Bala Tries To Deliver A Message Of Self-Acceptance, But Does It Need To Be So Preachy?

Posted: November 17, 2019

In its effort to portray ‘issues’, Ayushmann Khurana – Bhumi Pednekar starrer Bala ends up being all “Gyaan”, says this reviewer.

Is it just me or is it getting crazier in Bollywood? Tom, Dick and Harry movie seems to be raking in the crores.

Well, Bala released and I dragged my husband to the movie theatre. I was with him on an office tour in a small district in Orissa. It was a very old movie theatre, of the type with fans, iron bars, and balcony seats and galaxy boxes. For me, it was rekindling my childhood memories.

There were only two halls, one showing Bala and the other an Oriya movie. We had booked the ‘balcony’ seats. With my black boots, tight jeans, rayban sunglasses and no sindoor/churi/bindi/red, I was not quite gelling with the crowd. I have noticed a married woman’s get-up in this town – head to toe covered in ‘Suhaag materials’. (Not that it is bad, if someone chooses to dress like that of their own free will, but forcing someone to dress, and conduct themselves in a particular way after marriage is a big no-no.)

Thankfully with the feminist blood that I have, after marriage, within three days, I ditched all the red stuff and went back to being my old self. So now society tags me as a “Modern Bahu”, the haath se nikal jaegi (uncontrollable) kind.

Anyway, the alarm rang and as we entered, I found it odd that nobody entered with us – the crowd moved to the next hall for the Oriya movie.

One hour into the movie, as Ayushmann Khurrana was struggling with his baldness, my inner self was struggling with the question, “How can people ditch this and choose to watch some guy doing mindless stunts?”

Too Much Gyaan

I got my answer soon, when I realized that it was because the movie was distributing “Too Much Gyaan”.

There is a way of putting things, and the movie severely lacked it. Why would people go to a movie theatre, and spend their hard-earned money just to get a bashing? What was the point in painting Bhumi Pednekar’s entire body dark and zooming in on her face to show dark oily skin tone when she was delivering that Gyaan?

Bhumi is an exceptional actress, but her acting in this movie was forced. With all the feminism, gender equality and fight against discrimination falling onto her shoulders, the script of the movie was hard to lift. Call me cruel, but there was a moment when wanted her to tell her, “Shut-up, take a breath and relax!” Yes, life is tough, but one can take it a bit lightly. No need to go all Dabang on everybody around.

Ayushmann’s smile was to die for, though he is shown as being bald and not unconventionally attractive. With punchlines here and there, as usual he made the first part of the movie a little interesting. But after the interval, Gyaan took over and I started pulling my hair. In one instance he shouted at his dad just because it was clear who was responsible for all the hair loss. If we look at it from a parent’s perspective, what the hell was that? And we wonder where the teenagers get their ideas from? The dad, just like any other ideal parent, took the bullet, sacrificed his self-respect/ego, and made peace with his son.

Towards the end, when Bala got all pumped up with the Gyaan and finally accepted his self, a scene came where he threw his artificial hair into the river. My heart was beating for the Ganga! Yeah, on the one hand, people people are trying to clean it and all. But who cares about the environment when society has other important issues? The only reasonable explanation for this scene was that the scriptwriter holds some grudge against Greta Thunberg.

Slow claps for a movie whose intent was to make society a better place to live in. With the rate at which we are killing and harming nature, soon we will have no place to live.

Yami Gautam’s acting was flawless, her reaction after discovering Ayushmann’s baldness was just perfect. I am sure the Bengalis around Kanpur would react the same way when they discover hair in their favourite fish’s belly.

Yes, it is high time the mindset of the society need to change. I totally agree with the aim and support it. The movie has raised a very important issue, it definitely needs to be addressed. But while addressing one issue, why make other blunders? After all, everyone is watching, be it a child or an old and helpless parent.

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