Ayushmann, Khurrana, Yami Gautam, Bhumi Pednekar, Saurabh Shukla, Javed Jaffrey. Abhishek Bannerjee, Seema Pahwa
Bala is the story of Balamukund Shukla (Ayushmann Khurrana) from Kanpur who was the hero of his school in childhood, famous for his Amitabh Bachchan hair. All the girls were charmed by him except Latika Tripathi (Bhumi Pednekar) who was a constant subject of taunting and ridicule in school by everyone including Bala because of her dark skin. Even in school plays, she was always given the least importance as she was not good looking like Bala who got the lead part and Latika got some not so worthy characters.
Bala grows up to be a fairness cream salesman and a part-time Bollywood mimic and comedian who is suffering from Androgenic Alopecia. He gets demoted to a desk job, his childhood sweetheart leaves him and his falling hair make his life miserable. He tries everything to get his glorious hair back which includes bizarre remedies leading to hilarious comic situations making you laugh your guts out.
Things take an interesting turn in Bala's life when one day his father (Saurabh Shukla) gifts him a wig and Bala is sent to Lucknow for an ad shoot by his company where he meets and falls in love with a popular social media star and a TikTok sensation from Lucknow, Pari Mishra (Yami Gautam) and what happens next is the crux of this 'Bald' and beautiful comedy.
Director Amar Kaushik has tried to present the problems that people who are not normal in the eyes of the Indian society have to go through in their daily lives in a humorous way and he succeeds in that spectacularly.
The screenplay is engaging and full of fun from the very start. The story keeps you hooked and gives you many laughs especially in the first half. Although the second half takes an emotional and a little preachy turn but Ayushmann is the man who lights up the screen with his charm and keeps your eyes glued to the screen till the end.
He plays Bala so naturally that you forget he is Ayushmann Khurrana and this convincing power is his greatest strength. His balding Bala doesn't try to make laugh instead his plight and miserable life is what does the job and hilariously so. Khurrana's presence in every scene is Paisa Vasool and he literally shines in the role of Bala.
Yami Gautam as the self-obsessed model and social media sensation Pari, whose only goal in life is to look good is charming and her character's freshness makes her a great delight to watch on screen.
Bhumi Pednekar as the headstrong lawyer Latika Tripathi who is comfortable in her dark skin does a great job too and presents her character's frustration aptly on-screen, though her make-up does not manage to live up to the mark you will still like her.
Saurabh Shukla as Bala's father, Javed Jaffrey as his mentor, Abhishek Bannerjee as Bala's friend and hair-stylist and Seema Pahwa are all good in their respective roles and often bring in good comic moments. The music of the film is also nice and goes well with the screenplay the 90s song references are also entertaining.
All in all, Bala's main job is to entertain you and make you laugh which it does beautifully. The film tells you to be comfortable in your own skin and love yourself as you are. The second half might seem a little preachy but it makes you smile and that's the important part. Go watch this beautiful film.