough to address taboo issues, challenge his masculinity and glamour despite being an actor after all in an industry driven by looks (with exceptions like rajkummar rao and nawazuddin as well as vicky kaushal) and still be sure of the box office because there is a good script, good acting, good direction and relatability with the audience. Because cars do not fly away when we fire bullets. We don't even fire bullets for that matter.

    I fail to see how vicky donor and andhadhun are the same. I fail to see how article 15 and shubh mangal savdhaan are the same. I fail to see how dream girl and dum laga ke haisha are the same.

    That they are different is the very essence of them.

    Do you want ayushmann to do larger-than-life performances for 10 movies and then do a badhaai ho for the different to actually seen different ??

    Ma'am i hold you in a lot of respect and you are one of my favourite interviewers, but i do not agree with this review of yours

  7. I’m sorry but the Bhoomi casting was misguided, the horrible fake Tan did not do justice to her acting talents, why couldn’t they just cast a real dusky actress? Our country has millions of dusky beauties, they couldn’t pick one? I found it so disrespectful to the girls who are actually dusky toned, in the end of the day, Bhoomi can remove her Tan, but our colour remains skin deep.

  8. The films' background have moved from Villages to Metropolitan Cities to foreign Cities and finally to Small Cities and towns. And this is most relatable phase right now.

  9. Back to back consecutive hits
    1. Dum laga ke haisa
    2. Bareilly ki barfi
    3. Shubh mangal savdhan
    4. Andhadhun
    5. Badhai ho
    6. Article 15
    7. Dream girl
    8. Bala

    And now sureshot hits coming up

    9. Shubh mangal zyada savdhan
    10. Gulabo sitabo

  10. Had to watch the review more than once because you look so gorgeous. The color might be brighter as compared to the pastel shades you mostly wear, but the tone suits you well.

  11. Why she never appreciate good films. Never appreciate good talent because she have some favorite stars and some good friend.

  12. For most honest reviews, pls subscribe – > BALA | Deep Review by Harsh Kumar Singh | Ayushmann Khurrana , Yami Gaut… https://youtu.be/04OIigN-sJo via @YouTube

  13. I really hate this reviewer , she praises. War and the movies which actually deserve praising are like …… Man …..came here to watch sucharita…. Disappointed .

  14. গান্ডু নাকি আপনারা? আর কি করলে আপনাদের মনে শান্তি আসবে? নাকি কিছু গোনা গুন্তি লোকজন বাদে কেউ আপনাদের পয়সা দেয়না?

  15. How do i block her videos showing up on my youtube page? She is a nagging bitch. She would nag about all good movies not made by her husband.

  16. Feel so sceptical of watching this lady's reviews of a supposedly good film hence I just comment and only watch the movie & later comeback to see what this intelligent lady has said in high definition English 😉

  17. Film companion, I think you should review Hellaro, too. It's a regional film, but a cinematic masterpiece who discuss women empowerment in a perfect manner possible. Thank you for your time. 😊

  18. This genre is basically a bubble though, he's doing too much of the same thing, eventually it's going to be something stupid

  19. People have started to find fault in Ayushman's selection of movies, maybe many of his movies are looking similar in approach. but still, they are good and enjoyable.i am assuming many are bewildered or surprised how one can be so successful back to back. if you observe his movies in the past or even upcoming movies, they are a mix and match of unique and staple ones…quite similar to a spinner's regular stock delivery and a few variations, both of working fine. at least he is giving good movies, don't put him down.we have very few good actors and even less original content creators..rest about formulaic, he is a smart guy, he must be realizing that. Just hope he keeps the dream run going.

  20. I might like the movie but seriously Bhumi is not the good choice for casting. She is a popular actress and everyone knows how she looks. If you chose so fair Yami , for dark skinned you could easily chose Radhika.

  21. Film companion.. I have a request.. Please take an interview of the most talented and underrated actor Javed Jaffrey.

  22. If being different and doing movies which the mass can finally relate to is becoming some kind of a formula, we are loving it. If the formula is mindless movies like race and housefull which has a wafer thin script, big budget and actresses just to look good, we as audience don’t need these formulas. I do believe in the credibility of what critics say and a lot of audience themselves critically analyse movies but at times critics go a little too far. I personally would love to see these slice of life real third world problem issue based movies which most of us can relate to having had to face these shit everyday than movies where the leads are dancing in the roads of Paris in a shitty movie where you will have to save 1 years salary to go to. Time to move on

  23. Bhumi’s look is offensive and just wtf. Like the whole point of the movie is about self loving the way u are but here we can see that not even a dark skinned person can be good enough to play themselves Bollywood would rather prefer getting a lighter skinned actress and paint her dark it’s so stupid and mind blowing that people have not given any attention to this stupid shit displayed in front of us. How the fuck is this teaching yourself to love yourself?? It’s just colorist man.

  24. it's not that he is not different and has a formula, it's the filmography timeline. The movies are on a fast track that makes us feel it's formulaic.

    Male issues films: Vicky Donor, Bala, Subh Mangal Savdhan
    Romance/Comedy: Bareily ki Barfi, Meri Pyari Bindu, Dream Girl
    Family issues/taboos: Badhaai Ho, Dum Laga Ke Haisha
    Intense/thriller: Andhadhun, Article 15

    If his flops like Bewakofiyan, Nautanki Saala, are included in the list, he has quite a variation.

    The audience won't care much if he is on a variety of roles spree. Take RK Rao for instance. Omerta, MIC, JHK, the one with Sonam Kapoor. He has variety but has barely any hits.
    RK Rao is a better ( way better) actor than Ayushmann but has very little commercial success. I have no issues with Khurana's movies because even if the background is the same(UP cities/small town) the content is different.

  25. Stereotyping is a problem for Anupama, it would be interesting to ask her why she, for once, can't give an unbiased and non cynical critique?

  26. #Bala Ayushman Khurana once again delivers. Film after Film Khurana has experimented with different roles and has delived at the B.O. Khurana's "Middle Class Hero" characters makes him relatable just like Amol Palekar.

  27. Ayushman's movies get success due to mouth publicity not because of dumb critics like u who r always inclined to their contacts or big banners

  28. The only similarity in his films are that they are set in North Indian, middle-class, small town communities. It's the setting that is creating the illusion of sameness, but actually each story is unique and fresh. Personally, I would be happy to see a few more of these Hindi belt comedies. They have content as well as entertainment.

  29. Probably subh mangal jyada saavdhaan will be last movie in the sub genre of ayushmann.. He has taken a break.. Wait for it.. I am sure ayushmann will redefine bollywood again..

  30. Behenji ko karan johar vali "NRI"" High society " plots monotonous nahi lagenge.. She never appreciates real cinema n good work of art done by ppl like kangana n ayushmann… Seems she is scared ye outsider nepotism khatam kardenge

  31. Don't trust this woman. Just watch the movie. It's a laugh riot. This woman is always trying to destroy the career of actor's she doesn't like.

  32. NO NO NO… anupama this time U'VE GOT IT WRONG… IT'S A GREAT MOVIE. Bollywood needs such movies. Much better than 90 % of the Bollywood movies. Much better than BEFIKRE… HAH HA. GREAT MOVIE, MUST WATCH.

  33. Achi script achi lesson achi acting achi casting….. Paisa wasool apna bhi makers Ka bhi…..aur kya chahiye…… LOGO Ka taste badal raha Hai….. Ab sabka time Aayega…

  34. I saw Bala and did not find it falling flat at any instance. Except for the make up and popping up appearances of the supporting caste (that cannot be called half baked), I didn't find anything improper in the movie. Had the supporting cast been given more content and background, the running time would have increased. It's important to keep movies on taboo subjects short and entertaining.

  35. Well you have done something different here too Anupama n FC… this is probably the first not so good review of Bala amongst the many I have read this far. Surprising indeed… but I think it’s just your attempt at being different. I really feel you are trying too hard to be diff and need to do something similar to other reviewers ….
    😅😂
    Kidding but hold that tough for a while

  36. #Bala #MovieReview
    Story was about a person one who become to overcome his unchangeable weakness, and love himself.all actors are doing well, all characters are have a important role, in between some lag is there, comedy working well ,overall one time watchable decent movie

  37. Yar ye budhiya bekar krti h, suchitra is great… Isko pehle koi vicks ki goli do.. lagta h newspaper padhne baithi h, poora monotonous.. huh

  38. Just shutup…it's a nic movie… She is biased..n we al know.. it's awsum.must watch movie..same like uri ..again have to seat together wid tht two n discuss…tht we were sorry n ol…chutiyasss..it's awsummm…nic subject movie..do watch

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