Connect with us

Entertainment

Bala movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana’s film is bold and beautiful, and a bit unsettling

Published

on

Bala

Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Yami Gautam

Director: Amar Kaushik

There is more to a good comedy film than dropping a few clever jokes. Director Amar Kaushik understands the mechanics well – something he displayed earlier in Stree, and Bala takes it a notch higher.

The film starring Ayushmann Khurrana as a prematurely balding man is outrageously hilarious and empathetic at the same time. It introduces a quirky subject and builds on it with a single-minded commitment without meandering towards needless subplots.

Watch Bala trailer

Ayushmann is in form, yet again, as he plays an ordinary man with an extraordinary problem. The actor has picked up taboo subjects in the past too, delivering films that are not just entertaining but give life lessons too. Bala, by far, is the funniest of them all and Ayushmann hits the ball out of the court. Despite not being your conventional hero, the actor manages to impress each time.

Set in Kanpur, the film narrates the story of Balmukund Shukla aka Bala (Khurrana), a stud in his school whose silky smooth hair make him the favourite boy in his class. Switch to his mid-20s and he has a bald pate. His childhood sweetheart has left him, any girl he meets him for marriage takes one look at his bald head and runs away screaming. He also gets demoted at his workplace where he sells Pretty You fairness creams and faces constant humiliation because he looks older for his age and hence can’t be in marketing.

Hindustantimes

Bala refuses to give up hope. After trying some 212 odd hacks in two years that range from wacky to obnoxious — standing upside down to ensure better blood flow to roots, rubbing raw onion on the scalp or applying a mixture of buffalo poop and semen – he finally decides to wear a wig and goes from being the joke of the town to the talk of the town. Soon he finds love in Pari Mishra (Yami). But what happen to Bala’s fate when his childhood friend Latika Trivedi (Bhumi Pednekar) lets the secret out? Will Bala’s wedding night turn into a nightmare? Will his happiness fade like his hairline?

The first half of the film is ridiculously funny with some fantastic one-liners and punches that evoke genuine laughter. Niren Bhatt’s writing deserves a standing ovation; it’s impressive how subtly he talks about baldness and mentions Anupam Kher and Rajinikanth in one breath without offending anyone.

Hindustantimes

Though you’d enjoy the endless humour and wit, you can’t miss noticing that in the garb of comedy, the writers have taken full liberty to crack insanely sexist, racist and some gross and crass jokes, too. However, in most of the scenes you won’t complain, but deep down the makes you uncomfortable with the overall tone of it. If you don’t find toilet humour funny, let me tell you there are quite a few references.

Second half is slower and on the preachy side, but never turns into a yawn-fest. Unlike last week’s Ujda Chaman on the same subject, Ayushmann isn’t shown as this sad, helpless guy who won’t do anything about his situation in Bala. Though he keeps on blaming his father for faulty genes, he goes all out to make his ‘selfie to self pity’ story believable, and how hair loss has led to an ‘identity loss’ for him in a rather funny way. From Rajesh Khanna to Ranbir Kapoor, Bala mimics everyone and looks good, too. But it’s Shah Rukh Khan who he worships and his posters adorning the walls of Bala’s room is proof. I can’t really recall a film from recent times that gave such a befitting tribute to SRK.

While content is the king in Bala, it’s the performances that further enhance it. Having Ayushmann as the hero, director Amar Kaushik makes the most of his acting prowess. It’s pleasant how Ayushmann makes the plight of bald men look relatable through his actions gestures, emotions and expressions. He doesn’t overdo it either and has embraced his look as a bald guy. Good job done there with the prosthetics.

Among the ladies, Yami totally shines and how. Playing a small town model and a TikTok sensation, she remains in her character, looking over-dramatic at times, and even confuses you with her happy-sad expression. But her character very well explains the reason why she is obsessed with good looks.

Bhumi, on the other hand, plays a confident lawyer who has faced prejudices all her life due to her dark complexion. Though she makes sensible arguments, it’s still not understandable why makers didn’t cast someone who matches Latika’s skin tone, instead casting Bhumi and giving her a brownface that is nowhere close to natural. The makers highlight the stereotype when Bhumi goes to meet a potential groom and the song being played in the background is ‘Chandi jaisa rang hai tera sone jaise baal’. What a cliché!

While Ayushmann-Bhumi’s love-hate vibe makes for several funny moments, his TikTok scenes with Yami are undoubtedly the highlight. Quite an interesting way to weave in the 90s flavour with both of them dancing to some popular songs not only recreating the steps but also the looks and outfits.

In most of Ayushmann’s film, the supporting cast has always had a huge role to play and Bala is no exception. Saurabh Shukla as a devoted father, Seema Pahwa as a mustachioed neighbouhood mausi, Abhishek Bannerjee as the salon guy and Javed Jaffery as a mentor stand out in their respective parts. Dheerendra Kumar Gautam as Bala’s brother is a great casting call and his monologue in front of the entire family earns him claps.

The film doesn’t end at only familiarizing us with the plight of balding men. It does let its message of ‘self-love’ come across, telling us how it is okay to feel perfect with your imperfections and why should one change to fit into the set norms. And all of this is done through a stand-up act.

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.

source

Entertainment

With just one hit in half-a-decade, a look at Kangana Ranaut’s box office track record ahead of Panga

Published

on

Since her 2014 hit, Queen, Kangana Ranaut has firmly established herself as one of the industry’s top stars. Several reports pegged her salary to be approximately Rs 11 crore per film, making her one of Bollywood’s highest-paid actors. By her own admission, she became “bigger than” her movies, according to an interview to critic Anupama Chopra.

But her box office track record tells a different story altogether.

Kangana has appeared in nine films since Queen, which can safely be called a turning point for her. Prior to that, she’d mostly appeared in small films, and attracted a fair amount of acclaim for her performances (Fashion, Tanu Weds Manu, Life in a… Metro). Just prior to Queen making over a Rs 100 crore at the BO, she’d appeared in Rajjo, which could only manage Rs 2 crore.

While Queen’s success should ideally have paved the way for more blockbusters for Kangana, the performance of her films post 2014 have been more along the lines of Rajjo – with the sole exception of Tanu Weds Manu Returns. Even with controversies surrounding the release of several of her recent films, especially Manikarnika and Simran, she has failed to draw significant audiences to the theatres.

With her latest film, Panga around the corner, here’s a list of her films, and their worldwide BO hauls:

Revolver Rani (2014)

Hindustantimes

Made on a budget of Rs 27 crore, Revolver Rani didn’t click with the audiences and made just over Rs 11 crore, but critics appreciated Kangana’s performance.

Hindustantimes

Ungli was produced on a budget of Rs 39 crore, by Dharma Productions, but managed to make just about Rs 25 crore. Kangana was a part of an ensemble cast led by Emraan Hashmi. In 2017, she accused Dharma chief Karan Johar of nepotism, sparking off a heated debate.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015)

Hindustantimes

With a total of Rs 243 crore, Tanu Weds Manu: Returns is Kangana’s biggest hit yet. Made on a budget of Rs 39 crore, the film more than quadrupled the box office takings of the first Tanu Weds Manu movie, which crossed Rs 50 crore on a budget of Rs 17.5 crore in 2011.

I Love NY (2015)

Hindustantimes

The film began production in 2011, and was originally slated for release in 2013. But behind-the-scenes troubles forced the release date to be delayed several times. In the end, the film was released hot on the heels of Tanu Weds Manu Returns, and Kangana publicly acknowledged that she wasn’t approached to promote it in any way. It made Rs 2.5 crore.

Katti Batti (2015)

Hindustantimes

The film failed to recuperate its Rs 34 crore budget, ending its run with just Rs 25 crore. Some reviews mentioned that Kangana didn’t have as much to do in the film as she should have. It is also Imran Khan’s last release.

Rangoon (2017)

Hindustantimes

Made on a budget of Rs 80 crore, director Vishal Bhardwaj’s film was released amid a slew of controversies – Kangana’s on-set relationship with her co-star, Shahid Kapoor, wasn’t pleasant, and her appearance on Karan Johar’s Koffee With Karan sparked off the nepotism controversy. It made a little over half its budget.

Simran (2017)

Hindustantimes

Released once again amid a wave of controversies – Kangana frequently brought up her feud with Hrithik Roshan during the promotions, and writer Apurva Asrani alleged that she’d hijacked the film from director Hansal Mehta. Simran made Rs 26 crore against its reported budget of Rs 17 crore.

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019)

Hindustantimes

Kangana’s big-budget directorial debut might have generated a profit, especially taking into account all the ancillary earnings, it made a Rs 132 crore haul on a budget that many outlets reported ballooned to over Rs 100 crore. Kangana’s sister Rangoli had claimed, “Manikarnika investments and returns, Budget- 79cr, Print+Marketing- 22cr, Digital rights sold- 40cr, Satellite rights sold- 20cr, Distribution rights- 61cr, India business – 100.05cr still counting, Worldwide – 152cr and still counting…”

Judgementall Hai Kya (2019)

Hindustantimes

Even with new controversies to rely on, Judgementall Hai Kya proved to be too niche in its sensibilities to become a mainstream hit. It made Rs 44 crore on a budget of that some reports suggest could be as high as Rs 50 crore, while others quote a more reasonable Rs 29 crore budget.

source

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Ritu Nanda, Raj Kapoor’s daughter and Shweta Bachchan’s mother-in-law, dies of cancer

Published

on

Raj Kapoor’s daughter and Shweta Bachchan’s mother-in-law Ritu Nanda died at the age of 71; she was suffering from cancer. Amitabh Bachchan and Ranbir’s sister Riddhima Kapoor Sahni confirmed the news on social media.

Amitabh, who shares daily updates for his followers on his blog, wrote, “My ‘samdhan’ Ritu Nanda, Shweta’s Mother in Law passed away suddenly at 1.15 Am .. cannot communicate .. travelling.”

Riddhima posted a picture of Ritu on Instagram and wrote, “To the kindest most gentle person I‘ve ever met – They don’t make them like you anymore – RIP bua #missyoualways.” Several Bollywood celebrities shared their condolences in response to the post. Producer Ekta Kapoor wrote, “Hear felt condolences.” Shamita Shetty wrote, “May her soul rest in peace.” Riddhima also shared a family picture of Ritu Nanda with the Kapoors on her Instagram stories.

Her mother Neetu Kapoor also posted her condolences. She wrote, “My dearest may your soul Rest In Peace.” Sonali Bendre and Sanjay Kapoor’s wife Maheep Kapoor also expressed grief over her death in the comments section.

Married to Escorts group Chairman Rajan Nanda, who died in 2018, Ritu was an entrepreneur associated with the life insurance business. She reportedly holds the record for selling 17000 pension policies in a day.

Ritu Nanda is the sister of actors Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor, and daughter of superstar Raj Kapoor. She was an insurance agent and is survived by son Nikhil Nanda. She is the grandmother of Shweta’s kids Navya Naveli Nanda and Agastya Nanda. She was also the aunt of actors Ranbir Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Karisma Kapoor.

source

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Shahid Kapoor injured while shooting for Jersey, receives 13 stitches; Mira Rajput rushes to Mohali

Published

on

Shahid Kapoor has been hurt on the sets of his upcoming film Jersey. The actor was shooting a scene at the Mohali Stadium on Friday when he was hit by a ball on his mouth.

“Shahid was playing perfectly fine and rehearsing before the shot, when the ball unexpectedly came and hit him on the lower lip and cut open a wide gash where blood started gushing out. He was immediately taken for treatment and a doctor was rushed to see him. To close the wound, stitches were sutured by the doctor,” a source close to the makers told PTI.

According to a report in Pinkvilla, his wife Mira Rajput has left for Chandigarh to be by his side. “He is fine now. But the injury was a deep cut so he had to get 13 stitches. Mira has rushed to Chandigarh now on hearing the news. There’s nothing to worry anymore,” a report told the website.

The actor will take a break for the next few days as he has a heavily bruised lower lip. He will resume filming after the swelling subsides and the wound is healed, the PTI source added.

Jersey chronicles the story of a talented but failed cricketer, who decides to return to the field in his late thirties driven by the desire to represent the Indian cricket team and fulfil his son’s wish for a jersey as a gift.

The Hindi version of the sports-drama is being directed by Gowtam Tinnanauri, who also helmed the original 2019 Telugu film, starring Nani in the lead. Jersey, which also features Mrunal Thakur and Pankaj Kapoor, will release in August this year.

source

Continue Reading

Newsletters

Enter your email address to get latest updates

Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2018 - 2019 Delhi Wire.