Mumbai, 28 Mar 2019 9:00 IST
First-time director Qasim Khallow picks a common and relevant issue that plagues millions of men and women. How does one deal with the loss of one’s hair?
Physical appearance can make a considerable impression. Neatly dressed individuals are likely to get more social acceptability than the messy, untidy ones. A smart hairstyle can change a person’s entire look, but being bald can make you the butt of all jokes. While men still get a leeway, for a young woman to lose her hair can be a traumatic experience.
First-time director Qasim Khallow’s Gone Kesh (a clever pun on loss of hair) tells the story of Enakshi Dasgupta (Shweta Tripathi), a young Siliguri girl who is suffering from alopecia. She is affected by the condition in which she loses her hair slowly from her school days, and by 25 Enakshi has gone completely bald.
She wants to participate in an upcoming dance competition in the mall where she worked as a salesgirl in a cosmetic shop. Enakshi quits her job to participate in the competition. More than the competition, Enakshi’s biggest fear is what if her hidden secret is exposed on the floor.
The other big worry for Enakshi is the expensive hair treatment which has not yielded the desired results so far. Her parents are obviously more worried with the usual "who will marry our bald daughter" conundrum.
First-time director Khallow picks a common and relevant issue that plagues millions of men and women. How does one deal with the loss of one’s hair?
Gone Kesh is a simple story, deploying simple storytelling techniques. It has its tearjerker moments, but what keeps you hooked to Gone Kesh is the sincere performance of the protagonists — Enakshi and her parents Anup (Vipin Sharma) and Deboshree Dasgupta (Deepika Amin).
After acclaimed films likes Masaan (2015) and Haraamkhor (2017), Shweta Tripathi shows her talent in Gone Kesh too. Tripathi looks convincing in the bald look, courtesy the flawless prosthetic make-up by Preetisheel Singh. The bald look is just part of the job, and Tripathi successfully emotes the trauma of Enakshi.
Enakshi shares great chemistry with Vipin Sharma, who plays her father. It’s the tender, emotional daughter-father moments that move you. Enakshi is disturbed that the strong medication has resulted in excess growth of facial hair, and the little hair that grew on her head has started thinning again. Tripathi’s emotional breakdown and then a teary Sharma vowing to help his daughter regain every hair strand lost, is an emotionally gripping scene.
Seeing Sharma plays the loving, doting father is in stark contrast to his intimidating, autocratic paternal role in Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par. Anup Dasgupta is deeply concerned by his daughter’s balding, but the humble watch vendor also harbours a long cherished dream to take his wife Deboshree for a trip to the Taj Mahal in Agra. There are lakhs of Anups and Deboshrees who have never ventured out of their small towns, or travelled in an aeroplane. The characters are real, relatable and likeable. Jitendra Kumar plays a pivotal role in this story, and he chips in with fine, innocent act.
The first half could have been a bit tighter. Having said that a family drama like Gone Kesh cannot afford to be over-dramatic. The dream track 'Bibi' is delightful, but the rest are not memorable or impressive.
Gone Kesh is fairly predictable, but relevant nonetheless. It questions the effectiveness and credibility of the various hair clinics that charge obscene amounts for zero results. Without blaming them, Gone Kesh reminds us that no one is perfect and the measure of beauty equated with luscious locks is hair today, gone tomorrow.
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