Kho Gaye Hum Kahan Review | A Timely Gen-Z Update of the Dil Chahta Hai OS

In terms of the structure in writing and the nature of conflicts between the main characters, I wouldn’t say the new Netflix original film Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, directed by Arjun Varain Singh, isn’t trying to achieve anything novel. The movie, co-written and produced by Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar, takes ample time to explore the superficialness of all the equations of the Instagram generation before it finally decides to go for the reason why they seek validation. In some ways, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara was an upgrade/ timely update of Dil Chahta Hai. And since all the people involved in those films creatively are part of this movie too, I would say this is the newest update of that Farhan Akhtar OS.

So the movie is about these Gen Z friends in Mumbai. Imaad is a stand-up comedian who shares the flat with Ahana, an MBA graduate who works in a major firm. The third one in the gang is a fitness trainer, Neil, who belongs to a middle-class family and wants to start his own gym. What we see in Kho Gaye Hum Kahan is the coming-of-age journey of these three with each of them having unresolved issues in various areas of life.

The reason why Dil Chahta Hai and ZNMD worked for the Millenials has a lot to do with the subtle relatability in the conflicts they portrayed in the equations between the friends. The main reason why I feel a lot of the people who are now in college or are in those initial years of pursuing a career would feel “us bruh us” about this film is also the relatability. The way the characters stalk each other on social media, how they detect and assume stuff, and how it all affects them personally, etc., are depicted in a very raw format. There is no schooling happening here about how they operate, and we are thrown into their world, and we have to figure it out on our own.

There is a woke agenda in every Reema-Zoya film, and in all their successful ventures they had managed to infuse that into the script seamlessly. But here, I would say, the efforts are a bit bumpy, and when you see an outraged character posting nasty comments on celebrity pictures from a fake account, it feels more like a justification or stamping of the trolls rather than thinking from the character’s POV. The peripheral nature of the relationships in the initial patches of the film makes sense as the characters aren’t really in a conflicted space. Even though the backstories of the characters have cliched bits, I would say the writing towards the end has some panache in depicting the melodrama in an appealing way.

Siddhanth Chaturvedi, as Imaad, gets into the character of the chilled-out and commitment-phobic stand-up comic very easily, and I really loved how he transitioned into that vulnerable space towards the end of the movie. Ananya Pandey as Ahana is actually pretty likable whenever the film goes into the insecure and love-craving psyche of that character. The inability of the character or the deliberate ignorance of the character to understand a red flag feels relatable. Neil is the Imraan equivalent of the gang who is financially on the weaker side with a lot of passion to climb up the ladder, and that frustration and fire was palpable in Adarsh Gourav’s performance. Anya Singh, Kalki Koechlin, etc., are the other major names in the cast who were also pretty good in their respective characters.

Kho Gaye Hum Kahan works largely because of how we find the silliness of some of the actions of the characters relatable. It sort of embraces the flaws of the main leads and shows them as these vulnerable “connected” people. The ending portions that sort of preach to the audience to grow a tribe and leave the phone and also the overall glossiness in the packaging are definitely making it slightly underwhelming in certain areas. But there is an element of heartfelt storytelling in the whole thing which makes it that comfortable bitter-sweet friendship tale.

Final Thoughts

There is an element of heartfelt storytelling in the whole thing which makes it that comfortable bitter-sweet friendship tale.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.