Bala (2019 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Amar Kaushik|
|Produced by||Dinesh Vijan|
|Written by||Niren Bhatt|
|Screenplay by||Niren Bhatt|
|Story by||Niren Bhatt|
|Narrated by||Vijay Raaz|
|Cinematography||Anuj Rakesh Dhawan|
|Edited by||Hemanti Sarkar|
|Distributed by||AA Films|
|Box office||est. ₹122.48 crore|
Bala is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language social problem comedy film directed by Amar Kaushik and produced by Dinesh Vijan. Ayushmann Khurrana stars as Bala, a young man living in Kanpur who is suffering from alopecia, and the story is about his lack of confidence and societal pressure that comes with premature balding. Bhumi Pednekar, Yami Gautam, Javed Jaffrey, Saurabh Shukla, and Seema Pahwa feature in supporting roles.
Principal photography began in May 2019 at Kanpur and the film was also shot in Mumbai and Lucknow. The soundtrack is composed by Sachin–Jigar. The film was released in preview shows on 7 November 2019 and theatrically released in India on 8 November 2019.
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The film opens in Kanpur where 10-year-old students caricature and tease a balding teacher. Balmukund "Bala" Shukla, a popular and well-coiffed kid, leads the teasing. Bala borrows notes from the studious and dark-complexioned Latika and passes them off (as his own) to the fair-complexioned Shruti to impress her. When Latika calls him out, Bala berates her for being dark-complexioned. The narrator describes how society, particularly in the matrimonial process, values beauty and fair-skin over other accomplishments.
Years later, Bala is a balding late-twenties fairness cream salesman and late-night nightclub comic, who is struggling with his baldness. One day, in a rage, Bala lashes out at his middle-aged, bald, once a Ranji cricket player father: the father’s balding genes have killed the son’s prospects. Some days later his father presents him with a wig and consoles him and explains that baldness is an external feature and need not have anything to do with ones accomplishments and prospects. Bala dons the wig and resumes his work (and his nightclub gig) with new vigor. In due course Bala meets a pretty (and fair!) model, Pari, and courts her with his mimicry and his songs. They decide to marry. Some days before the wedding, Bala is stricken by conscience and sends her a text disclosing his baldness. Unbeknownst to him the text accidentally goes to someone else and Pari does not see it. Bala assumes she has accepted his baldness and they marry.
Latika has her share of troubles. Many boys and families come to see her but reject her because of her dark skin. Among these prospective suitors is Rohan, an Australia-settled NRI who is attracted to Latika but the meeting blows up when his mother mentions Latika’s complexion and Latika storms out. Rohan asks to meet Latika and they reconcile until he mentions he was initially attracted to her due to her Instagram profile. Latika reveals that she is not on Instagram, and it is revealed that Bala had created a fake profile with airbrushed pictures of Latika at her aunt's behest. Latika is left fuming at the whole ordeal.
Latika storms into Bala’s home on the day after his wedding and shouts at him. Bala may be ashamed about his baldness but Latika has no such feeling about her complexion. She warns him not to interfere in her life anymore. Pari hears this outburst and thus discovers Bala’s baldness and walks out on him. Bala is dejected. Some days later Bala receives a court notice: Pari has charged him with fraud and wants the marriage annulled. Bala visits her to talk it over. Pari reveals her feelings. She was blessed with good looks and not much else. She knew she was a below-average student and thus could not enter any other real profession. Her looks are all she has: they are the source of the attention she received all her life and they are the source of her livelihood as a model. She accepts that her only criterion for selecting a husband was his good looks; she also accepts that other girls may have other useless criteria (education, values etc.) but this is all she has.
Latika apologizes to Bala as her outburst broke his marriage. But it would have broken anyway. Bala engages her as his lawyer. The case begins. Latika cross-examines Pari who plainly accepts she married Bala because of his wits and charm. Pari also accepts Bala did not mislead or defraud her but she points out that Bala was not particularly forthcoming about his baldness. If he is not comfortable with his own self then he can hardly sustain anyone else. Pari’s lawyer moves that Pari has her own right to want to annul the marriage whether there was fraud or not. As the arguments are heard Bala interrupts the proceedings and moves that Pari does have her right to want to annul the marriage. The judge orders so. Outside court Latika angrily confronts Bala: she could have turned the case. Bala shrugs; the law cannot compel anyone to love anyone and a half-hearted marriage will not work anyway. Some time later during one of his fair-cream sales events he realizes beauty is merely skin-deep and he publicly sheds his wig. At a school reunion he apologizes to the balding teacher.
Bala realizes Latika is probably the perfect partner for him. He runs to propose to her but when he walks in he sees Rohan and his family have come to finalize the wedding. He proposes anyway but Latika turns him down gently; she actually likes Rohan. Bala is disappointed, but is able to resume his friendship with Latika.
The film ends with Bala, now at peace with his baldness, doing a new comedy routine about skin-deep beauty and the meaning of life.
- Ayushmann Khurrana as Balmukund "Bala" Shukla
- Bhumi Pednekar as Latika Trivedi
- Yami Gautam as Pari Mishra
- Javed Jaffrey as Bachchan Dubey
- Saurabh Shukla as Hari Shukla
- Seema Pahwa as Mausi
- Varun Shashi Rao as Rohan
- Deepika Chikhalia as Susheela
- Abhishek Banerjee as Ajju
- Dheerendra Kumar Gautam as Vihan
- Sonam Bajwa (special appearance in song "Naah Goriye")
- Harrdy Sandhu (special appearance in song "Naah Goriye")
- Aparshakti Khurana (cameo appearance)
The cast of the film was announced by the producer Dinesh Vijan. The film to be directed by Amar Kaushik, is starring Ayushmann Khurrana in titular role, Yami Gautam as supermodel based in Lucknow and Bhumi Pednekar as a dusky small town educated woman. The film marks the third collaboration between Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar after Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015) and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017). It also marks the second collaboration between Ayushmann Khurrana and Yami Gautam after Vicky Donor (2012).
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||8 November 2019|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Sony Music India|
The music and background score is composed by Sachin–Jigar, with guest composers Jaani and B Praak composing the song "Naah Goriye" which is a recreated version of the song "Naah" by the same artists released in 2017 while lyrics have been written by Mellow D, Jaani, Badshah, Priya Saraiya, Jigar Saraiya and Bhargav Purohit.
The song "Don't Be Shy Again" is from an original track of the same title from the album 'Rouge' by Rouge, composed by Dr Zeus and written by Lola Olafis.
|1.||"Don’t Be Shy Again"||Mellow D, Badshah||Badshah, Shalmali Kholgade, Gurdeep Mehendi||2:43|
|2.||"Naah Goriye" (Music by: Jaani, B Praak)||Jaani||Harrdy Sandhu, Swasti Mehul||3:04|
|3.||"Pyaar Toh Tha"||Priya Saraiya||Jubin Nautiyal, Asees Kaur||3:50|
|4.||"Tequila"||Jigar Saraiya||Divya Kumar, Jigar Saraiya||2:41|
Marketing and release
The theme poster of Bala was released on 27 May giving release date. The official teaser of the film was released on 26 August 2019 by Maddock Films. The official trailer of the film was released on 10 October 2019.
After the trailer of the film was released, it was accused of copyright violation from the makers of Ujda Chaman, which also has a storyline similar to Bala. Ujda Chaman is an official remake of Kannada film Ondu Motteya Kathe.
Bala received generally positive reviews from critics with praise directed towards the performances and the film's narrative.
Bollywood Hungama gave 3.5 stars out of 5 stars and said, "Bala not only entertains thoroughly but also delivers a very important message that will surely be lapped up by the audiences." Ronak Kotecha of The Times of India rated the movie 4 stars on five and wrote, "'Bala' remains a light-hearted comedy with situations that are relatable. Just like the film’s message, 'Bala' is beautiful even with its flaws, and never fails to entertain." Monika Rawal Kukreja of Hindustan Times reviewed, "Bala is a well-made film that stays true to its genre for most of the time. It makes right jokes at the time and leaves you in stitches more often that you’d expect."
Kennith Rosario of The Hindu said, "A hollow film combed over with humour."  India Today rated the movie 4 on 5 stars and said, "King Midas Ayushmann Khurrana delivers another blockbuster." News18 rated the movie 3 on 5 stars and said,"Bala could have been a crackerjack of a film but allows the novelty of its premise to wear out too easily. Bala, Kanpur’s “edible young man” (sic), certainly gets your attention, but does not manage to sweep you off your feet."
Bala's opening day domestic collection was ₹10.15 crore. On the second day, the film collected ₹15.73 crore. On the third day, the film collected ₹18.07 crore, taking total opening weekend collection to ₹43.95 crore.
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- "Bala (2019)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
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- @taran_adarsh (6 May 2019). "Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar and Yami Gautam... #Bala filming begins today... Costars Saurabh Shukla, Jaaved Jaaferi and Seema Pahwa... Directed by Amar Kaushik... Produced by Dinesh Vijan. #JioStudios: t.co/XGtrzhUNXq" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Bala: Ayushmann Khurrana, Yami Gautam Dance Their Heart Out at Film's Wrap Party". News18. 7 July 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
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- "'Bala': The Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar and Yami Gautam starrer to release on November 22". Times of India. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- "Bala Teaser - Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Yami Gautam - Dinesh Vijan - Amar Kaushik - 22 Nov". YouTube. Maddock Films. 26 August 2019.
- "Bala- Official Trailer - Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi, Yami - Dinesh Vijan - Amar Kaushik, 7th Nov 2019". YouTube. Maddock Films. 10 October 2019.
- "Ayushmann Khurrana's Bala finds itself in legal trouble again". filmfare.com.
- "Movie Review: Bala". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 8 November 2019.