Enable Javscript for better performance
Helmet Movie Review: Shield your brains- Cinema express

Helmet Movie Review: Shield your brains

Aparshakti Khurana sells condoms in this brainless, gutless comedy

Published: 03rd September 2021
Helmet Movie Review: Shield your brains

For a film about buying condoms, Helmet is shockingly coy. Clearly shot in Benaras, Satramm Ramani’s film claims to unfold in ‘Raj Nagar’, a fictional small-town as nondescript as its name. The euphemisms are everywhere, from its cheeky title—Helmet, get it? Helmet?—to the name of an online delivery service (‘Checkkart', it’s called, instead of Flipkart). Rohan Shankar’s screenplay is jumpy about the smallest of things. It gets to a point that a passing mention of UP Police struck me as exceptionally brave.

Cast: Aparshakti Khurana, Pranutan Bahl, Abhishek Banerjee, Ashish Verma, Ashish Vidyarthi, Sharib Hashmi, Jameel Khan

Streaming on: ZEE5

Director: Satram Ramani

Lucky (Aparshakti Khurana) is a wedding singer in Raj Nagar. He wants to marry Rupali (Pranutan Bahl), whose father objects and drives him out. Determined to start his own band, which will need some cash, Lucky fashions a plan. With the help of two friends, Sultan (Abhishek Banerjee), and Minus (Ashish Verma), he robs a delivery truck hauling mobile phones. “Millionaires!” screams Sultan, as Lucky pops open a crate. His jaw falls slack. Those bricks aren’t phones.

This premise—of characters saddled with a product they can’t easily sell—is a promising one, best suited for heist or stoner comedies. Helmet, however, has a larger social issue at hand. The people of Raj Nagar are loudly, improbably shy—even by Indian standards, where condom usage is at a global low. Lucky’s response is precise: putting on helmets, they’ll peddle their rubber on the sly, cutting prices by half and relieving the awkwardness of an open purchase. Yet, when the gang chances upon a few potential customers, they resort to the same name-calling that flanks this problem. “Thadki!” they snarl, “Rangeela!” Not words you want in a film about getting people to buy condoms.

The second half is complete silliness. Lucky outsources his sales to a marriage bureau, a rundown porn theatre, and a local saloon. Surprisingly, they all agree. The solid supporting cast, meanwhile, is assigned to kindergarten gags. Abhishek pulls a fine Bachchan impression from Deewaar, but doesn’t tickle as entertainingly as he did in Stree. I was instead invested in Sharib Hashmi’s harried moneylender. “Cops on a Wanted poster?” he chuckles at a wall—a question likely to bug all Salman Khan fans.

Aparshakti gets a preachy, screechy scene at a brothel; it’s so tonally off I had to recheck the film. The actor is no less comically gifted than his elder brother. His characters are funniest when feigning courage, like when Lucky visits a medical store at night. But a film like Helmet isn’t saved by comedic presence alone. It has no wit, no heft, to hang a lead performance upon. To force a pun, it bursts too soon.

Related Articles


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.