Kho Gaye Hum Kahan Movie Review: Looks pretty but feels hollow

Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday and Adarsh Gourav play half-baked characters grappling with the digital world
Kho Gaye Hum Kahan Movie Review: Looks pretty but feels hollow
Rating:(2 / 5)

I won’t lie, it did show some promise in the trailers. When I got into Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, I expected it to be an intimate study of the layered issues of Gen Z and their constant need for attention in an attention deficit world. A film that at least tried to understand us. What I got was something that was more inclined towards grabbing onto that ‘youth connect’ rather than delving into human connections. A film for which emotional depth is sufficed by grey, dimly-lit frames. Like a monochrome reel of sea waves with ‘Feel’ written at the bottom.

Imaad (Siddhant Chaturvedi), Ahana (Ananya Panday) and Neil (Adarsh Gourav) have been friends since school. When the film begins, we are shown a showreel of their moments together, of them drinking, partying, frolicking on the beach, fooling around with snapchat dog filters. But beyond that we never really know these people. We are expected to relate to their friendship because we see them clinking beers atop a terrace. The film presents a social media scroll of their lives, where chemistry between them might not be more than having a selfie together.

Director: Arjun Varain Singh

Starring: Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday, Adarsh Gourav, Kalki Koechlin, Rohan Gurbaxani, Vijay Maurya

Streaming on: Netflix

Imaad is a stand-up comic whose material is either emo confessions or jibes at people’s social media activity. He hides his intimacy issues behind his humour. Things change when a Tinder date is more interested in getting to know him rather than getting inside his pants. Ahana is a marketing consultant who can’t stop online stalking her on-a-break boyfriend while Neil is a gym trainer who is in love with an influencer. The characters feel fresh only on paper. Imaad’s sets seem to be more of a plot exposition device than genuine stand-up material. His trauma feels like a convenient plot device. Siddhant tries to play the role with a loose charm but the writing doesn’t support him. Ananya’s Ahana has a shoddily written arc which has a lukewarm climax. Only Adarsh Gourav offers some nuances.

The film has some soothing camerawork in place. The cinematography by Tanay Satam is moody but with dialogues like “It’s the digital age, sirf lagta hain zyada connected hain par shayad itne akele kabhi nahi the (It’s the digital age, we think we are more connected now but maybe we weren’t so alone yet), the images feel fluff, merely an aesthetic device giving an illusion of expressing some deep emotions. At times I felt like the film was trying to invoke feelings offered by the imagery of Normal People and the music of Cigarettes After SexIt all felt too influenced, too borrowed, too plastic.

Kho Gaye Hum Kahan feels like it has been written to showcase the phenomenon of social media addiction and not the people who suffer from it. The friendship of Imaad, Ahana and Neil doesn't have a sense of history attached to it. Plot points are either quickly scribbled or too indulgent. The film’s frames are great to be put on Instagram reels but beyond that, as Ahana’s boyfriend says, “Nothing ever happens, maybe that’s the problem.”

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