Kho Gaye Hum Kahan review: This love letter to the generation of social media tries a little too hard to teach them a lesson

Sakshi Sharma
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Kho Gaye Hum Kahan review

Kho Gaye Hum Kahan review

Kho Gaye Hum Kahan review: If you are expecting a new-age DCH or ZNMD given the production house this film is coming from, it's not that, which isn't necessarily bad because it has its own beating heart but it's desperately trying to preach! 

Kho Gaye Hum Kahan review: We live in a digital age where the modes of communication are increasing only to create more miscommunication, isolation, and loneliness. This isn't a reality that hasn't dawned on anyone and if anything, with AI, it's only gotten clearer and scarier. Hence a film that befits the age of social media and the alienating life this generation leads was inevitable and much needed. But while Kho Gaye Hum Kahan with all its 'Wake Up Sid cum Dil Chahta Hai energy that's tripping on the Gehraiyaan kinda' aesthetic is the most relatable depiction of the social media generation, it is judgemental of them too! 

The film takes us through the life of three childhood best friends, Imaad (Siddhant Chaturvedi), Ahana (Ananya Pandey), and Neil (Adarsh Gourav) who struggle with the most obvious theme - being a twenty-something in the 2020s. Imaad is a cliche stand-up comedian who performs on stage in a cafe-restaurant called 'Hideaway' using comedy as a defense mechanism to hide a bigger trauma and lives in denial walking through Tinder dates, desperate to find love and attention. Ahana has completed her MBA and is slugging off in a corporate setup. After a messed up breakup, she is stuck in the duality of living the real life while pretending to be someone else on social media. Neil is a hungry, ambitious gym trainer who dares to dream despite coming from a mediocre background. He's trying to climb the social connection ladder and ends up in a toxic relationship with an influencer. Most importantly, all of them are lost in trying to find themselves and where they want to go in life. 

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This film has it all, a stand-up comedian with good punchlines as a voice of reason, chaotic messy lives of people obsessed with bodybuilding, image making, social media validation, start-up ideas, influencers, pop culture references, social media behavior, and so much more. From denial, isolation, loneliness, space to therapy, trauma, angst, pain, aesthetics and mood, you name it and this film has everything that this generation loves to define itself with. Yes, Kho Gaye Hum Kahan isn't a bird's eye view. It almost makes this generation feel seen only until it changes its route and becomes a preachy elder telling them that the problem is the mobile phones in their hands. And that's where Arjun Varain Singh's feature directorial debut somewhat falters!

It understands this paradoxical generation's plight of confusing needs with wants, who probably want all the same things in life as the previous generations but they want this with an upgrade, celebrating metaphors and living in ironies until it becomes ironical itself. This film judges and pinpoints at the same generation it is trying to represent as we don't go on a life-changing journey of realisations with these characters but rather a downward spiral of toxicity only to give out a cathartic message in the end. It feels like an all-bearing Instagram post that one likes, shares, comments, and even connects with but soon forgets. It's personal as well as a social commentary, it's a whole vibe with symbolic cinematography, mood lighting, and experiential acting where you feel like you are not watching characters but lives. But while I might enjoy the effect of the indie song (Kho Gaye Hum Kahan) being created within cinema, the meaningful impact of it gets lost somewhere in desperately trying to reinstate the message. 

Coming of age is probably the favorite genre of Farhan and Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti, and Ritesh Sindhwani. Maybe that's why Excel Entertainment and Tiger Baby Productions, in one single year, have produced three films - Friday Night Plan, The Archies, and now Kho Gaye Hum Kahan. It also feels like it is the genre they feel the most confident about as they should because they know how to hit the right chord hence we also expect a new-age DCH or ZNMD desperately from them. While Kho Gaye Hum Kahan might borrow from these films in terms of narrative structure, feel, and pattern, it falls short of becoming a beloved memorable acronym (KGHK) kinda cinematic experience!

Nevertheless, it might be a good New Year's watch with the pulsating energy of young blood, the refreshing breezy approach of a story as well as music, and a solid intro! 

Kho Gaye Hum Kahan is currently streaming on Netflix

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Ananya pandey Siddhant Chaturvedi Adarsh Gourav Kho Gaye Hum Kahan arjun varain singh