The similarities between Ayushmann Khurrana‘s Bala and Sunny Singh’s Ujda Chaman go beyond their premise – middle aged men dealing with premature balding. Both have unfortunate names. Bala was named for his silky hair at birth, while Chaman’s is used as a cruel taunt. “Ujda Chaman,” the kids call him. Their lack of hair plays spoilsport when it comes to their love lives too. The colour of Bala’s cheap wig begins to run after he stands too close to a fountain, horrifying his date, while Chaman’s blind date is notably disappointed by his baldness. Both have their caps unceremoniously knocked off at pivotal moments – Bala’s as he’s teaching, Chaman during a meeting with a potential bride.
The similarities don’t end there. Weirdly enough, Saurabh Shukla stars in both films, as the father in Bala and the pandit in Chaman. Even the posters of both films are curiously similar.
Both trailers end with the men consulting a doctor about the possibility of a hair transplant. They’re told not to worry, as hair can be taken from the chest, back, armpits and in Bala’s case, even the pubic region. While Bala goes to great lengths to stimulate hair growth, applying buffalo dung and bull semen to his bald pate, Chaman’s more focussed on finding a woman to settle down with. Bala’s love life perks up once he puts on a wig, but he’s unsure of how long he can keep the deception up. Both have an irreverent, bawdy tone compared to the first film about balding that released this year, Gone Kesh, in which Shweta Tripathi starred as a woman suffering from alopecia.
Directed by Amar Kaushik and produced by Dinesh Vijan, Bala will release on 7 November 2019.