Kajol is back. After Dilwale in 2015, her latest release, Helicopter Eela is getting mixed reviews. While some find it touching and heartwarming, others are finding it overly quirky and way off the mark. It is gone a bit overboard, but that is something we have come to expect in Bollywood.
Helicopter Eela, an adaptation of “Beta Kaagdo”, a Gujarati play written by Mitesh Shah and Anand Gandhi, has been directed by Pradeep Sarkar. The story is about an overprotective single mother who is always hovering around her son like a helicopter, Hence the name.
Eela Raiturkar has given up a lot in her life to bring up her son singlehandedly, including her promising career as a singer. She becomes a helicopter mother who follows her son everywhere to the extent that she enrolls herself not only in the same college but also the same class as him. She fails to see the discomfort of her son, Vivaan, played by National Award winner Riddhi Sen, who ultimately takes charge and helps her to find her self-identity.
The concept of the story is very touching but it has been overplayed in some places. A lot of mothers will be able to find a connection with Kajol’s character. But due to her bubbly chirpy self, she seems to forget that she is portraying a mother of a teenage boy. Riddhi Sen and Tota Roy Chaudhry as Eela’s husband have given sincere performances. Neha Dhupia and Zakir Hussain have played the stereotyped professor and principal of Bollywood Colleges. There are special appearances by Big B, Mahesh Bhatt, Baba Sehgal and Ila Arun.
Since the main character is a promising singer, music is well integrated into the storyline. The timelines get mixed up with the portrayal of the past and the present and could have been made better with some tightening of the screenplay
There were expectations from the film that haven’t been met. Kajol and her return to the screen could still attract audiences. The mother-son connection could also work in favour of Eela.