Producers: Sony Entertainment and Dino Morea
Director: Satramm Ramani
Cast: Aparshakti Khurrana, Abhishek Banerjee, Pranutan Bahl , Saanand Verma , Ashish Vidyarthi, Sharib Hashmi & Ashish Verma
Streaming on: Zee5
By Jyothi Venkatesh
Set in the small town of Kanpur, ‘Helmet’ revolves around the story of Lucky (Aparshakti Khurana), a wedding band singer who dreams of starting his own wedding band and marrying his rich girl friend, Rupali (Pranutan Bahl), a flower decorator at weddings. While Rupali comes from an affluent family, Lucky struggles to make ends meet. Desperate to make some quick money to fulfill his desires, Lucky conspires with his friends—Sultan (Abhishek Banerjee) and Minus (Ashish Verma)—to rob the goods truck of an e-commerce portal. What happens when to their surprise, the looted boxes contain condoms instead of mobile phones forms the crux of this quirky tale
Considering how sexually conservative Indian society is, and it is embarrassing for the average man to visit a store and pick up a packet of condoms, Helmet brings up the subject going to the extent of educating viewers about how condoms play a part in preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and population explosion in a mild entertaining manner. In a marked departure from the usual mainstream Hindi cinema, Helmet acknowledges that sex workers serve an important role in society and stresses how men view condoms as disruptors of their sexual pleasure.
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The screenplay consists of quite a few loopholes. Like though Rupali is not only happy go lucky but also feisty, smart and financially independent, it seems illogical to see her muted response, when her father Jogi, played by Ashish Vidyarthi proceeds to fix her marriage elsewhere. Also why the money lender goon played by Sharib Hashmi is shown dead with a garland on his photograph is not explained properly.
While Pranutan Bahl leaves a small impact with her brief role, it is Aparshakti who steals the show with his refined performance and proves that when it comes to delivering a seasoned performance he is n less to his talented elder brother Ayushmann Khurrana while Abhishek Banerjee as his sidekick and the small poultry farm owner Sultan scores with his repartees and comic timing. Ashish Verma as Minus is passable. Ashish Vidyarthi is only able to give a half baked performance since his role does not afford him enough scope to show his talent.
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Helmet’s out of the box and quirky story by director Satramm Ramani, Gopal Mundane, Amit Tyagi and Ajay S takes on the taboo subject of contraception and condom rips the taboo open for our tad conservative Indian society. Rohan Shankar’s witty screenplay and dialogues succeed a lot in turning the bumbling heroes into confident entrepreneurs, with mostly promising results.
The satirical comedy highlights the shame and hypocrisy that in general we tend to associate with taboo topics of sex education and contraception, even in the modern and progressive society today but somewhere as the film proceeds, you also start squirming in your seat wondering whether it is going to end up as a social documentary which takes up cudgels on behalf of the family planning department of the government.
To sum up in a nutshell, I’d say that Helmet which has been released on Zee without any proper publicity at all is a decent , quirky as well as zany heartwarming film, which is capable of driving your blues away in a jiffy.