Kho Gaye Hum Kahan Review: Ananya Panday's best; Siddhant Chaturvedi and Adarsh Gourav hit home with a relevant subject

Film: Kho Gaye Hum Kahan

Cast: Ananya Panday, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Adarsh Gourav

Director: Arjun Varain Singh

OTT Platform: Netflix

Rating: 3.5  Moons

In the early 2000s, when social media just began gaining ground, we didn't know its impact and influence on our lives would be so strong. With time, it has become an inevitable part of our daily routine. As FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) has taken over the virtual world, the emergence of trolls and naysayers has killed the freshness and positivity the platform had to offer once. Kho Gaye Hum Kahan in this mean maze of social media is what's addressed in Arjun Varain Singh's directorial debut. 

The film scrolls through the lives of three childhood friends – Imaad (Siddhant Chaturvedi), a comedian, Ahana (Ananya Panday), a marketing genius and the highest-earning member of the group, and Neil (Adarsh Gourav), a fitness coach. Social media comes as an unwanted virus in their smooth-flowing happy and secure lives. Imaad, Ahana and Neil go through major turmoil as the virtual world takes precedence over reality. 

Arjun Varain Singh, who was Zoya Akhtar’s Assistant Director on Gully Boy, makes a commendable debut as a director with this relevant, hard-hitting and timely film set in the internet age for people belonging to the social media era. Produced by Zoya's Tiger Baby Productions, this is a progressive film where the main characters are a reflection of real people. Kho Gaye Hum Kahan taps into various aspects like childhood trauma, desire to attain fame, not feeling satisfied with what life has to offer, seeking true love, validation and more. 

Through Ahana's character, Arjun projects modern women who might not be damsels in distress but crave attention from those they love. Succumbing to the pressures of social media, one forgets their individuality just to attain a comment or receive a reaction from people who ignore them completely in the real world. Imaad's situation-hungry behaviour has a deep secret. Unlike Ahana and Neil, his problems are embedded deeper. Neil's dissatisfaction with the life he lives takes him into a dark rabbit hole. What ties their stories is the thread of friendship. 

Arjun confidently puts across the story he desires to tell. Kho Gaye Hum Kahan has to be watched with a clear and fresh lens as it holds a mirror to the reality of the virtual world. As the New Year is around the corner, the film perfectly times its releases and motivates social media addicts to maintain the right balance between reel and real to avoid getting into the dark space. 

While it is a vibrant, youthful and engaging film, several aspects are left unexplored. Though hard-hitting, more insights into Imaad's background would have made it stronger and more balanced. In a bid to wrap the film within a respectable duration, the plotline seems rushed. Nevertheless, it doesn't disappoint with its pace and is gripping throughout. 

This is Ananya’s best performance to date and she owns Ahana to the fullest. The young starlet shows confidence as she slips into the skin of the character almost effortlessly. Depicting Ahana's vulnerabilities and command over her emotions, Ananya shines. You will end up rooting for her strength and maturity in handling situations. There's a scene where Ahana walks over her ex-boyfriend after he's beaten by her friends for playing with her emotions. That's an impactful scene executed beautifully by Ananya. 

Adarsh Gourav delivers a remarkable performance as Neil. There are multiple layers to his character and he justifies them brilliantly. While Neil falls prey to the ugly side of the virtual world, Adarsh Gourav retains some degree of empathy for the character and brings to life the motive behind his actions. Siddhant Chaturvedi gives his all to Imaad and is pleasing to the eyes. He blends cockiness with charm and trauma easily. However, there could have been more to him.

Kho Gaye Hum Kahan has a lot more to offer than what appears on the surface. A unique concept on paper, the film has been executed keeping details in mind. It will certainly make you run to your friends and give them a tight hug.

PeepingMoon gives Kho Gaye Hum Kahan 3.5 Moons