Cast: Kajol, Riddhi Sen, Neha Dhupia.
Director: Pradeep Sarkar.
Producer: Ajay Devgan.
Kajol in and as Eela starts her journey from the music and ends it with music, however midway she’s carried away with the typical insecurity which every parent has. These insecurities lead her to be the helicopter mother. First of all to clarify the title, Helicopter Parents is the term which was recently coined on social media which defines over-protective and over-possessive parents. The film starts with the melodious and nostalgic songs sung by Kajol, who is getting ready to join her first day in the college as a student. Later we’re introduced to her son who is a teenager. As the movie traces Eela’s background, we are taken back to the days of indie-pop music with cassettes of Baba Sehgal, Alisha Chinai selling at the iconic music store in Mumbai, Rhythm House. Eela who is shown modelling part-time also dreams of becoming a playback singer. The movie infuses a dose of nostalgia, recreating the launch of MTV India in 1996. Watch out for Shaan, Illa Arun, Baba Sehgal, Anu Malik, Mahesh Bhatt – who are all part of Eela’s journey as a singer, which is short-lived. Before she can get involved in singing and accomplish her desire of being a fame singer, she enters parenthood. Soon after becoming a mother, she faces a tragic situation where she looses her husband. The loss of her husband results in an immense fear in her mind regarding her beloved son, Vivan. Right from his childhood, Eela is being over-protective towards him. Fast Forward to 15 years, we see Eela, walking through corridors of college where Vivan is studying. She joins the same college with a reason of completion of her education. Vivan at a certain point gets completely pissed off. The climax of the film is kept as a secret.
The film basically revolves around the story of a possessive mother and a responsible yet irritated son. Where in Eela always urges her son to carry his tiffin along with him, pokes her nose into every single happening in his life, walks in his room disturbing his personal space and ruining his ‘me’ moment. Besides a not so humorous punches, film also tries to build an emotional connection with the viewers but fails to do so. With several lame jokes and some really ridiculous scenes, the film fails to connect to its viewers.
Pradeep Sarkar’s Helicopter Eela is divided into two different ages, first half completely deals with the life of Eela, where she was about to turn a singing sensation. Kajol is awkward in the younger scenes and the De-ageing looked bad. It was good to see the 90s nostalgia, though.
Talking about the performances, Kajol even after a wide gap of 3 years, manages to impress her fans and praisers. She plays two different ages and in terms of performance nails both of them well. Where in the first half, she is portrayed as a young sensation, it somewhere looks artificial interns of appearance but Kajol covers it up with her charming performance. Whereas in the second half she appears absolutely natural both the ways. Kajol hots all the right notes, be it as a singer on the cusp of hitting super stardom, or as a doting mother. She steals all the limelight with her art of expression, makes it the only reason to watch the film. On the other hand, A 20 years old Riddhi Sen who is a national award winner who is acclaimed for his performance in Bengali cinema pulls off the emotional scenes with an ease. Somewhere who must try out well with his comic timing, the humorous punches gets faded before it could tickle the audience. Neha Dhupia manages to make her presence felt in her limited role too. But the film belongs to Kajol, who dominates every single frame. Her portrayal as a single mother’s love towards her only kid is convincing and deserves applause.
There are several flaws in the second half which weakens the connectivity. The climax scene is not that interesting and even not that clear. There was a pretty good expectations from a director like Pradeep Sarkar who has given flawless film like Mardani, fails to serve a comparative watch.
Cinespeaks Verdict: Pradeep Sarkar’s Helicopter Eela is a fun ride which tries to land safely. With several flaws in the second half, film lacks to be one of the best entertainer of the month. The film belongs to the magnificent performance by Kajol. Even after the gap of 3 long years, Kajol proves that she still has kept her charm alive. It’s a fine watch with your mother in tow
Cinespeaks gives 2.5 stars to the film.
Written by: Aakash Gala