Bollywood has just seen the launch of a first, a film with a bald central character. More than that, a film where the fact that the main character is balding is the central theme. We look closer.
The fact that the Indian film industry has a larger output than Hollywood is well known. You may not know it produces around twice as many films though. Or that nearly 1.5% of the population in India pays a day’s wages to visit the cinema. The director, Fatima Begum, became the first woman to make a film as early as 1926. Today, Bollywood produces a 1000 films a year in 10 different languages. They love a song, one film, ‘Indra Sabha’ contains an incredible 71 of them. To see a major film breaking bald taboo’s that have been around forever is great news.
It is a huge and progressive business. One which takes it lead from, and has a huge influence on, the opinions and attitudes of people throughout India and beyond.
So the release of a film all about a bald man trying to do something about it really caught our attention. Then we heard it was a sitcom and hearts sank. But fear not…
Bala is the name of the film in question. Bala, the central character, starts out in the film as a salesman for a company that sells ‘women’s fairness cream’. A product designed for women to lighten their skin. But he gets demoted at work and sinks into despair, which triggers him to do something about his hair loss.
The film follows him through his battle to try and regain his locks. His character is set in opposition to Latika, a lawyer desperate to lighten her skin but failing miserably.
Its a light-hearted take on one mans fight against hair loss. But its an ultimately redemptive story about the importance of coming to terms with yourself as you are.
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Bala has received great reviews and looks all set for success. It has a full global release schedule and will have an audience of tens of millions. Great to see Bollywood leading the way. We would not be surprised if Hollywood is watching closely and their version follows along. You can see the official trailer here under the strapline ‘Bold is beautiful but what about Bald?’
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