Ayushmann Khurrana cannot think straight. Dream Girl, his latest hit, shows him as a call centre employee who can impersonate the female voice. In the recently released official trailer of Amar Kaushik’s Bala, he is Gaurav Rawat or Bala, a young man enduring the discomfort of premature balding.
Bala is not a run-of-the-mill comedy. If the upcoming film is half as good as the trailer suggests, it will entertain the viewer while commenting on social obsessions with a thick growth of hair and fair skin.
The trailer begins with Bala, presumably a seller of skin-whitening products, talking about matrimonial ads in major newspapers that specifically refer to fair skin. Bhumi Pednekar, a dusky girl who is visibly offended, walks up to him and asks him why he is wearing a cap. She takes off his cap thereafter, exposing his receding hairline.
Bala is the third time Ayushmann is acting alongside Bhumi after Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015) and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017). Yami Gautam, the other female lead, is playing a supermodel. This is the second time Ayushmann and Yami have come together after Vicky Donor (2012), his acting and her Bollywood debut.
The film focuses on Bala, who is desperate, low on confidence and seeks ways and means to conceal his weakness. A wig is an option, but not a great one. Hair transplant is a solution, but he doesn’t have enough hair on his chest, hands and beard that can be used to cover his balding pate. What can he do, therefore?
Yami plays his love interest. Whenever Bala and she share frames in the trailer, his head is full of hair. When is he wearing a wig? When does she appear in his dreams? Does he undergo a hair transplant before meeting her? These questions will be answered in the film, which promises to be a laugh riot.
Bala is mighty hassled when he says that what he is suffering from is not ‘hair loss,’ but ‘identity loss.’ The gradual change in his facial expression when he sings ‘Yeh Reshmi Zulfein’ along with the radio, which reminds him of his receding hairline, is hilarious. At the same time, the character’s distress is a telling comment on how many people suffering from alopecia fight tough mental battles while trying to cope with it.
The good news for Ayushmann fans is that the versatile actor is at ease while playing yet another unusual character. Bhumi appears to have a better-written role compared to Yami, whose character of a supermodel seems to focus on her glamour. Saurabh Shukla and Javed Jaffrey are funny as Bala’s father and a character named Bachchan bhaiya, respectively.
Bala expects to find viewers with its light-hearted take on an offbeat theme. Ayushmann’s career graph shows that the actor seeks originality in scripts when he sets out to sign on the dotted line. Bala should be a refreshing film if the interesting trailer with its ROFL moments hasn’t misled us thoroughly.