Review: Bala (2019)

A speech bubble with abstract text
Bala is the first Bollywood film I’ve watched. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was entertaining and fun.

A disembodied voice introduces the film, sharing how hair is desired, but that beauty can be fickle. Bala was a popular kid who made fun of the teacher for being bald. Karma, being as it is, Bala (played by Ayushmann Khurrana) lost his hair an unusually young age.

A central theme was the dissonance between promoting beauty products while Bala was uncomfortable with his own appearance. He taped paper over the top of his mirror so that he couldn’t see his scalp. As more and more radical ways failed to restore his hair, he finally settled on a hair piece. His career as a cosmetics salesman was going flat until he became well-coiffed and confident again.

Bala created lots of zany videos to woo Latika Trivedi (played by Bhumi Pednekar). Dating a beautiful actress cemented his fears so he tried to maintain his secret. Eventually, he came close to honesty but repeatedly failed in comical ways. It wasn’t until after the wedding that Latika learned about his baldness. She couldn’t accept him and filed suit to have the marriage annulled.

The keywords for the film are beauty, secrets, romance and shame. Bala kept his baldness secret out of shame. He was enamored with beauty, promoting it to his clients, having an attractive girlfriend and longing for the beauty he had as a youth. When the romance fell apart, he was able to release his shame and leave the deceptive career peddling beauty aids. He couldn’t persuade women who wanted fair skin to feel less-than while he was ashamed of baldness.

I enjoyed the light-hearted movie. With so many blockbusters filling the theater, it might be a while before I can see another Bollywood film, but I like what I’ve seen.

A Colorful Sky

I look out my window and see the rain falling. The street is wet and the winds are calm. Recent days have been gloomy, but today is a good day to spend with a friend.

The shadows that come each night are not so frightening that they keep me alone. I see the moon rise and a beautiful constellation expands above me. I have nothing to fear and it is good to be here today.
A man fishing in the ocean waves
The ocean won’t wash me away today. I walk through the town and find new places to go. I’m glad that I am here today. I am glad that the sorrowful days have passed and I have much to look forward to.

Light comes down in a fabric of glistening pearls. Singing birds glow in its beauty and dance on the branches. A squirrel runs by and it is time for the roses to grow.

Although the sky is gray today, I know that I will see it’s colors soon. A blazing sun is fleeing the day and my time alone is near an end.

The land that surrounds me protects me and helps me rest. I will work in the morning and follow my path into tomorrow.

Original image: Each of them is fishing. By Corn Farmer [Image license]