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Helmet review: Cringey execution of a necessary message

Rating: 2/5

ZEE5’s ‘Helmet’ is a film that tries to give an important teaching but fails miserably in terms of execution. The film with a social message revolves around Lucky and his two friends who accidentally rob cartons of condoms. 

Story

‘Helmet’ revolves around lovers, Lucky and Rupali, who wish to get married. However, Lucky is low on the social and economic tier with being an orphan wedding band singer but Rupali is the only daughter of a rich father.

Upon being rejected by Rupali’s father, the couple concludes that if Lucky has his own band then the father can’t necessarily turn him down. This would also eliminate Rupali’s engagement to her NRI fiance.

Thus, in absolute desperation, he hatches a plan to raid a truck that transports electronic goods from their small town to the capital, Delhi. With the help of his best friend, Minus, and another acquaintance, Sultan, they succeed.

However, upon returning to Sultan’s place with the stolen goods, they realise that they aren’t the source of quick money they hoped for but instead cartons filled to the brim with condoms.

Can they strike gold with the unfortunate goods?

Performances

The film stars Aparshakti Khurana, Pranutan Bahl, Abhishek Banerjee, Ashish Verma, and Sharib Hashmi. 

Khurana’s Lucky is a typical small-town guy blind in love. However, he falls short in expressing his strong emotions for anything in the entirety of the film. 

Ashish Verma and Abhishek Banerjee play the roles of ‘dumb and dumber’ best friends of the ‘smart’ male lead but do not shine as much as one would hope. Especially when the brainiac of the group itself is not up to par.

Bahl’s portrayal of Rupali also falls short just like the rest due to a cringy script, can-be-better direction and so-so editing. 

However, the episode at the brothel with Anurita Jha is the only performance that leaves a mark in the audiences’ mind.

Positives

‘Helmet’ is a step forward to openly discuss the subject/ topic of sex and contraception that is long considered a societal taboo. 

The creators understand the need to discuss the core issue of over-population and STDs/HIV. This is certainly a commendable trial.

However, with so much potential in a storyline and concept, the outcome is subpar to say the least.

Negatives

Rupali is a feisty, independent woman and yet she falls short in front of her father’s denial to let her marry Lucky. Her characterization is inconsistent with the firebrand personality that we meet at the beginning. 

Lucky’s old-school attitude is never explained too and hence, the audience never understands the cause of all events and hence, fail to empathize.

While ‘Helmet’ is a step forward in bringing a taboo to the forefront, the movie itself takes two steps backwards right after acknowledging the issue. It points out the problem but refuses to acknowledge the core problems.

The team references that men often view condoms as disruptors to sexual pleasure but fails to actually find a solution to it. Our trio knows that people hesitate and still end up feeding the hesitance by maintaining anonymity.

Besides the scene at the brothel, the issue goes untouched. It’s almost as if they did not want to hurt the male audiences and make them uncomfortable by openly admitting to their faces that the main reason why they refuse to get vasectomised or use condoms is the widely used notion of ‘masculinity’. 

Worth it?

‘Helmet’ explores an unusual theme but dilutes itself by hiding the veil of false bravery. The scattered writing and equally lacking characterization leaves no mark on the viewers. Even for the humour, it seems forceful. The film can be watched for the fans of the actors but this cringey satire is extremely skippable.


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