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Bala Director On His Second Hit In A Row

Amar Kaushik couldn’t be in a better  place. His directorial debut  Stree  was the surprise success  of 2018.  And now  Bala  is  hit-machine Ayushmann Khurrana’s career’s biggest opener .

“I feel  humbled  and relieved. All of us in the team worked  really hard to  ensure that the  film dealt with a serious subject,but didn’t get too dark  or preachy in tone. We could have tripped over  at any point. But the tone held,” says Amar who has served as  assistant to Rajkumar Gupta and Onir.

“I feel I’ve trained  under the best. The two things that I feel are  essential to my  cinema are  realism and humour. I  can’t direct films that are not rooted to reality. I  have  lived in Kanpur and many  of  the experiences that Ayushmann’s character goes  through in Kanpur are my own. At the same time whether it is a horror comedy  like Stree or Bala, humour  has to be constantly  present in my films,” says Amar.

He gives a  lot  of  credit to   his writer Niren  Bhatt and his  amazing cast for  the  ring of authenticity that  sounds across the  film. “For  every  character we got  an actor who got just the  face  we needed. For example, Dheerendra Gautam who plays  Ayushmann’s brother  is  local Kanpur boy with  no acting experience. He is a rapper and we just felt he would  be right.”

Amar says  the film was  planned with Ayushmann in the lead.  “It  was  Ayushmann from the start. His dedication was exemplary. He lost a  whole lot  of  weight because we  wanted a certain awkwardness in his  body language  as well.  When he  came  on the sets we  didn’t see Ayushmann we saw only Bala.”

When asked what  the rise  of  the  workingclass hero  Amar Kaushik says, “I think  the era of  the  relatable hero that Amitabh  Bachchan Saab and Rajesh Khanna Saab  popularized is back.”

Since the release  of Bala  Amar Kaushik has  only been hearing wonderful things  about his film.What did  his family think  of it?

“Well, my daughter fell asleep halfway through the film,”  Amar laughs.

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