When Ayushmann Khurana meets an unconventional theme, magic happens, and that's what Amar Kaushik directorial 'Bala' has done. Also, Ujda Chaman doesn't even come close to this Bollywood laced genius.
Baldness leads to undesirableness. And being dark-skinned is even worse. These taboos are prevalent in our society and that's what Ayushmann Khurana, Bhumi Pednekar and Yami Gautam starrer film 'Bala' is trying to fight through Bala. Amar Kaushik directed film hits all the right chords with the slapstick comedy which includes a lot of one-liners, situational comic scenes and a society obsessed with Bollywood of the '90s.
The story starts with a young Balmukund 'Bala' Shukla (played by Ayushmann) flaunting his long silky hair in school. He considers himself as the Shah Rukh Khan of his school and makes fun of his bald teacher by calling him 'takla'. Cut to a 20 something-year old Bala who is now bald, working for a fairness cream company as a salesman and is very low on confidence. He is trying to find a solution to his premature balding with the help of his parents (Saurabh Shukla and Sunita Rajbar), brother (Dheerendra Kumar Gautam, who comes out to be a surprise package) and his friends (Abhishek Banerjee and Jaaved Jaaferi).
This is a story of a guy who wants to be a stand-up comedian but his own life is a comedy now. He has the mirror in the bathroom half covered so that the part of his face above the forehead in hidden from his sight. Bala's reluctant sounding board in his endeavour to rise above his shortcoming is Latika Trivedi (an overly darkened Bhumi Pednekar), his classmate from school, who he grew up ridiculing for her complexion. Bala's love interest is assigned to Pari Mishra (Yami Gautam), Lucknow's self-styled supermodel and TikTok sensation. She falls for Bala's charm after he dons a hair patch and mimics Bollywood celebrities with ease.
This movie is a satirical comedy enveloped with a clever screenplay takes the story a notch higher. If anyone had doubts about Stree-famed Amar Kaushik about his prowess as a director, this movie will put a full stop on it. The film has an amazing supporting cast and all of them have it upon themselves to portray their filmy, Bollywood-laced Kanpur character in a very subtle way. Ayushmann is, of course, the soul of the whole film. His gestures, his lingo, his one-liners, his tussle with his family, his gestures, everything is spot on (and cries out to the board to award him another National award for this performance).
The only thing that could have been done better is the characterisation of Bhumi and Yami. Both the actresses' characters are strong but ultimately pave the way for Bala to keep him in focus. Music is good, although most of it in the background score it is good enough to make the movie more interesting. 7th successive blockbuster in a row for Ayushmann? Well, it seems that way.