Helmet: Aparshakti Khurrana, Pranutan Bahl make a mark in hilarious comedy with strong social message
New Delhi, September 16, 2021
Bollywood has for long depicted small towns of India and its villages as a scene of caste and class rivalry and land feuds and dacoities. Stories of the day-to-day problems faced by the middle class and lower middle class were largely centred around big cities and the metros in a majority of films in the late '70s and '80s.
The new millennium has, however, seen a shift in paradigm in Bollywood films with an increasing number of films focusing on the aspirations of, and problems faced by, the youth and middle class folk living in small towns. A number of films in the last two decades have been highlighted the day-to-day problems faced by small-town youth and middle class families. Films like Toilet Ek Prem Katha, Padman, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Bareilly Ki Barfi and the recently released Mimi have centred around the problems faced by small town boys and girls.
The focus in these films is not only limited to the problems of sustainability faced by small town people, especially the youth, but also to their outlook towards controversial issues ranging from lack of toilets, non availability of sanitary pads and problems pertaining to infertility.
It is one such taboo topic that forms the focus of Helmet, the new film streaming on Zee5.
A quirky comedy based in the heartland of India, Helmet deals with a topic that it embarrassing for most people in the country -- buying a condom from a chemist's shop and its use.
Lucky (Aparshakti Khurrana) is a singer in a band which performs at weddings. But he wants to open his own band someday. He's in love with Rupali (Pranutan Bahl), whose father (Ashish Vidyarthi) is a wealthy man and wants to get her married off to another guy. Lucky needs to prove to Rupali's dad that he is capable of marrying her.
Desperate to make some quick money, Lucky and his friends Sultan (Abhishek Banerjee) and Minus (Ashish Verma) rob an e-commerce company truck. But to their surprise, the looted boxes contain condoms instead of electronic gadgets.
The story of Helmet deals with efforts by Lucky and his friends to sell the condoms in a town where people are reluctant to buy condoms from a chemist's shop.
In an engaging manner, Helmet takes viewers through the efforts of Lucky and his friends to convince people of the town to buy condoms. It goes to the credit of writer director Satram Ramani that he has tried to deal with the serious social issue in a comical and light-hearte manner. While making the audiences laugh, he also manages to subtly put across the message of the need for population control.
The screenplay by Rohan Shankar is engaging and manages to capture the attention of the viewers throughout the length of the one hour 50 minutes film.
The dialogues are well written and manage to bring out the essence of the subject tackled by the film.
Khurrana is impressive in his debut as lead actor. He is endearing as Lucky who shares the reluctance of the small town people when it comes to buying a condom but devises an innovative way to sell condoms for the bigger social good. Pranutan Bahl makes her presence felt as Lucky's girlfriend Rupali.
Abhishek Banerjee and Ashish Verma leave a mark as Lucky's friends Sultan and Minus. They have displayed an excellent comic timing.
The rest of the cast members, including Ashish Vidyarthi and Anurita Jha, lend able support.
My rating: 3/5