Sharada Iyer

Away from the baggage of box-office collections, star power and even nepotism overdrive, comes a delightful film – Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, with an impactful narrative and excellent performances from the cast and it released on Netflix on 26th December. Produced by Farhan Akhtar’s Excel entertainment and Zoya Akhtar’s Tiger Baby films, this engaging narrative packs a punch with its fresh take on friendship, love, and a roller-coaster of emotions in today’s digital age in the lives of three young friends – Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday and Adarsh Gourav.

As the story unfolds, we are privy to the events happening in the life of the three protagonists who belong to today’s typical Gen-Z crowd. They have been best friends from childhood sharing everything together and always having each other’s back. Being grown-up now, they also have their own personal emotions to grapple with, which they must deal on their own. The film throws light on the thoughts and emotional needs of this generation addicted to and influenced by social media and who are trying to find solace as well as solution to their problems through social media platforms. The film is neither judgmental nor preachy and yet puts across all emotions in a convincing and compelling manner.

Siddhant plays a popular stand-up comedian and brings the house down with his insightful observations and one-liners, but has a past which haunts him. Ananya has an MBA degree and works in a firm where her boss is always taking advantage of her creative and entrepreneurial qualities but she is helpless to fight back. Adarsh is a personal trainer in a gym and dreams of opening his own gym one day catering to celebrity clients. While Siddhant and Ananya stay away from their families and share a common flat, Adarsh stays with his parents but is not very happy with his middle-class background. 

The film starts off slowly giving us a glimpse into their lives in a relaxed manner but soon picks up pace as their inner turmoil comes to surface and gets intense in the last half hour. Not once do we feel an iota of artificial lingo or mannerism or dialogue delivery and the three of them come across as real-life friends which perhaps becomes the biggest USP of the film.

There are heart-breaks, betrayals, fights, party times, love, laughter, fun, jealousy, and in some scenes, emotions are running high, and the director has handled everything intelligently. The theme is bound to resonate more with the younger urban crowd but there is something for everyone to take home. Every generation comes with its own set of problems and for the older generation, watching the film can be an eye-opener into understanding the minds and lives of today’s youngsters.

The music apparently is a big hit with the Gen-Z crowd and the lyrics are also being appreciated. There are six songs with different lyricists and music directors for different songs but then, that is how the music scene works in many of the films today.

Debutant director Arjun Varain Singh hits the jackpot with his very first venture and shows a deep understanding of how the world of social media, with all its positive and negative effects, impacts the lives of this generation. The casting is perfect and the camaraderie between the protagonists comes across in a very natural way thereby raising the film several notches higher to make it one of the best films of this year.

Ananya is a natural in the role and she acts very well. Siddhant is charming and aces the role like a pro and Adarsh Gourav after a superb performance in the web-series Guns & Gulaabs earlier this year comes up with yet another memorable act. All three actors who have been earnestly working on their acting skills since their debut film seem to have finally found a script which extracts excellent and nuanced performances from them and all three come out with flying colours. The supporting cast of Kalki Koechlin as Siddhant’s friend, Anya Singh as a social media influencer and Rohan Gurbaxani as Ananya’s love interest also do their parts very well.

It is ironical that the same Zoya Akhtar who just a month back disappointed by giving us one of the worst films of the year The Archies, has managed to spring a pleasant surprise at the end of the year by giving us one of the best films with Kho Gaye Hum Kahan!  The film is a must watch for those looking for a change from the action films and are ready to watch something different. You will find the film thoroughly enjoyable and relatable and will not be disappointed!

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