Kho Gaye Hum Kahan Movie Review: Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, written and directed by Arjun Varain Singh, is treated like the Dil Chahta Hai of, well, the second decade of the 21st century. Here, youngsters are not just obsessed with having a love life or being ambition-less; they also have to tackle social media and meaningless hookups. Finances see an upgrade, as Maldives keeps creeping up instead of Goa, though unlike DCH, it doesn't really make for a substantial part of Kho Gaye Hum Kahan. And though the songs are pleasant, Kho Gaye Hum Kahan lacks a memorable soundtrack that Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy gave to Farhan Akhtar's debut film. Guess that's also something we have to live with in this new era - have a movie without a good, memorable soundtrack. OTT Releases Of The Week: Vikrant Massey's 12th Fail On Disney+ Hotstar, Ananya Pandey and Siddhant Chaturvedi's Kho Gaye Hum Kahan On Netflix and More.

Kho Gaye Hum Kahan revolves around three childhood friends, Neil (Adarsh Gourav), Ahana (Ananya Panday), and Imaad (Siddhant Chaturvedi). They belong to different religious and financial strata and even gender too, but that has never affected their friendship, well at least, till the movie started rolling. Imaad is the richest of them all, but he works as a standup comedian waiting for his big break (and like with most standup comedians we see, his jokes aren't that funny). Like with DCH's Akash, he is also a womaniser, who just can't commit to one, till he meets a photographer (Kalki Koechlin) and realises this could be something serious. There is no Ayub Khan in his love story though. Instead, it is his sex addiction and past trauma that he is hiding that threaten to destroy his one good relationship.

Ahana, who shares a flat with Imaad, comes from the upper-middle-class family (cue for 'rich', just not Imaad 'rich'), whose steady boyfriend (Rohan Gurbaxani) breaks up with her when she brings up marriage. Later, she learns through social media that he has found a new woman, so she decides to grab his attention and make him see what he is missing by upping her Insta game. Hint: It doesn't go well...

A Still From Kho Gaye Hum Kahan

Neil is the poorest of them, a gym trainer wanting to hit the big leagues, perhaps desiring to be on the same social strata as his friends. He is an ass to his father (Vijay Mourya), who he thinks is at a dead end, be it in his career or life. Neil's inferiority complex is further exacerbated by Lala (Ananya Singh), a popular influencer and also his client, who is secretly dating him but never wants to go public. Like with DCH, the three friends see a breach in their friendship when Imaad decides to use Neil's relationship as fodder for jokes in his standup set to much applause. How or whether they overcome this, and their problems in life is what Kho Gaye Hum Kahan is all about.

Watch the Trailer of Kho Gaye Hum Kahan:

There is quite a lot you can relate to with the themes of Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, even if you do not belong to the same age bracket as the lead characters. The performances of the three main leads make it easier to feel relatable. While Siddhant and Adarsh have always been consistent performers, Ananya continues to prove that she is an actress who can work beyond your expectations when she is stuck in badly written roles. I mean, even Shabana Azmi cannot redeem a character like Tanya from Liger. It is their camaraderie that drives this film, and thank goodness for that. Each actor work well in their space and yet, also complement each other beautifully. Ananya Panday, Kho Gaye Hum Kahan Actress, Says ‘I’ve Always Wanted People To Take Me Seriously as an Actor’.

A Still From Kho Gaye Hum Kahan

Arjun Varain Singh does try his best to make sure that even if you may not relate to the setting, you can connect to their characters, their insecurities, and their challenges. There are quite a few moments where you can see that this is a filmmaker with a hold on things, made particular evident in the sequence where Neil goes down an emotional rabbit hole at a wedding reception. Shot through his perspective, we get to feel his emotional vulnerability in this scene, as he sees his friends hook up (without knowing then the consequences of the same) and being betrayed by the person he loves, like a drug trip gone bad.

The film keeps banging on about how pervasive social media has become in our lives, influencing how we deal with our problems, be it in career or in love lives. How, no one's life is behind closed doors now. If Imaad seeks his escape through Tinder hookups with a fake profile, then Ahana goes down the rabbit hole when she makes Instagram (I think it's named something else here) the driving factor of her life. Which reminds me, with Leave The World Behind, The Archies, and Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, Netflix is quite on a roll in 2023 about taking some (perhaps unintentional) self-deprecation on problematic aspects that the media streaming platform is itself a part of.

A Still From Kho Gaye Hum Kahan

The film tries to address a lot of things in between, from influencer culture to pervy uncles who decide on themselves that they have agency on a woman's body just because she dresses to please herself. Or even the troll culture too. At the same time, I feel Kho Gaye Hum Kahan could have gone a bit deeper and not be superficial about certain aspects of this culture, or even taken a shallow, moralistic stand in the process. There is a certain high-handedness that you just can't dismiss. Particularly see how the film deals with Lala, who begins and remains a cliche with no room to understand how she is the way she is, especially considering how integral she is to the plot. She remains this vacuous, self-preserving lady who never gets the chance to present her side because the film gave more prominence to feeding into Neil's victim complex. Kho Gaye Hum Kahan keeps making jokes on influencers, without getting to their, despite the fact that most of the actors involved here also are part of this culture IRL.

A Still From Kho Gaye Hum Kahan

I was also a little underwhelmed by the ending, more so because they felt very conveniently tied up. It also made me realise the writing doesn't always do justice to the characters, even the main ones. Like, take Ahana for example. I wish her character got more to do than trying to get back at her ex. I mean, her relationship could have been used for her emotional downslide, but her character arc could have been more defined than that, considering she goes on to make the same predictable mistakes we expect her to do. Wish the film explored more about her assertiveness. Even Neil's redemptive volte-face feels hastily done, which makes the emotional resolution of the movie less impactful.

Final Thoughts

Kho Gaye Hum Kahan postures to be the Dil Chahta Hai of these times, though it doesn't always maintain the cultural and emotional impression consistently that made the latter such a cult film. That said, it is a very relatable film, the direction is commendable and the performances of the three main leads are pretty good to make it watchable. Kho Gaye Hum Kahan is streaming on Netflix.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 26, 2023 02:52 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website