‘Helicopter Eela’ review: Kajol is charming, well intentioned, Bollywood masala family movie!
Helicopter Eela Director Pradeep Sarkar Cast: Kajol, Riddhi Sen, Neha Dhupia Rating: 4/5
Helicopter Eela is well-intentional, popcorn Bollywood masala family film that will leave you with a smile. The film is titled Helicopter Eela referring to helicopter parents, the ones who pay extra close attention to their children’s lives and experiences. And that is exactly how Eela is. She is constantly reminding Vivan about his dabba (tiffin), asking him to keep his cellphone aside and give her more time, walks into his room without any consideration for his privacy and also overhears his phone conversations.
The movies picks up pace towards the interval portion and the actual movie will start now. Kajol is just about fine. Riddhi Sen is natural. Other actors too are okay. Vivan loses more of his ‘me’ space leading to a strain in their relationship.
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. 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. Riddhi Sen, the 20-year-old National award-winning actor as Vivan is impressive. He depicts the anguish any youngster goes through in their adolescent phase. He is fairly reasonable, but melodramatic at times, just like his mother, as he pushes her to discover her musical roots.
Fast forward to present day, Eela is portrayed as a mother, walking the corridors of the college. Kajol is in solid form and engages us in her struggles, but sometimes they don’t seem too significant. Neha Dhupia has become comfortable in her roles, supporting the leading ladies in her last few outings like Tumhari Sulu or Netflix’s Lust Stories. Here, as the play director at the college, she flings things at people when they don’t sing in the desired pitch and gives Eela the support she needs.
Despite bland writing, the film wins your heart in a few scenes. And all credit goes to Kajol, who is back on the screen after 2015’s Dilwale. She occupies most of the screen space and demands your attention. It is the warm mother-son equation that holds the movie together in spite of the uninspired writing. As they go through a roller-coaster of emotions, we get some heart-warming moments.
Kajol returns to Hindi films after a gap of almost three years with Helicopter Eela. Directed by Pradeep Sarkar, who last directed Mardaani, Helicopter Eela features Kajol in the role of a single mom, who has a teenage son played by Riddhi Sen.