Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, written by Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti, and Arjun Varain Singh, promises to be a look into the lives of young people today and the complications they face. The opening line of the trailer makes it clear right away that social media will be at the forefront of this film. Social media is the villain of the film, and this makes us wonder whether Zoya Akhtar is losing her touch. When she gave us films like Luck By Chance, Dil Dhadakne Do, or even the classic Zindagi na Milegi Dobara, she established herself as a new-age director who could make films like no other that appealed to the younger generation. Yet, when she actually tries to make a movie centered around ‘youth’, be it The Archies or now, Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, it becomes clear that she doesn’t respect them one bit. We want to know who in the writing team decided to include the line in the film about being alone in a hyperconnected world. It may be true, but that line has been doing the rounds on social media for a few years. When did Zoya Akhtar accept this unoriginality in her films? We are also reminded of a line from The Archies about common sense leaving the body, and even that is pasted right from a meme page on Instagram. Zoya Akhtar has gone on record to admit that she has a habit of literally translating English jokes and sentences to Hindi without a thought for the context. Strangely, that worked for her earlier films, but she has failed to notice that it is not working anymore. Considering all these factors, our expectations for Kho Gaye Hum Kahan are drastically low, and the trailer has not helped the film’s cause.
Cast and characters
Frankly speaking, none of the cast is challenged by the characters they are playing, which means that there will be nothing to complain about in terms of their performances. Regardless, let us start with Ananya Pandey, who plays Ahana. Frankly, the character is right up her alley. Ahana is an urban girl who is dealing with some relationship troubles and uses social media to cope with it all. This fits the image of Ananya Pandey that has been created by the trolls who love to hate her. However, it is undeniable that the actress has started imbibing a certain amount of trust in the audience about the credibility she can bring to a film. We are not saying that she doesn’t do bad films or always gives excellent performances, but she has managed to make choices that have become a relevant part of pop culture. Additionally, she knows her strengths and works accordingly, be it Ahana in Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, Tia in Gehraiyaan, or, surprisingly, Pari in Dream Girl 2. She is playing to the strengths of her acting range, however limited it might be, which indicates good business sense, just like her character in this film. We would always want to watch all her work.
Coming to Siddhant Chaturvedi, it is surprising how this actor, who was cool for one minute after “Gully Boy,” has managed to get typecast. He is forever stuck playing that ‘enigmatic, charismatic guy who likes artsy women’. Even his social media handles push this image. That means that though he is a good actor with potential, Kho Gaye Hum Kahan is not a challenge for him. However, we wish his jokes (as a stand-up comic in the film) were actually funny. The laughter of the audience is more painful to hear than the fake laugh tracks in actual stand-up specials on Netflix. Either way, he plays a commitment-phobic man with whom Kalki Koechlin’s character breaks up because he is still on many dating apps despite being serious with her. Additionally, his comedy comes from his sadness. Zoya Akhtar should have done better than this.
Finally, we see Adarsh Gaurav as Neil Perreira, who is dating an influencer. He lives with his parents and is constantly at odds with them because of their lifestyle choices. He plays the most relatable character for the audience and, frankly, is the least cringe-worthy of all. We would also say that he is the only one who successfully acts out the insecurities raised by social media, and he does it with his silence more than his dialogue.
What can we expect from the film?
Spoiler alert: Orry is in the film. Other than that, we must say that the music is not very exciting, though it always fits the mood of the scenes. This is a story about friendship and how the three friends are there for each other despite the problems they create for themselves due to social media. Ahana’s boyfriend takes a break from her, and she can’t stop vying for his attention. Imaad makes some jokes about Neil’s dating life, and that causes a rift in the friendship when the latter points out Imaad’s inadequate emotional capabilities. Kalki Koechlin plays a photographer, and she is another actor who has been typecast in a similar type of role. These friends are having fun all over the city through these issues. But there may be troubles with the friendship as well, since they are all consumed by the ‘pitfalls’ of social media. The story will no doubt end with all of them coming back together after some major problems.
Also, we know that Zoya Akhtar loves a good family moment, so perhaps Neil’s differences with his parents will also be resolved. There are also some generic lines thrown into the mix once in a while, so we are guessing that Ahana grows out of her relationship with her boyfriend. Neil’s girlfriend, who is an influencer, will be painted as someone superficial, yet that will be an instrument of growth for Neil since the story is about him. Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti used to be good with their understanding of the complications of characters. When did they end up missing the point with what they wanted to say about the youth? Sadly, it is hard to be excited about Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, but we know we will be watching it.
When And Where To Stream
The multi-starrer film is releasing exclusively on Netflix on December 26, 2023. The Indian viewers can stream the film from 1:30 p.m. onwards and experience the crazy journey of the three best friends as they hop on a roller coaster of emotions.