Helen Malayalam Movie
The concept of survival has a universal appeal, so such tales hardly fail to impress. Newbie director Mathukutty Xavier's 'Helen' also underlines it by showcasing a girl's struggle for survival when she is stranded in an odd, to be precise, in an unusual place. The battle she takes up is against her misfortune and her mental strength undergoes a litmus test in her efforts to survive the tough hours. Anna Ben plays the eponymous character with a painstaking and touching performance in the film that offers more engrossing moments than its casual first half.
In the screenplay co-written by Noble Babu Thomas, Mathukutty Xavier, and Alfred Kurian Joseph, one can trace the precision in the conceiving of scenes. The succinct nature of the script transforms one's attention from a casual watch to more gripping views. At one stage, you even tend to think about what you would have done if you had been trapped in such a situation. The director succeeds in kindling this vital thought, which is the success of survival dramas.
Helen Paul, a nursing degree holder, is preparing for going to Canada even as she is worried about her father Paul (Lal), a widower. A hardworking girl, Helen is also a part-time staff of a fast-food chain in a shopping mall in Kochi. She is a caring and amiable daughter for her father but she hides her relationship with Azhar (Noble Babu Thomas) from Paul.
Helen is a responsible girl with aspirations in life while Azhar appears as a lazy and aimless youth. Helen tries to mend the ways of her lover as well as her father amidst her busy schedule in life. One night, circumstances lead Helen to undergo a harrowing experience and she realizes the need for survival at any cost.
The title card of this 117.10-minute film is interesting since the director sums up the theme through it. As the title suggests, Anna is the mainstay of this tale and she fulfills the responsibility with aplomb. Albeit the main action is mostly constrained to a single place in the second half, Anna charmingly spreads the agony to the viewers, making them also pondering over other solutions the character can seek to escape from her dilemma. She is mired in a strange situation where survival becomes the gravest question. Here it gets hues of a survival thriller. Aju Varghese gets a notable character, Sub Inspector Ratheesh Kumar, in 'Helen' and it's endearing to see him as a 'malicious' officer.
The pace is fine here but the challenge is to keep the viewers engrossed till a miracle happens to extricate the girl from her precarious situation. Even as 'Helen' has a simple plot with thriller vibes, it's presentation sans any exaggeration makes it a confident winner. Anend. C. Chandran's cinematography is appealing right from the outset and Shaan Rahman shines in the music department.