Manufacturer: Sony Entertainment and Dino Morea
Director: Satram Ramani
Throw: Aparshakti Khurrana, Abhishek Banerjee, Pranutan Bahl, Saanand Verma, Ashish Vidyarthi, Sharib Hashmi & Ashish Verma
Stream on: Zee5
By Jyothi Venkatesh
‘Helmet’ is set in the small town of Kanpur and centers on the story of Lucky (Aparshakti Khurana), a wedding band singer who dreams of starting his own wedding band, and his wealthy friend Rupali (Pranutan Bahl), a flower decorator get married at weddings. While Rupali comes from a wealthy family, Lucky struggles to survive. Desperate to make a quick buck to grant his desires, Lucky conspires with his friends – Sultan (Abhishek Banerjee) and Minus (Ashish Verma) – to rob an e-commerce portal truck. What happens when, to her surprise, the looted boxes contain condoms instead of cell phones, lies at the heart of this bizarre story
Given how conservative Indian society is and how embarrassing it is for the average man to go to a store and pick up a pack of condoms, Helmet brings the subject up to the point of educating viewers on how condoms can help prevent sexual intercourse Transmissions play a role in disease (STD) and population explosion in mildly entertaining ways. In a marked departure from the usual mainstream Hindi cinema, helmet recognizes that sex workers play an important role in society and emphasizes how men view condoms as disruptive to their sexual pleasure.
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There are a few gaps in the script. While Rupali is not only happy, but also vibrant, smart, and financially independent, it seems illogical to see her subdued reaction when her father Jogi, played by Ashish Vidyarthi, fixes her marriage elsewhere. It is also not properly explained why the moneylender played by Sharib Hashmi is depicted dead with a garland in his photo.
While Pranutan Bahl makes a small impression with her brief role, it is Aparshakti who steals the show with his subtle performance, proving that in terms of a veteran performance he is no less equal to his talented older brother Ayushmann Khurrana, while Abhishek Banerjee as his Sidekick and the small poultry farm owner Sultan scores with his repartees and his strange timing. Ashish Verma as a minus is passable. Ashish Vidyarthi can only deliver a half-baked performance, as his role does not give him enough leeway to show his talent.
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Helmet’s out of the box and bizarre story by director Satramm Ramani, Gopal Mundane, Amit Tyagi and Ajay S takes up the taboo subject of contraception and condoms break the taboo for our somewhat conservative Indian society. Rohan Shankar’s witty script and dialogues manage to turn the clumsy heroes into self-confident entrepreneurs, with mostly promising results.
The satirical comedy highlights the shame and hypocrisy we commonly associate with taboo topics of sex education and contraception, even in modern and progressive society today, but at some point in the course of the film you also start to squirm and squirm in your chair ask if it will end up as social documentation picking up the stick on behalf of the government’s family planning department.
In conclusion, I can say that Helmet, released on Zee with no release whatsoever, is a decent, quirky, and heartwarming film capable of dispelling your blues in a jiffy.