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Pinkvilla Picks: Anna Ben’s survival drama Helen is a nail biting flick with the right amount of emotions

Pinkvilla logo Pinkvilla 3 days ago Aishwarya R

Helen starts off with the story of a girl next door, who is desperately trying to migrate to Canada. The film is a survival flick and what the protagonist (Helen played by Anna Ben) is going to endure, is revealed in the title card. With the life of Helen going on in the background, an ant is shown in the title card, which happily roams around Helen’s home until it finally falls into an ice tray and ends up in a refrigerator’s freezer. This is what exactly happens to Helen. Not metaphorically speaking, but literally. She gets trapped inside a freezer room of a restraint. Whether she survives it or not, and how she suffers inside the room is shown in an unbelievably realistic way.

a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by Pinkvilla

While we do not know about the medical facts of how a human being could survive in a place where the temperature is minus 16 degrees, the film will take you to the edge of your seat and keep you there till the very last second. Other than the survival drama, the film has many take away including prejudice, romance, and a beautiful relationship between a father and his daughter. Helen’s sweet character is established in the beginning when she acknowledges and greets a watchman, whose existence is often ignored by almost everyone. The way she bosses around in her home, strictly telling her father Paul (played by Lal) to stop smoking and the way she practices English establishes that this Helen is a determined girl, who has great ambitions.

a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by Pinkvilla

As the film moves forward, we are being introduced with the girl’s boyfriend Azhar. Their relationship is cute and lovely and filled with playful romantic moments. However, liberal Helen’s father is, she keeps this relationship a secret. Here, the director hits us hard with the prejudice on relationships and love even in a family that claims to be most liberated. When he advises to Helen to be friends with people of ‘their type’, she jokingly gives it back to him, asking if he asks for people’s ‘types’ before explaining them about his insurance policies. Moving forward, Azhar finds a job in Chennai and they both decide to meet before he leaves for Chennai. A series of unfortunate things happen and they land in the police station where an unethical cop calls up Helen’s father unnecessarily and reveals him about her relationship. Helen’s attempts to talk to her father about this get dismissed by him. Too scared to face him, Helen stays back in her work station (a restaurant in a mall) where she gets trapped inside a freezer room.

a couple of people that are talking to each other © Provided by Pinkvilla

The struggle she faces inside, her desperate attempts to survive and her loud cries for attention would make one dote for her to safely get out of the room. Anend C. Chandran’s magic with camera would make us feel like we are in the room. In a parallel story, we are shown how a cop refuses to take Paul’s complaint of his missing daughter. He dismisses all his cries and strongly argues that she would have eloped, just because he spotted her along with a man the previous night. He would take no action and this will want us to punch n his face.

a person posing for the camera © Provided by Pinkvilla

The film went to another level when it separated the heroine from the others in the second half. Though no hero came breaking through the roofs of the freezer room all of a sudden, Helen too, had a moment of ‘eh?’ when the hero managed to solve the mystery of where Helen is, even when the top cops were breaking their heads to unravel it. On the whole, the Mathukutty Xavier directorial is a refreshing and nail-biting drama, which will take one to a different world.

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