Cast: Aparshakti Khurana, Pranutan Bahl, Abhishek Banerjee, Anurita Jha
Director: Satram Ramani
Bollywood has recently acquired a taste for comedies with a message – call it slaying two birds with one stone: you get to laugh while also being educated. And, to be sure, such films have become more common since the century, thanks to their high critical and financial success rates.
Even now, the number of Indians are unwilling to purchase condoms from retailers, while some are ashamed to say the term condom. Is it, nevertheless, conceivable to produce a film about this topic? It turns out that it is. This parody, directed by Satram Ramani, openly explores the usage of ‘Nirodh’ contraceptives, as well as the social and psychological issues that come with them.
The narrative of Lucky (Aparshakti Khurana), a wedding entertainer who dreams of starting his own wedding band and marrying his sweetheart, Rupali (Pranutan Bahl), a wedding flower decorator, is set in the tiny town of Kanpur. Rupali is from a wealthy family, but Lucky struggles to make ends meet, thus they can’t see each other again. Lucky conspires with his buddies Sultan (Abhishek Banerjee) and Minus (Ashish Verma) to steal the cargo truck of the e-commerce business in order to fulfill his wishes. However, instead of electrical devices, the plundered boxes contain condoms, much to their astonishment. And from here the actual story starts that will make you laugh out loud.
Helmet is all about the productions and dialogues, everybody from the main characters Pranutan Bahl and Aparshakti Khurana to their ensemble players, Abhishek Banerjee, Ashish Verma, Sharib Hashmi, and Ashish Vidyarthi, nailing it with pitch-perfect wit and charm, no doubt facilitated by Gopal Mudhane, Satramm Ramani, Rohan Shankar, Amit Tyagi, and Ajay.
What’s more significant is how, despite the comedy, they never lose track of the subject. Milin Jog’s camerawork captures the small-town vibe perfectly, and for the first time in a long time, a Hindi film’s editing (Manish Pradhan) looks sharp.
Satramm Ramani succeeds as a co-writer, but when it comes to directing his theme, he wanes a little too autonomously, with parts of Helmet’s middle sections losing the energy of the rest of the film. Furthermore, both the music and the background score are disappointing.
Despite a few glitches, Helmet not only makes condoms seem hilarious, but it also leverages that comedy to never lose sight of the fact that they’re no laughing matter. Without being preachy, this stands as an essential socially relevant comedy, particularly for smaller towns and rural regions, thanks to the energetic performances of Pranutan Bahl, Aparshakti Khurana, Abhishek Banerjee, and Ashish Verma.