Helicopter Eela movie cast: Kajol, Riddhi Sen, Tota Roy Chowdhary, Neha Dhupia, Kamini Khanna
Helicopter Eela movie director: Pradeep Sarkar
Helicopter Eela movie rating: One and a half stars
A doting mum and her resigned-to-it son are the focus of Helicopter Eela, in which said Eela helicopters around Vivaan to the extent of smothering him. Will they grow up and out of each other?
This is a Bollywood movie, so that question is redundant. But the answer, which unravels over two and half excessively long hours, is so devoid of interest, that you feel like shutting down almost as soon as the film starts.
That Indian mommies, especially those who have had to stand in for absent papas, are the kind who track their offspring at every physical step, and online post, literally counting every breath they take, and every tiffin box they lose, is a well-known fact.
That Kajol is capable of single-handedly lifting a movie, and lighting up the screen, is another. But Helicopter Eela is so saddled with banal story-telling, stretched sub-plots and exaggerated performances, including and especially from the lead actress, that it never really takes off.
Getting the mother to finish a degree in the same college, and worse, the same class, as her son, is reminiscent of Nil Battey Sannata, in which Swara Bhaskar’s character goes to school with her daughter.
The difference here is that the initial bits of the film hark back to the 90s, because Eela’s desire to become a singer needed the background of an era when Indi-pop was at the top, and when director Sarkar was delighting us with sparkling music videos. But the need to show Kajol in a perky younger avatar, hanging out in studios with famous film directors and musician husband (Roy Chowdhury, completely at sea), makes the film meander.
Sen, who won a National award this year, is about the only one who stands out. The climax, featuring a rousing song, created under the baton of outspoken college teacher (Dhupia), wakes you up somewhat: why couldn’t the rest of the movie hit these high notes?