Having your husband for a producer has its perks! Watch how Ajay Devgn uses his Bollywood clout and pumps in some big bucks to let wife Kajol play Beyonce.
So, he hires Pradeep Sarkar of Parineeta fame to play director, and gets his B-town connections –Amitabh Bachchan and Mahesh Bhatt – to add some spunk and throws in a handful of known names in the music business for fun.
She may be past her prime, but if peers Rani Mukerji and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan can play ‘funky, yummy mummies’ onscreen, then so must she! Armed with great hair and make-up, and Sirsha Ray’s impeccable frames, Kajol appears charged and ready to take on the world, gleefully.
Alas, there are no marks for “trying” in the movie business.
So, Kajol plays Eela, a controlling mom to a young Vivaan. Life throws them in the deep end after her partner walks out on her over an odd paranoia that stems up a family tree etched on the wall. She suffocates Vivaan with her obsessive love and uses dabba as an emotional ammunition.
The toxic relationship peaks when the mom decides to join the boy’s university, in a bid to rediscover herself.
It’s a recipe for disaster, and one that we can spot from a mile. However, every comic twist falls flat. That’s because comedy is an art that only very few artists have mastered. And, Kajol isn’t one of them. She scrunches her nose, and rolls her eyes, to make up for the lack of her ability to tickle. The young Riddhi Sen is equally unequipped and appears peculiarly perplexed at every cue. Barring that one genuinely funny moment, when the boy discovers that his mother’s school certs show grades far lower than what she had boasted about.
There are, however, two emotionally-charged sequences, both involving Kajol in front of the piano, which despite being constructed to evoke empathy, trigger a chuckle, instead.
Kajol reduces Eela into a blustering buffoon, amplifying her emotions but never genuinely capturing her real essence. There are moments when she manages to strike the right note but that’s a rarity. She may have once been ranked among the top performers but this one’s dragging her down.
“It’s not a playschool, but a reputed university,” a headmaster announces, in a bid to stop a scream-match between two adult women. But the pulse of the movie pretty much stays in "playschool", and we’re left to watch a hyperactive bunch figure out what life throws at them.
While the filmmakers tell us that Helicopter Eela is adapted from the Gujarati play Beta, Kaagdo the parallels to Hollywood’s Life Of The Party is tough to ignore.
Dialogues by Mitesh Shah causes further damage, while tunes by Amit Trivedi and Raghav Sachar aren't peppy.
Helicopter Eela could’ve been much more, but it conveniently slips into mediocrity.