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Bala (2019)

The film opens in Kanpur, where 14-year-old students tease a balding teacher. Balmukund “Bala” Shukla, a popular kid, leads the teasing. Bala borrows notes from the studious and dark-complexioned Latika and passes them off as his own to the fair-skinned Shruti to impress her. When Latika calls him out, Bala berates her for being dark-skinned. The narrator describes how society values beauty and fair skin over other accomplishments, especially in marriage.

14 Years later, Bala is a balding man in his late twenties who struggles with his premature baldness. He is a fairness cream salesman by day and nightclub comic by night. One day, Bala angrily lashes out at his bald father: his father’s balding genes have killed the son’s prospects. His father presents him with a wig and explains that baldness is external and need not have anything to do with one’s accomplishments. Bala dons the wig and resumes his work with new vigor. He meets a pretty, fair-skinned model, Pari, and courts her. 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.

Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Yami Gautam,

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